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The Most Notable African Startup Acquisitions of 2019

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Mergers and Acquisitions

The Most Notable African Startup Acquisitions of 2019

While 2019 has been a big year for startups and technology companies in Africa raising massive funding, the first half of 2019 has also seen some major M&A activity in the technology scene in Africa.

The most interesting point to note is African companies acquiring other African startups with notable activities including a startup acquiring an established business.

The first half of the year has presented some vivid exits for entrepreneurs behind these startups and tech companies validating the exponential growth of the entrepreneurship scene in the continent.

Here are the most notable startup acquisitions of 2019 so far.


OneFi acquired Amplify 

Year Founded: 2012
Founders: Chijioke Dozie, Ngozi Dozie
Country: Nigeria
Acquisition Amount: Undisclosed

Nigerian FinTech online lending startup OneFi acquired payment solutions company Amplify for an undisclosed amount. One Finance and Investment Limited (OneFi) which had recently raised US$5 million debt financing from Lendable took over Amplify’s trademark, team, and a client network of over 1000 merchants.

Amplify was founded in 2016 by Segun Adeyemi and Maxwell Obi as a payments gateway company for traders through its product.

The deal which was announced three months ago had One Finance ceasing to be primarily as a digital lender, and moved towards becoming an online consumer finance platform.

mPharma acquired Haltons

Year Founded: 2013
Founders: Gregory Rockson, Daniel Shoukimas, James Finucane
Country: Ghana
Acquisition Amount: US$5M*

mPharma, a Ghanaian-based startup that provides innovative financing and inventory management solutions to hospitals, pharmacies and patients acquired Haltons, Kenya’s second-largest pharmacy chain. The deal saw the six-year-old startup taking control of 20 Haltons stores located in Nairobi and Mombasa.

MPharma’s inventory management system (Vendor Management Inventory -VMI) is able to control supplies by forecasting demand of prescription drugs and helping in building bargaining power with suppliers, eventually lowering the cost of medicine; it is already being used in over 250 pharmacies in Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Haltons was originally founded by Dr Louis Somoni with Fanisi Capital holding a majority stake following a US$3 million investment in 2013. 

The deal byMPharma signified one of the rare cases where a traditional established business gets acquired by a young startup.

Jiji’s acquired OLX Africa 

Year Founded: 2014
Founders: Anton Volyansky and Vladimir Mnogoletniy
Country: Nigeria
Acquisition Amount: Undisclosed

Jiji, Nigeria’s largest classified marketplace reached an agreement with OLX Group to acquire OLX businesses in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. The deal involved OLX users in those countries being redirected to Jiji website.

Read: 5 Rising TravelTech Startups in Africa Worth Following

Jiji which was founded in 2014 will capitalize on its own proprietary search and delivery algorithms and OLX network to create a beneficial combination – giving users a radically streamlined experience and making the buying and selling process more convenient.

OLX Group is a Naspers company founded in 2006 which operates a network of market-leading online classifieds platforms across five continents.

Mubawab acquired Jumia House 

Year Founded: 2012
Founders: Kevin Gormand
Country: Morocco
Acquisition Amount: Undisclosed

Mubawab, the leading real estate portal of Morocco acquired Jumia’s property portal in Morocco, Tunisia & Algeria.  This came after Mubawab was acquired by Dubai-based Emerging Markets Property Group last year.

Kevin Gormand who is the Co-Founder and General Manager of Mubawab noted that the acquisition will provide an expanded platform, maximizing consumer’s reach and client exposure whilst delivering personalized and local support to its client portfolio of nearly 1,000 partners and more than 150,000 active listings.

The transaction also allowed Jumia to now focus on its core marketplace of physical goods and digital services, while expanding the reach of its payment operations, JumiaPay, and Jumia Logistics according to Sacha Poignonnec, the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Jumia.

Careem acquired by Uber

Year Founded: 2012
Founders: Abdulla Elyas, Mudassir Sheikha, Magnus Olsson, Wael Nafee
Country: Mena
Acquisition Amount: US$3.1B

Ride-hailing platform Careem with key operations in Egypt and the greater Mena region was acquired by Uber for US$3.1 billion. The transaction consisted of US$1.7 billion in convertible notes and US$1.4 billion in cash. 

The transaction involved Uber acquiring all of Careem’s mobility, delivery, and payments businesses across the greater Middle East region, ranging from Morocco to Pakistan, with major markets including Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Careem will also become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber, preserving its brand; and Careem co-founder and CEO Mudassir Sheikha will lead the Careem business, which will report to its own board made up of three representatives from Uber and two representatives from Careem. Careem and Uber will operate their respective regional services and independent brands.

BRCK acquired Surf Network

Year Founded: 2014
Founders: Erik Hersman, Philip Walton, Reg Orton
Country: Kenya
Acquisition Amount: US$3.1B

BRCK, an integrated hardware and software company based in Nairobi acquired Surf Network for an undisclosed amount. The deal also involved fully acquiring Surf and its U.S. parent EveryLayer.

With the transaction, BRCK acquired Surf’s 1200 hotspots and 200,000 active customers across 22 cities in Kenya. 

Surf’s parent company EveryLayer was formed in 2015 after the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti where it went to restore connectivity for humanitarian responses. 

By Acquiring Surf, BRCK now has the largest public wifi network in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Image Credits: Lailas News

The article will be updated throughout the year to reflect any changes. 

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CEO and Founder at Founder360° Magazine.

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