The most funded African startups in 2023

We curated the most funded African startups in 2023.

The most funded African startups in 2023
most funded African startups 2023

As technology continues to be a major driver of change in the modern world, Africa continues to attract a part of the global venture capital used to drive this change. Though the numbers didn't match the peak levels of 2021, which can be attributed to the global economic downturn, African startups still raised some significant funds in 2023. Nevertheless, there were some marked differences in the way venture funding was deployed.

Unlike previous years, fintech got the bulk of the investment, although there was a spread to other sector too. Fintech will continue to play a massive role in Africa's financial sector development, as there are huge market gaps that fintech is well positioned to solve. However, the sector with the biggest surprise to attract funding is cleantech. Out of the top 10 most funded startups, three of them were focused on cleantech (taking about % of the venture capital).

Some factors that have contributed to the increased interest in Africa’s cleantech space by local and global investors include growing demand for energy access, increased recognition of Africa’s renewable energy potential, technological advancements, and costs reduction, etc.

The top 10 African startups that received the most funding in 2023 are:

1. MNT Halan

MNT-Halan is a microfinance lending and payments company. The company's goal is to use a digital bank to bank the unbanked and replace cash with electronic alternatives. The microfinance lending and payments company has a broad range of services and innovative solutions, including digital payment options such as mobile wallets and cards.Earlier this year, MNT Halan became Africa's ninth unicorn after it raised $400 million in funding at a $1 billion valuation. The company was founded in 2017 by Mounir Nakla and Ahmed Mohsen as a ride-hailing and delivery app. It later evolved into a super app.


M-Kopa is a Nairobi based platform that provides underbanked customers in Africa access to eseential products including solar lighting, fridges, smartphones, televisions and financial services. 

The African connected asset financing platform was launched in 2012 by Nick Hughes, Chad Larson and Jesse Moore. In May 2022, M-KOPA secured more than $250 million in debt and equity funding to boost its smartphone financing offering, expand into additional markets, and prioritize sustainability.

3. Husk Power

Husk Power provides reliable power to off-grid or weak grid rural communities in East Africa, West Africa and South Asia, primarily by building renewable energy mini-grids/micro-grids.

The cleantech firm, with operations in across India, Nigeria and Tanzania, secured $103M in 2023 in Series D to drive rural electrification, expand renewable energy services in Africa and Asia. Husk Power was co-founded by Manoj Sinha (currently CEO), Gyanesh Pandey, Ratnesh Yadav, and Chip Ransler in 2008.

4. Planet42

Planet42 is a vehicle rental company offering rent-to-buy services for its clients. The platform uses proprietary algorithms and data points to score a customer’s risk level and generate an offer to buy a car from a dealership of choice within minutes.

The Estonia-founded but South Africa-based startup announced a $100 million raise to scale operations across South Africa and Mexico. Planet42 was launched in 2017 by Eerik Oja and Marten Orgna.

5. Moove

Coming up for the second consecutive year on our list, Moove Africa is democratising vehicle ownership by employing a revenue-based vehicle financing model. Moove is the world's first mobility fintech, providing vehicles to drivers of ride-hailing apps, logistics and mass transportation services at a weekly rental rate. 

The platform raised two rounds in 2023, initially raised $8,000,000 to expand to Ghana and then $76,000,000 to strengthen its position on the global stage. The platform was founded by Ladi Delano and Jide Odunsi in 2020. Cars financed by Moove have completed trips in Lagos, Accra, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nairobi and Ibadan, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai.

6. Wetility

Wetility is a digital solar energy management system that allows users to regulate power usage remotely. The company enables you to smartly generate solar power on your rooftop, then seamlessly store, use and monitor clean energy to your home or business.

The South African based platform raised $48 million in 2023 to accelerate expansion plans and grow its customer base. Wetility was founded in 2019 by Vincent Maposa.

7. Nuru 

Nuru, a solar energy startup that wants to deploy and operate renewable energy powered metrogrids in strategic urban zones of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The startup wants to provide 24-hour electricity for five million people in the country. 

