The African blockchain industry has shown significant progress in the past year, particularly in terms of funds raised. As per the data provided by CV VC, the industry raised a total of $551 million in 33 deals between Q1 of 2022 and Q1 of 2023. The funds were spread across various product categories in the web3 industry, indicating a growing interest in blockchain technology in Africa.
However, the distribution of funds was not evenly distributed across every sector of the industry, indicating that certain areas of the industry may be experiencing more growth and development than others. In this context, it is important to understand the current state of the African blockchain industry and how it is evolving, particularly in terms of investment and innovation.
Custody and exchanges
In 2022, the project category of custody and exchanges was the largest recipient of funding in the African blockchain industry, with a total of $250 million raised. This accounted for more than 50% of all the funds raised during the same period. The report by CV VC emphasized that the significant increase in financing for this industry reflects the growing demand for trading digital currencies in Africa, as well as the need for secure storage solutions.
Given the frequent fragmentation and underdevelopment of the African financial environment, fintech has become a vital industry in the region’s economy. Some notable firms operating in this category include Kucoin, Mara, VALR, Thalex, OVEX, Kollider, and Bitnob.
The blockchain-based fintech category got 24% – $115,315,000 – of the funds in 2022. Thanks to the vast potential in the fintech space that is producing solutions that offer cheaper, faster, and more accessible financial services to individuals and businesses.
CV VC noted that the growth in financing for this sector in 2022 demonstrates the realization of blockchain’s capacity to address, and potentially solve, the difficulties confronting the African financial industry. Examples of such firms are Syarpa, Kotani Pay, MFS Africa, Ejara, and Maplerad.
Infrastructure & development
This category attracted 15% – $67,785,000 – of the funds raised in the entire industry with three companies within the sector receiving a combined share of 14.3% of all African blockchain venture funding. The infrastructure & development category refers to the creation of the underlying technology and infrastructure that underpins blockchain networks and applications. Scroll, Jambo, and UTU Technologies.
This involves the creation of blockchain protocols, decentralized networks, smart contract platforms, and other technological infrastructure that enable the deployment of blockchain-based decentralized applications and services.
Several developing areas are gaining traction in the African blockchain investment scene, in addition to the more established ones. DeFi (Decentralized Finance), which provides decentralized lending, borrowing, and other financial services, is a disruptive force in the traditional banking sector. Energy is a new industry that aims to use blockchain technology to increase energy access and assist the shift to renewable energy sources.
NFTs, Gaming, and the Metaverse (which got $32,200,000) are developing industries that have gained traction in recent years, offering the unique potential for digital ownership, gaming, and immersive experiences.
The DeFi sector attracted $3,970,000 while the field of Data Management, Verification, and Analytics (and received $2,250,000) is concerned with utilizing blockchain technology to better data management, verification, and analytics. With the rising relevance of data in decision-making, this sector in the African blockchain ecosystem has enormous development potential. The report also revealed that the Energy actor got $3,400,000.
Another new area that frequently uses blockchain technology to improve property transactions, land registries, and other elements of real estate administration is Proptech. According to CV VC, $500,000 was raised in 2022 for the Proptech industry. As blockchain technology evolves and gains traction in the area, these industries are projected to play a growing role in determining the future of blockchain in Africa.