South African ventures/ tech companies have received a lot of attention from local and global VCs. With a population of 57.8 million, the country’s market is robust and has higher purchasing capacities, on an average, in the continent.
In the pandemic hit 2020, South Africa was one of the most proactive countries to initiate a lockdown without losing a single life. The slowdown in the economy did not influence the venture capital investments of South Africa in 2020, at least seemingly. When the data is observed closely, it is found that investments in 3 companies have contributed to the upsurge in numbers over the last year’s figures.
The ventures in South Africa in 2020 raised USD 175 Mn in over 80 deals spread across 20+ industries.
If these top 3 deals – Jumo USD 55 Mn, Skynamo USD 30 Mn and Aerobotic’s USD 17 Mn are removed from the investment figures, the growth over last year’s figures stands at 8.95%. It would be interesting to note that the top deal in 2019 was USD 12 Mn.
The VC firms that played a pivotal part in keeping the ecosystem bright during the gloomy period include – Kalon Venture Partners, Naspers Foundry and Enygma Ventures.
The Fintech Industry, Information Technology, Analytics and Big Data led the chart as the top industries with higher fundraise and investment deals. For instance, ventures falling under the financial services & fintech sector claimed 40 percent of the total funding raised.
Several new entrants made way into the 2020 funding list of the startup ecosystem. Native Nylon, an eComm platform that raised USD 13K in an equity round, and LetMeIn, an InfoTech startup with a seed round of USD 140K from an undisclosed investor are a few examples.
3 acquisition deals took place in 2020, interestingly all of them were for an undisclosed amount. Africa Fashion International acquired Wezart. Cape Town-based social media content company Over got acquired by GoDaddy. Knife capital-backed Snapplify acquired Onnie Media/ Teacha.
Four new fund launches, focussed on early-stage startups to growth-stage startups made their mark on 2020 investment landscape. Enygma Venture, which was also among the most active investors, launched a USD 7 Mn fund for early-stage women-led businesses in Africa.