In 2023, Nuru raised a Series B round of $40 million to build the biggest mini-grid in sub-Saharan Africa. The alternative energy startup was founded as Kivu Green Energy in 2015 by Jonathan Shaw, a Kenya-born American. 

8. Sabi

Sabi is a Lagos-based B2B e-commerce startup that provides digital commerce infrastructure to Africa's informal economy. The platform’s infrastructure has a digital marketplace, an inventory management tool, sales order management and digital ledger tools and payment reconciliation tool.

Sabi raised $38 million in Series B funding in 2023 to enhance its technological infrastructure, and bolster its market presence across multiple African countries.

The platform was founded in 2020 by Anu Adedoyin Adasolum and Ademola Adesina.

9. Lulalend

Lulalend is a digital lending company that provides fast and easy working capital funding to small businesses in South Africa. The fintech platform offers loans between $576 to $57,630 to small businesses online.

The South African fintech startup, has raised $35 million in a Series B round in 2023. Earleir in 2019, the platform raised a $3.5 million Series A round and a $7 million unspecified round in December 2021. Lulalend was founded in 2014 by Trevor Gosling and Neil Welman. 

10. Victory farms

Victory Farms is an aquaculture farm for tilapia fish comprising hatcheries, nursery ponds and deep-water cages for farming. The company aims to build commercial tilapia farms that can provide affordable, accessible, and healthy protein to millions of people in East Africa. The Kenyan based startup raised a $35 million Series B round in 2023. The funding is to lead the expansion of its operations in Kenya and Rwanda, as well as potential entry into Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania.

Top 5 most funded Nigerian startups in 2023

Below are the Nigerian startups that received the most funding in 2023:

S/N Startup Sector Round Amount Lead investor Other investors
1 Husk Power CleanTech Series D $103,000,000.00 STOA Infra & Energy US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), Proparco, Shell Ventures, Swedfund, FMO
2 Moove Mobility FinTech Undisclosed $76,000,000.00 Mubadala Investment Company
3 Sabi e-Commerce Series B $38,000,000.00 Norrsken22, CommerzVentures, Fluent Ventures, Proof VC
4 LemFi FinTech Series A $33,000,000.00 Left Lane Capital Y Combinator, Zrosk, Global Founders Capital, and Olive Tree
5 Nomba FinTech pre-series B $30,000,000.00 Base10 Partners Helios Digital Ventures, Shopify, Partech and Khosla Ventures.
1. Husk Power Sector: CleanTech Round: Series D Amount: $103,000,000.00 Lead Investor: STOA Infra & Energy Other Investors: US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), Proparco, Shell Ventures, Swedfund, FMO
2. Moove Sector: Mobility FinTech Round: Undisclosed Amount: $76,000,000.00 Lead Investor: Mubadala Investment Company
3. Sabi Sector: e-Commerce Round: Series B Amount: $38,000,000.00 Lead Investor: Norrsken22, Other Investors: CommerzVentures, Fluent Ventures, Proof VC
4. LemFi Sector Round: Series A Amount: $33,000,000.00 Lead Investor: Left Lane Capital Other Investors: Y Combinator, Zrosk, Global Founders Capital, and Olive Tree
5. Nomba Sector: FinTech Round: pre-Series B Amount: $30,000,000.00 Lead Investor: Base10 Partners Other Investors: Helios Digital Ventures, Shopify, Partech and Khosla Ventures.

Closing thoughts

Sun King and Tyme Bank both reportedly raised a large round, but we did not track them because it did not fit into our methodology.

Of the top 10 most funded startups in Africa, five were in fintech, three in cleantech, one in e-commerce, and another in agritech. The African tech ecosystem, like many others globally, faced challenges in 2023 due to the global economic crisis and a dramatic slowdown in the venture capital landscape.

Currently, funding stands at 219 rounds, representing a 35% decline from the 339 rounds conducted in the previous year. Expectedly, the funding raised for the year also reduced by 47%, dropping from $3.6 billion to $1.9 billion. However, there was a slight increase in the number of sectors that attracted funding, rising from 20 to 22.

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