Across the globe, Nigerian startups have become a force to reckon with as they continue to churn out innovative solutions that attract the attention of investors who are seeking high returns.
And with each investment yielding as much as expected returns, doors are being opened for more funding for both the old and new innovators coming out of the country.
This was why even amidst the global economic headwinds that saw several big tech companies laying off workers in 2022, Nigerian startups still attracted over $1.2 billion in funding in the year.
Although this was slightly lower than the $1.5 billion recorded in 2021, the country still remained the preferred destination for global venture capital and angel investors seeking to invest in Africa.
From pre-series to series D, many Nigerian startups have crossed through all stages of fundraising and are now also investing in other startups.
Yet, the need for more funding keeps rising as more tech-savvy Nigerians keep coming up with innovations that require injection of funds to scale.
As of today, while several startups are still bootstrapping and hoping to land their first paycheque in the near future, many innovative companies are counting millions in funding and are still hoping for more to expand their businesses.
The surge in funding for Nigerian startups is, no doubt, having several positive impacts on the Nigerian economy. It creates jobs, drives innovation, and helps to attract foreign investment. Nigerian startups are also playing an increasingly important role in solving some of Nigeria’s most pressing problems, such as financial inclusion, poverty, unemployment, and healthcare.
Despite the slowdown this year, Nigerian startups are still raising funds. Looking at those who had raised in the past and even those who raised funds as recently as this month, Nairametrics looked at the top 10 most funded startups in Nigeria based on the amount they have raised so far:
MONIEPOINT ($55.5 million)
Just about a year ago, fintech startup, Moniepoint, which was formerly TeamApt, announced its biggest raise of $50 million plus to expand its credit offerings. While the company did not assign any letter to the round to determine its stage, industry watchers said it could be classified as a pre-Series C round because the company was still looking to raise a Series C in 2023.
The latest round, which was co-led by QED Investors and Novastar Ventures, brought the company’s total funding to $57.5 million, having raised $5.5 million raised $5.5 million in capital in a Series A round led by Quantum Capital Partners in February 2019. The company was reported to have bootstrapped its way to Series A.
THRIVEAGRIC ($65.4 million)
Nigeria’s technology-driven agric startup, ThriveAgric, is currently the most funded agritech startup in Nigeria and one of the top 10 leading startups by funding. The company’s latest round was a $56.4 million in debt funding from commercial banks and institutional investors, which was announced in March last year.
The latest raise brought its total funding to $65.4 million as the company had earlier 2020 secured another $9 million from investors.
KONGO ($79.5 million)
Konga is Nigeria’s pioneer e-commerce marketplace with verticals in payment, travel, health and logistics. The company, which was acquired by Zinox in 2018 had raised a total of $79.5 million before its acquisition. Its latest funding round was $41 million series C round led by Naspers in 2015.
In 2014, Konga raised $25 million in Series B, which came after a $10 million Series A in 2013 and a $3.5 million Seed round in 2012, all led by Kinnevik AB with participation from Naspers.
KUDA BANK ($91 million)
Nigeria’s digital bank, Kuda, is also among one of the most funded startups in Nigeria as of today. Kuda. The bank has raised a total of $91.6 million and the latest was a $55 million Series B round announced in August 2021.
Earlier in March of the same year, Kuda had raised $25 million in a Series A round led by Valar Ventures. In November 2020, the startup had announced a seed round of $10 million led by Target Global.
TRADEDEPOT ($123 million)
TradeDepot, Nigeria’s e-commerce startup, which connects international brands to small businesses in Africa, has raised a total of $123 million in funding. Its latest round was a $110 million series B announced in December 2021.
In July 2020, Trade Depot had raised $10 million to expand its business into financial services and credit offerings for retailers. Before that, the company’s first raise was a $3 million investment led by Partech back in 2018.
LUMOS GLOBAL ($125 million)
Nigerian Off-Grid Solar Company Lumos Global has raised a total of $125 million to date. Its latest raise was a $35 million financing from U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to expand its existing market for reliable, accessible and clean solar power in Nigeria.
In December 2016, Lumos Global had raised $90 Million, comprising $50 million debt and $40 million in equity. The investors included Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Sub-Saharan Africa-focused investment firm Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Managers, VLTCM and Israeli cleantech venture specialist ICV.
MOOVE ($335 million)
Nigerian-born mobility fintech company, Moove, has continued to secure funding from different investors, the latest being $76 million raised this August and led by Mubadala Investment Company. The financing consists of $28 million in equity, $10 million in venture debt from funds and accounts, and $38 million in previously undisclosed funds raised over the past year.
While the latest raise brought its total funding to $335 million, the company had in July 2023, announced its $8 million funding from Absa Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) to significantly expand its existing fleet of Suzuki S-Presso vehicles assembled in Ghana.
In 2022, Moove raised a total of $183.3 million across five funding rounds. It raised $135 million between January and June, then an additional $30 million in December.
ANDELA ($381 million)
Andela, a fully remote company that helps tech companies build remote engineering teams is currently valued at $1.5 billion following a September 2021 $200 million Series E round led by SoftBank’s Softbank Vision Fund 2.
The Series E round brought Andela’s total raise to $381 million since being founded in Lagos in 2014. Before that, the company had raised $100 million in Series D in 2019.
Earlier in 2017, Andela raised $40 million in Series C funding led by pan-African venture firm CRE Venture Capital with participation from DBL Partners, Amplo, Salesforce Ventures, and Africa-focused TLcom Capital. The company had raised a total of $40 million before that time.
FLUTTERWAVE ($475 million)
Flutterwave, the fintech giant co-founded by Olugbenga Agboola has raised a total of $475 million. The company which is now working towards an Initial Public Offer (IPO) is one of the seven unicorns in Africa.
Flutterwave’s latest raise was in February 2022 when it raised $250 million in a Series D round led by investors including Facebook Inc co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s venture capital firm B Capital Group and Boston-based hedge fund Whale Rock Capital Management. Series D tripled the company’s valuation to over $3 billion in just twelve months.
In March 2021, the San Francisco-headquartered and Lagos-based startup raised $170 million in a Series C round from Tiger Global and Avenir at a valuation of $1 billion.
Flutterwave had raised a $35 million Series B in 2020 and a $20 million Series A in 2018.
OPAY ($570 million)
Chinese-backed and Africa-focused fintech company, OPay has raised a total of $570 million in three successive rounds. Its latest raise was announced in August 2021 when it secured $400 million in new financing led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The raise brought the company’s valuation to $2 billion.
Before that, Opay had announced two funding rounds in 2019, $50 million in June and a $120 million Series B in November. This Series C round was the largest on record in Africa’s tech scene on par with Jumia’s identical raise in 2016.