YC-backed African Startups and the Legitimacy of Bitcoin in Africa

May 3, 2022

Hello there,

When shopping offline in Nigeria, you have to answer one question, and depending on your answer, a second follows; the first is "Cash or card?" If you're paying with your card, you'll hear, "Savings or current?"

There's a chance that it might be a different case in the near future in the Central African Republic as the country made a move to officially adopt Bitcoin as a reference currency. This is a huge step forward, giving the general perception of cryptocurrencies in most countries on the continent. A handful of African countries are exploring central bank digital currencies but interestingly, CAR isn’t one of them.

Reference Currency is the primary investment currency of the share class against which the currency hedging transaction will be applied in order to reduce any exchange rate fluctuation with the Hedged Currency.

Towards the end of April, the Parliament of the Central African Republic (CAR) unanimously voted in favour of a bill that recognises Bitcoin as a reference currency. The Central American Republic of El Salvador is the first and only country to consider Bitcoin as a legal tender. Will other African countries rethink their stance toward cryptocurrencies following the CAR's move?

For April 2022 updates from Intelligence by Techpoint, we have:

  • African startups did $107 million in April 2022
  • Y Combinator in Africa
  • Insights from Intelligence’s social media
  • Other African updates
    • Funds
    • Acquisitions
  • Intelligence project updates

African startups did $107 million in April 2022

Unlike all the months in Q1 2022, which recorded funding figures slightly below or above half a billion dollars, African startups only raised $107.35 million in April 2022 — about 25% of the lowest amount $421.1m raised in Q1 in January. 

Egyptian’s Pylon’s $19 million Seed funding was the highest round of the month compared to previous months with the highest nine-digit rounds.  

Like Q1 2022's figures, players in the Financial Services space had the highest share of the amount raised in April 2022, with 40.4%, followed closely by startups in the Services space with 21.9%.

  • Total announced deals for the quarter – $107.35 million
    • Financial Services received $43.4 million 
    • Egyptian startups had the largest share with $35.02 million, followed by Nigeria, with $33.55 million
  • 22 funding deals
    • 11 seed rounds
    • 7 pre-seed rounds
  • Top deals of the month
    • Pylon’s $19 million Seed round 
    • Umba’s $15 million Series A
    • Union54’s $12 million Seed round
    • ZirooPay’s $11.4 million Series A
Distribution of funding in Africa for April 2022
Share of deals for African startups by funding rounds for April 2022 (in millions)Y Combinator in Africa
Share of deals for African startups by industry for April 2022 (in millions)

Y Combinator in Africa

Late last year, Intelligence by Techpoint partnered with Y Combinator (YC) for a report examining the California-based technology startup accelerator's impact in Africa. The report was scheduled for release earlier in the year but was delayed to capture African startups in the recently launched W22 cohort.

Established in 2005, YC didn’t get its first African startup until the Winter 2009 cohort. Africa has had 95 startups to date, and YC-backed African startups from across 15 countries had raised $1.3 billion as of March 22, 2022.

The report will be released on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, but subscribers to our newsletter got it earlier. Get the report here.

Other African updates


Funds and others

Intelligence updates

To partner with us on any of our reports, kindly email intelligence@techpoint.africa.

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Do have a nice day.

Yinka Awosanya for Intelligence by Techpoint.


Yinka Awosanya
Mobile & African Tech Enthusiast │ Data │ Music
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