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African Startup Funding Falls 28% to $2.4B in 2023

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Total investment into the African digital startup ecosystem dropped by 27.8% to $2.4 billion in 2023, showing the global capital crisis had reached the continent.

This is according to research house Disrupt Africa, which recently presented the ninth edition of its annual African Tech Startups Funding Report.

The research – produced in collaboration with Flourish Ventures, AAIC Investment, and Atlantica Ventures – found that through the course of the year, 406 startups raised a total of US$2.4 billion.

This was down from 2022, when the African tech industry defied global trends and experienced total funding rise to above $3 billion for the first time ever.

The total number of deals also dropped by 36% from 633 in 2022. The number of active investors also fell by almost 50%, and mergers and acquisition activity experienced a significant decline.

The report says this is the first time the sector, which has expanded dramatically in the last few years, has declined since 2016; though a fall in funding of less than a third is an improvement on projections from earlier in 2023, when a decline of 50% was expected likely.

The fintech sector was, yet again, the most attractive to investors, with more startups securing funding than any other sector and a combined total that dwarfed all others. Yet, as with most other sectors, it saw a steep decline in investment, down 33.4% to $964 million.

According to the report, Africa, like the rest of the world, has been affected by the global “funding winter”, with venture capital drying up and several leading startups forced to cease operations or significantly restructure their operations.

It’s important to keep in mind that this is a worldwide phenomenon, rather than an African problem, and the figures are undoubtedly better than they appeared to be at the end of Q1 or Q2, according to Gabriella Mulligan, co-founder, Disrupt Africa.

Tom Jackson, co-founder of Disrupt Africa, said that the “winter” will soon “turn to spring” and that investment would likely increase over the next 12 to 18 months, but maybe not immediately reaching 2022 levels.

“African tech is still at an early stage of its journey, with plenty of room to grow, and one relatively bad year from a funding perspective does not change that. The key thing for now is for startups to adjust to this “new normal”, by plotting a path to more sustainable growth while also ensuring good governance is enshrined within their organisational structures.

“Funds are being raised, and capital is being disbursed, and for the best ventures – and the ecosystem as a whole – 2023 should prove to be little more than a blip on the growth curve,” he said.

From a funding standpoint, Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, and Kenya continue to be Africa’s “big four,” sharing a higher portion of the continent’s total funding than they did in 2022, finds the research.

However, Nigeria experienced a sharp drop in funding, and now ranks fourth overall, behind other three countries.

Startups secured capital in 22 other countries, according to the report.


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E-Business

Expert Urges FG to Harmonise NIN, BVN to Tackle Crimes

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Noble Ajuonu, head, Sydani Technologies Ltd., has urged the Federal Government to harmonise National Identification Number (NIN) and Bank Verification Number (BVN) to tackle crimes and insecurity in the country.

Expert Urges FG to Harmonise NIN, BVN to Tackle Crimes

Ajuonu made the call at a media roundtable, organised by Sydani Group in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the roundtable focuses on driving sustainability through a comprehensive analysis of Nigeria’s key development areas.

Ajuonu said that Nigeria could overcome its security challenges and pave the way for a safer, more secure future for all Nigerians by embracing technology and implementing practical solutions,

“We need to harmonise data, prioritise seamless integration of databases like NIN, BVN, and security agency records, establish clear protocols for data sharing and access, with robust safeguards against misuse,’’ expert said.

According to him, the unified data pool will empower intelligence gathering and targeted operations.

He also called for investments in smart surveillance, intelligent video analytics software, training of personnel in data analysis, interpretation of data in real-time to combat crimes.

“There is need to implement a legal framework for call interception in criminal investigations, with strict oversight to prevent abuse, encourage community cohesion, training of tech savvy security personnel with tech-enabled tools.’’

Ajuonu also urged the government to address infrastructure deficit in technology, saying that technology was all encompassing to address insecurity.

“According to the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), as of December 2023, only 104.2 million Nigerians had been enrolled for the National Identity Number (NIN).’’

Ajuonu added that over 122.2 million citizens left uncaptured for NIN were people in rural areas where enrolment centres, digital services were limited.

“Most crimes are being perpetuated from rural communities and this lack of comprehensive identification creates a gap where elements not captured in the national database can constitute public nuisance, crimes.

“There is the inadequacy in the integration of NIN, BVN and Voters Identification Number (VIN).

“Advanced call interception and analysis tools, used successfully in other countries, could provide invaluable insights into criminal networks and operations but infrastructure is lacking,’’ he said.

Also, Mr Godfrey Petgrave, the Agricultural Expert, Sydani Group, called for empowerment of smallholder farmers with access to finance and training to enhance productivity.

According to Petgrave, Nigeria requires policy reform and institutional strengthening to improve agricultural practices and embrace digital agriculture solutions to address food insecurity.

Mr Akolade Jimoh, another expert of the group on health, advocated for expanded community-based health insurance programmes for rural and underserved areas.

Jimoh added that the country needed to encourage Public Private Partnership to revolutionise products design and quality improvement on health services.


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Konga launches Infinix Brand Week with Incredible Deals

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Konga, Nigeria’s leading composite e-commerce group, is thrilled to announce the launch of amazing deals at its Infinix Brand Week. Infinix, a leading global smartphone brand known for its innovative products and cutting-edge technology promises exclusive discounts and special offers on select smartphones, marking an exciting milestone in the realm of online shopping.

Shoppers can expect nothing short of extraordinary deals on a wide range of Infinix products, all available exclusively on the Konga online platform. With discounts of up to 30% off, this partnership between Konga and Infinix aims to redefine the shopping experience for tech enthusiasts across Nigeria.

Konga Brand Week has become synonymous with excitement and unbeatable deals, and this year’s edition is no exception. In addition to exclusive discounts on Infinix smartphones, shoppers can explore a diverse array of products across various categories, including electronics, fashion, home essentials, and more.

“At Konga, we are dedicated to providing our customers with the best shopping experience possible,” said Rita Ohaedoghasi, VP Marketing at Konga. “The Infinix Week during Konga Brand Week allows us to continue delivering on that promise by offering incredible discounts and special offers on some of the most sought-after smartphones in the market.”

To stay updated on the latest developments and exclusive deals during Konga Brand Week, shoppers are encouraged to connect with Konga across all platforms, including social media and the Konga website. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to score big savings and elevate your tech game with Infinix and Konga.


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Study Reveals Software Programmers to make Full Use of AI Code Assistants

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Gartner predicts that by 2028, 75 percent of enterprise software engineers will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) code assistants, up from less than 10 percent, currently.

According to a Gartner poll of 598 global respondents conducted in the third quarter of 2023, 63 percent of organisations are now testing, deploying, or have previously implemented AI code assistants.

AI code assistants provide for more capabilities than only code development and completion, notes the research firm.

According to Gartner, the use of AI code assistants can lead to higher work satisfaction and retention, resulting in lower turnover costs.

Philip Walsh, senior principal analyst at Gartner, comments: “Software engineering leaders must determine ROI and build a business case as they scale their rollouts of AI code assistants.

“However, traditional ROI frameworks steer engineering leaders toward metrics centred on cost reduction. This narrow perspective fails to capture the full value of AI code assistants.”

Gartner notes that software engineering leaders must “reframe the ROI conversation from cost reduction to value generations”.

Walsh adds: “Calculating time savings on code generation is a good place to begin building a more robust value story. To convey the full enterprise value story for AI code assistants, software engineering leaders should connect value enablers to impacts, and then analyse the overall return to the organisation.”

 


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