Welcome to the first edition of the Digest Africa Index – our report that takes an annual look at Africa’s early stage and technology investment landscape. The Index highlights key trends, opportunities, and challenges in Africa’s technology landscape by focusing on funding and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals as well as the companies and investors behind them. We also highlight the critical funds that raised across the continent, who are putting money into them and how they have been or are likely to be deployed.
Last year recorded a whopping $1.19 billion in total deal value even though 103 deals – representing 22.7% of the total 454 deals recorded – never disclosed their amount. However, we also believe that the figure could have been higher than $1.19 billion had the values of specific deals been disclosed. Jumia and M-Kopa are among the companies that never disclosed their deal amounts.
Technology companies across Africa raised a total of $686.4 million in funding across 336 disclosed funding deals of the 415 recorded. The East African region, with $303.9 million which translated into 44.2% of the total funding raised, registered the highest amount. Amongst countries, Kenya, with 22.8% ($156.5M) of the total funding raised, recorded the highest while the financial services sector recorded the highest amount of funding raised on the continent with 92 deals representing $276.7 million. The financial services sector contributed 40.3% to the total funding raised across the continent in 2018.
There were 39 M&A deals recorded in Africa’s technology space though only seven (7) of these were disclosed. South Africa registered the highest number of deals with twenty-four (24) and six (6) of the deals whose amounts were disclosed also came from the country. Compuscan, which Experian acquired for $263 million, and WeBuyCars that was acquired by Naspers for $94 million – through OLX Group – recorded the highest M&A deal values.
Lastly, a total of sixteen (16) technology-focused funds were raised adding up to $1.094 billion in value. 69.8% of the funds raised were early stage focused and 47.7% of them were sector agnostic. Naspers’ $314 million South Africa-focused fund was the largest fundraising/commitment recorded in 2018. European Investment Bank (EIB) was the most active investor on the continent participating in investments into five (5) funds: Partech Africa Fund managed by Partech Ventures ($70M), Novastar II managed by Novastar Ventures ($72.5M), Tide Africa Fund managed by TLcom Capital ($40M), Sawari Ventures North Africa Fund I managed by Sawari Ventures ($35M) and Africa Tech Ventures ($10M).