The Biggest African Tech News So Far: From The Adoption Of Bitcoin, Internet Cables To Mobile Money
In April, startups across the African continent raised $413,143,000 across 38 fully-disclosed deals.
That means – for this year – April was ranked the lowest in terms of funding announcements made, 41% ($296 million) less than what was announced in March, and 34% ($216 million) less than February’s announcement.
Per sector, the top three sectors are energy-tech, fintech, and logistics. Energy leads with $289,800,000 (70.1%); fintech with $53,500,000 (12.9%); and logistics with $34,000,000 (8.2%).
But so much more has been happening in the African tech space, and we’ve compiled it all here:
In April, the Central African Republic became the first African country to adopt Bitcoin—and all other forms of cryptocurrency—as legal tender.
The Parliament of the Central African Republic voted unanimously to sign a bill that will recognize Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency as national legal tender, according to a statement posted to the country’s presidential Facebook page.
After El Salvador, CAR is just the second country in the world to legalize it.
In Senegal, fintech unicorn Wave was granted an e-money license by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) to expand its mobile money services in the country.
While the Nigerian arms of telecoms MTN and Airtel made important strides in ramping up mobile money adoption in the country as MTN received final approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria to run a payment service bank in the country.
Weeks later, Airtel went on to get a super-agent license from CBN that will now allow it to recruit agents for agency banking and deliver essential financial services to customers through a network of third-party agents on behalf of financial institutions.
The top 5 disclosed deals of the month are:
Sun King’s $260 million Series D raise to expand into Africa and Asia.
Nigerian logistics startup Sabi’s $20 million funding round.
Egypt-based energy tech company Pylon’s $19 million seed round.
Umba’s $15 million round to expand its digital bank into new markets.
Ghanaian agritech Farmerline’s $12.9 million pre-Series A round.
Google’s subsea internet cable
The cable is part of Google’s $1 billion plan to provide affordable internet access in Africa by building global infrastructure to help bring faster internet to more people and lower connectivity costs.
The 12,000 + km cable was implemented in Lagos, Nigeria in April, as it moves on to Namibia, St. Helena, and finally, South Africa.