January Funding Roundup: funding news from across Africa in the month of January

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African Startups that raised

Economies dwindling all over the globe. But somehow, someway, these startups managed to raise (in case you were wondering where all the money went).

IrokoTV ($19 Million)

From its early days as a Youtube channel, you could say that IrokoTV has come a long way. Even though a lot of scene watchers say that journey has met a huge bump in the road with the advent of Netflix in Africa. Cue Monday morning, January 25, when news of Iroko’s $19M Series E hit the interwebs. And “suddenly” IrokoTV is “not so much in danger anymore”. Gotta love the internet.

The smart money is on Iroko targeting the billion strong population of sub-Saharan Africa (and the Africans in diaspora which constitutes 55% of its subscribers) since it already has a head start in local content delivery. So the logical move is to double down on its footprint in Africa with more local content, more original content, more languages, subtitles and so on.

BRCK ($3 Million)

The first funding news that hit 2016 was BRCK raising $3 million. Founded in 2013, BRCK is one of Kenya’s hottest startups. This brings BRCK’s total equity funding to $4.2M in two Rounds (they raised $1.2M in 2014).

SweepSouth ($608,000)

As the IrokoTV, African VOD and Netflix plot thickened, somewhere down south in South Africa, SweepSouth, an on-demand home cleaning startup secured $608,000 in funding.

SweepSouth is essentially an Uber for home cleaning services, and last year became the first South African startup to participate in the 500 Startups accelerator in Silicon Valley.

Custos Media Technologies (Undisclosed)

South African startup Custos Media Technologies also raised in January though the amount wasn’t disclosed. The startup, operating out if the Launchlab business hub, employs bitcoin bounties as a means of cracking down on piracy of various types of digital media. This particular January round will be used by to accelerate international client acquisition.

A list of Startup funds that were announced in January

Silvertree Capital ($10 million)

Silvertree Capital, the South Africa based business incubator, is looking to invest up to $10M in African startups. Last year, they invested $5 million in company acquisitions and business building, and will now invest an additional $10m in ecommerce enterprises this year which are looking to scale.

The CcHub Growth Fund (1 billion naira or $5 million)

The Growth fund is born out of a partnership between the CcHUB, Bank of Industry (BoI), Venture Garden Group (VGG) and Omidyar Network. The fund is targeting Nigerian startups “building technologies that make public services smarter and connects them to citizens” and that are looking to scale. So idea-phase businesses should look elsewhere. Examples include Lifebank, a startup building a smart blood blank and WeCyclers, which encourages recycling by rewarding participators.

Applications are already open at the website.

Lagos State Employment Trust Fund ($125 million)

The Lagos State government is looking to inject some much needed capital into businesses this year. The good news is that the funds will be going out at a incredible 1% interest rate! The fund will loan out about $42 million yearly for four years, along with much needed entrepreneurial training for beneficiaries.

ICT Innovation Fund (3 billion naira not 300 billion)

The internet is awash with reports that the fund is about 300 billion naira. This is wrong. The fund is for 15 million dollars (about 3 billion naira).

The fund which was announced as far back as 2013, has finally been released by the federal government of Nigeria. The then ICT minister, Omobola Johnson, announced that the fund had closed its seeding in 2014, as government had released $9 million as seed capital to the fund. Seeing as the Nigerian government isn’t known for their tech savvy, EchoVC has been tapped in to be the principal manager of the fund.  

EchoVC also plans to support the fund with $50 million target seed fund which it is going to inject into African tech startups.


I'm 3 parts geek, 1 part funny man, and the last part is between me and my shrink. Technology Editor at Enterprise54. I write about (obsess over) gadgets, tech and startups. Send me stuff.

1 Comment

  1. Errol

    March 8, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Very Interesting

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