Nigeria in 2021: A look at the most interesting IT deals

Nigeria’s digital sector grew dramatically in 2021, despite government prohibitions and crackdowns. African tech firms have raised more than $2.9 billion, with Nigerian entrepreneurs accounting for almost 60% of the total.

We’ve seen a wave of acquisitions this year, following Stripe’s $200 million acquisition of Paystack in 2020.

Sub-Saharan Africa saw over 333 mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals worth $51 billion in the first half of 2021. Nairametrics has compiled a list of the year’s most significant acquisitions.

Disha, a platform that allows digital creators to curate, sell, and take payments from their audiences all around the world, has been bought by Flutterwave, Africa’s biggest payments technology firm.

According to Flutterwave, the acquisition of Disha seeks to streamline the process of creating digital content for Disha users by allowing them to earn money for their creativity through the platform’s new payouts and collections solution.

The acquisition will also help Disha expand its user base by allowing customers to send, receive, and withdraw money from their Disha accounts in over 150 currencies and 34 countries across the world.

Read Also: Nollywood movies that made waves in 2021

Equinix acquires MainOne for $320 million
Equinix, the world’s digital infrastructure company acquired MainOne, a West African data centre and connectivity solutions provider with a presence in Nigeria, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast, for $320 million.

This was one transaction that caught a lot of people by surprise when it was announced in December. The deal appears to be a major funding lifeline for MainOne who has to deal with huge debts and low margins from heavy competition.

Officially, MainOne claims the infrastructure, customer relationships, partner ecosystem, and operating capabilities will expand Platform Equinix’s reach and expand opportunities for customers in Africa and throughout the world as a result of this acquisition.
Equinix will also enable MainOne realize its long-term goal of expanding digital infrastructure investments in Africa.

MFS Africa acquires Baxi
Capricorn Digital, Baxi’s parent company, was acquired by MFS Africa. Capricorn operates a digital payment network for small and medium-sized enterprises under the Baxi name. Its service aims to help Nigerians with everyday financial needs like utility bill payments, airtime purchases, TV bills, data subscriptions, withdrawals, and money transfers.

MFS claimed this deal will help it expand into Africa’s largest economy, where its reach has been limited owing to the country’s limited number of mobile wallets, as a result of the acquisition. Capricorn will be renamed MFS Africa, but the company’s primary product, Baxi, will remain the same.

Treepz acquires Ugabus
Treepz (previously Plentywaka), a Nigerian Mobility-as-a-Service platform that links commuters with buses via an app, acquired Ugabus, a bus company. This acquisition was Treepz’s first foray into the East African market, with Treepz acquiring all of Ugabus’ operations and personnel.

Ugabus is Treepz’s second acquisition of the year, following the acquisition of Stabus, a Ghanaian mobility startup. Ugabus currently has 70% of Uganda’s bus operators on board, with over 50,000 customers utilizing the service to commute between Ugandan cities. On December 1st, Ugabus was renamed Treepz Uganda.

Always great to see Nigerian Startups foray into other African countries as they scale beyond Africa’s largest economy.

Jiji Nigeria acquires cars45ng
Jiji, one of Africa’s leading online marketplaces for buyers and sellers to connect and trade goods and services, has acquired cars45, a transactional car marketplace.

The deal was a pure vertical play for Jiji considering the fact that car sales was one of the most popular purchases on the classified platform. The deal also shows how robust Jiji’s business model is as an e-commerce platform.

Officially, Jiji says the acquisition of Cars45, will enable it to address trust and safety problems that have plagued the company in the past, as well as provide a unique car buying and selling experience through its transactional marketplace model. As a result of Jiji’s dominance in online classifieds, Cars45 users will benefit. We will see how that pans out in 2022.

PiggyVest acquires Savidotng
PiggyVest, a savings and investment startup acquired, a wealth management app., which was founded in 2018, was a wealth management app prior to the acquisition. Users could save using the app’s automatic savings, fixed deposits, joint savings, and PAYE features.

According to the official statement, users will be immediately moved to PiggyVest as a result of this acquisition. This acquisition is in line with the PiggyVest goal of “financial freedom for all,” and they believe in a connected ecosystem.

This is another acquisition aimed at vertical integration for the young startups that has grown in leaps and bounds in recent years. PiggyVest is turning out to be an integrated financial services platform offering personal finance services.

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