Kene Okafor, a techcrunch entrepreneur, has been crowned the first African to achieve the global 1B category Ussinghtechcrunch. This is a huge achievement for Okafor, who is only 20 years old and is a first generation entrepreneur. His startup is a company called Zipline, which provides a specialized mobile application that connects travelers and hotel staff. The company recently announced it has raised $170 million in funding.
Y Combinator’s first mega list of top companies valued at $150 million or more
The Top Companies list from Y Combinator is a list of the top performing companies. These companies are valued at at least $150 million. YC also has a Breakthrough Companies list that includes 37 startups with the fastest growth.
Despite the high growth of some of YC’s top startups, the majority of the top 10 companies are based outside of the United States. This is a trend that is expected to continue in the coming years, as YC works to expand into emerging markets.
YC launched its first batch of companies in 2005. It has since graduated over 3,000 companies. It has made more than 400 investments, and its portfolio consists of public companies such as Airbnb, Stripe, and Instacart, as well as promising private companies such as Fintual and Flutterwave.
Lori Systems is a startup based in Nairobi, Kenya, which aims to do a good job of helping carriers and shippers move their cargo in a timely, cost effective, and green manner. The company specializes in the nitty gritty details, while offering an end to end solution to the transport and shipping industry, courtesy of their software and mobile apps. Its products are spread across Africa, and they have recently expanded into Morocco. One of their key offerings is a fully digitized transport management platform. They have a track record of winning a number of accolades, including the coveted TechCrunch startup competition.
54gene is one of Africa’s most audacious projects. Founded by Dr Abasi Ene-Obong, the company has a mission to address the global genomics market gap. The startup’s DNA sequencing lab offers whole-genome sequencing and genotyping capabilities. It also has a biobank that houses over 130,000 unique patient samples.
When 54gene last raised funds in the form of a Series B round, the company had a valuation of $170 million. However, this value has since dropped to $50 million, a drop of more than two-thirds. To combat this, the firm repositioned itself to offer COVID testing.
A year ago, the company had a biobank that held 60,000 samples. Now, it’s aiming for up to 500,000. In order to make that happen, it’s enlisting more professionals.
Andela is a New York based startup that helps tech companies build remote engineering teams from Africa. The company boasts a client list of over 200, and now they are looking to expand worldwide.
Andela has a history of helping African engineers become highly skilled. They have been around since 2010 and have been growing steadily ever since. As of today, they have more than 1,500 employees on their payroll. In addition to this, the company has over 100,000 engineers enrolled in their learning network. Their success rate is ranked as high as 96%.
For instance, Andela has introduced a remote policy, which means the company will hire developers remotely. Moreover, they have also put in place a compensation plan that pays their developers a salary for their first six months. This is a big deal for an African tech startup.
Partech Africa is a data-tracking publication that covers tech equity deals in Africa. Its list of the top 10 African startups in the digital space is released every year. This year, the list showed that Ghana has moved up from fifth to fourth place.
In addition to a few notable companies like OPay, MainOne and Zepz, 12 companies in the list received funding rounds of over $10 million, including Andela, Zipline, Wave and Tala. The average round size was just over $1 million. Despite these large amounts, many tech insiders see the companies as not truly “African” startups.
According to Partech, Nigeria remains the top destination for investment in the country’s startups. The company’s list of the top five startups includes two newcomers, Ghana and Morocco. They each raised more than $20 million, and each accounted for a quarter of the total funding for the top ten African startups in the digital space.