Kenya ranked third most attractive for seed invest

Kenya ranked third most attractive for seed invest

Kenya was the third most preferred startup investment destination in Africa last year, attracting a total of 73 deals

after South Africa and Nigeria which saw 107 and 136 pacts signed respectively, a new report shows.

Digital payments service provider Cellulant’s deal with The Rise Fund where the former sold a 44.04 per cent stake

worth Sh4.8 billion to the subsidiary of US-based TPG Growth Company, was the largest in the country.

The Venture Investments Report 2018 by WeeTracker, a firm that focuses on the African start-up ecosystem, says that

about Sh72.6 billion ($725.6 million) was invested in 458 deals across the continent in 2018, representing a 300

percent growth in the total funding amount and over 127 percent increase in the number of deals when compared to 2017.

Fintech companies attracted the highest funding, making financial technology the most lucrative sub-sector in the African startup space.

“The demand for traditional business is as high as technology-driven enterprises, but when both are combined, what

we get is an exceptional business… Fintech appears to be the ever-growing sector in Africa, with most of the

companies trying to work around payments and remittances,” the report said.

According to WeeTracker, Cellulant’s billion shilling deal — concluded in May last year­ - was the fifth largest to be

signed in Africa in 2018.

The fintech said it would use the funds to expand its operations, enter two new African markets and upgrade its

payment infrastructure to latest technologies.

Africa’s top deal was e-commerce giant Naspers’ investment in (Sh9.5 billion), followed by South

African lending platform Jumo’s deals worth Sh6.75 billion.

Others were Kenya solar provider D.light which got Sh6.6 billion equity injection and Tanzania’s Zola Electric which

secured a total of Sh5.5 billion in funding.

Kenya-based companies whose deals tipped the Sh500 million mark include mobile lending platform Branch (Sh2

billion), business to business marketplace platform Twiga and solar energy firm Mkopa where each received Sh1 billion.