(Ecofin Agency) - Established African startups, looking for new avenues for profitability, are increasingly searching for competitors they can acquire to enter new markets, expand product lines or access innovative technologies.
Consolidation is accelerating in the African tech scene amid a cooling venture capital market, a frantic search for profitability, and a search for new growth opportunities, according to "The State Of Tech In Africa Q4 2022 Report" published by TechCabal Insights last Thursday.
According to the report, African startups made 48 acquisition deals on the continent in 2022, up 33% compared to the 32 deals made in 2021.
Fintech startups accounted for 25% of those deals, against 10% for B2B marketplaces and 8% for e-commerce startups.
The report indicates that acquisitions between African start-ups are expected to increase in 2023, with established start-ups buying up struggling start-ups whose valuations have fallen, to expand their product range, enter new markets, or get their hands on innovative technology. This consolidation will be helped by drying venture financing due to macroeconomic uncertainties that weigh on investors' ability to plan for the medium and long term, as evidenced by the decline in fundraising by start-ups on the continent in the second half of last year.
Four countries account for 75% of fundraisings
TechCabal Insights also reveals that African start-ups raised US$4.84 billion from venture capital funds in 2022 in 875 deals. In 2021, they raised US$4.6 billion in 847 deals.
Fintech companies accounted for 37% of the funds raised (US$1.81 billion) while in 2021, they accounted for 53%. Next in line are startups operating in the fields of energy and water (US$874.1 million), logistics & transportation (US$620.5 million), e-commerce (US$455.2 million), agriculture & food (US$246.8 million), and telecoms, media & entertainment (US$246 million).
Eight mega funding rounds (over US$100 million per deal) were recorded in 2022, including the rounds by Nigerian fintech company Flutterwave (US$250 million), Kenya's Sun King (US$260 million), and Algeria's VTC Yassir (US$150 million).
Four countries accounted for about 75% of the overall VC financing raised on the continent in 2022. They are namely Nigeria (US$1.2 billion) Kenya (US$1.06 billion), Egypt (US$822 million), and South Africa (US$555 million).
The report also indicates that the continent's start-ups laid off 1,264 employees last year, mainly due to funding scarcity after funding increased eighteenfold between 2015 and 2021. The African startups that laid off staff include Egyptian mobility start-up SWVL (400 layoffs), the Senegalese unicorn Wave (300 layoffs), and the Kenyanagritech Twiga (211 layoffs).