Africa’s next unicorn?, Upskilling African developers, CribMD raises $2.6m

by | May 27, 2021

Good day,
Emmanuel and Victoria here.

Today we’re discussing

  • OPay’s planned $400m raise
  • CribMd’s $2.6m seed round
  • Enye’s plan to build the next tech superstars

OPay’s planned $400m raise

OPay app

Another funding round on the way: African digital payment platform, OPay, is reportedly about to close a $400 million seed round at a valuation of more than $1.5 billion. This is coming after raising $170 million in 2019 to expand to Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa.

Fun fact Although OPay is an African platform, some Chinese VCs backed its funding rounds of 2019. The rounds were led by Chinese VCs such as Source Code Capital, Sequoia Capital China, IDG Capital, Gaorong Capital, Redpoint China and Bertelsmann Asia Investments, and SoftBank Ventures Asia, the VC arm of SoftBank.

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Note: It could become the second-largest ever funding round by an African startup. It will be topped only by Jumia’s $603m Series C. This could also be Africa’s second unicorn in 2021.

Go deeper: Top funding rounds in the African tech space

What I find baffling is how the funds would be used to help speed up OPay’s expansion into new African markets even after raising funds for the same reason in 2019.

OPay planned to expand to Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa in 2019, but it only could enter Ghana. However, it also entered Egypt. Why wasn’t OPay able to expand to other countries with $150 million? Your guess is as good as mine.

Could this be related?Lagos to enforce ban on Gokada, MAX, ORide, others from highways, starting February 2020.

Or this? OPay finally drops super app ambition; restructures model.

As reported by Opera, OPay’s total gross transaction value grew by 350% last year to over $2 billion in December 2020. This growth might be attributable to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19.

OPay neither confirmed nor denied the report.

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CribMd’s $2.6m seed round

Photo by AMISOM via Iwaria

After raising $250k in a pre-seed round and $100k in February 2021, an 11-month-old Nigerian healthtech startup, CribMD, has closed a $2.6 million seed round led by US-based VC, Sputnik ATX; Swedish accelerator, Norrsken; and mass media company, The Guardian Nigeria.

It’s incredible but the co-founders said they turned down several investors and investments. CribMD reportedly had a $2 million target, which was exceeded.

It’s reassuring that the co-founders said their investors know the value of what they are doing. Hence, CEO, Ifeanyi Ossai affirmed: “our $2 million was oversubscribed.”

Interestingly, he attributed the success of the fundraising to the team. While he thinks the startup is profitable, he believes that its product is viable, and worth investors’ investments.

Launched in 2020 to build 300 clinics to solve sub-Saharan Africa’s inadequate healthcare problem, CribMD now wants to expand its current team of 36 professionals and grow its network of partners.

Now you are wondering what the healthcare startup does exactly? You should read more here. Trust me, it’s worth the read.

Enye’s plan to build the next tech superstars

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Enye team. Source: Supplied

Companies popping up to solve the problem of talent scarcity in Africa has been a common theme in recent years. On the flip side, there’s the problem of founders bemoaning the lack of talent.

In comes Enye, a Nigerian non-profit that employs an innovative approach to solving this problem. The company pairs budding developers with founders who need to build their MVPs.

I had a chat with Uche Nnadi, Enye CEO, who also runs a payments company by the side, and he explained how he plans to create value for founders and developers in this insightful piece.

The Built in Africa Podcast brings another dimension to this story.

What else we’re reading/watching

  • Why Amazon is paying more for MGM than Disney did for Star Wars and Marvel. Read
  • Nvidia sold $155 million in crypto mining chips last quarter, but PC gaming remains its biggest market. Read

Emmanuel Paul and Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.

Writer, Narrator, tech, business and policy analyst. There's always something new to know.

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