Cassava Technologies (Cassava) Africa’s first integrated tech company of continental scale has secured a $50 million investment from C5 Capital (C5), a specialist venture capital firm that invests in cyber security, space, and energy security.
The investment is part of a broader funding round to accelerate Cassava’s growth. It will increase digital connectivity and inclusion on the continent. Cassava will be the go-to-market partner in Africa for C5's cutting-edge portfolio companies to deliver best-in-class cyber security, satellite and space technology and clean energy.
Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Cassava Technologies said that "this investment from C5 is part of our plan to raise additional growth capital whilst diversifying our investor base. We are delighted that C5 has joined us to help realise our vision of a digitally connected future that leaves no African behind."
Cassava Technologies operates in more than 20 African countries and has been at the forefront of bringing innovative technology solutions to local businesses and individuals. Through its extensive offering that includes fibre networks, data centres, renewable energy, cloud, and cyber security, and fintech and digital platforms, the company provides digital solutions to over 1 million enterprises and access to the internet for over 500 million people in Africa.
"We are delighted to partner with Cassava Technologies, to bring the most innovative cyber security, space and energy security products and services to African markets," said André Pienaar, Chief Executive and Founder of C5 Capital.
C5 and Cassava already announced a joint venture through which Haven Cyber, a C5 portfolio company, and Cassava will scale Microsoft’s suite of cybersecurity products across Africa to help combat the threat of cybercrime.
Through the partnership between Haven Cyber (a portfolio company of C5) and Liquid Cloud & Cybersecurity (a business of Cassava), C5 and Cassava aim to bring expertise in cyber security to Africa by launching a network of state-of-the-art Cyber Security Operations Centres (CSOCs) across Africa. The CSOC network will enable the rapid delivery of cyber security services and operations on the continent. The first such CSOC is set for launch in South Africa later this year.
Recent industry reports highlight that cyber security threats cost Africa close to US$4.1 billion in lost GDP in 2021. This is primarily due to the massive increase in the adoption of technology in businesses and governments across Africa and increased vulnerabilities as cyber-attack technologies evolve.
Although African countries might not have the largest cybersecurity threats, they are still at risk of cyberattacks. Interpol’s Africa Cyberthreat Assessment Report states that over 90% of businesses on the continent are operating without the necessary cyber security protocols in place.
Globally, businesses lose about $1 trillion per annum to cybercrime. From ransomware attacks and phishing scams to crypto-jacking and malware, cybersecurity threats are on the rise as the world moves to become a 'global village'. According to the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) 2020 released in April, there are global efforts to tackle and reduce cybersecurity threats.
"Following the launch of Cassava Technologies’ cutting-edge Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC) planned for Johannesburg later this year, we see tremendous growth potential for Cassava Technologies’ cyber security business to help protect African enterprises and communities," Pienaar added.
In March, Liquid Intelligent Technologies, a subsidiary of Cassava Technologies, a pan-African technology group acquired a fibre pair on the Equiano subsea cable, allowing Liquid to transport traffic up to 12 Terabits, bringing a much-needed increase in international connectivity in Western and Southern Africa.