March marks the end of the first quarter of 2022. Crunchbase data shows that the period saw a 13% drop in venture dollar volume from $184 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021. It still has a 7% increase over the first quarter of 2021.
In Q1, seed funding was the only funding stage that grew from previous quarters, totaling $10.3 billion. The number of venture-backed companies that went public above $1 billion dropped to 22 compared to 46 in the first quarter of 2021.
Although the funding market in Q1 2022 was not as strong as those in the previous quoters, it still topped the Q1 2021 results.
According to CB Insight, African startups raised $923 million in over 170 transactions during the time under review, laying the groundwork for a record-breaking year ahead.
Looking beyond the headlines, this rapid surge in African unicorns highlights the speed of, and prospects for, continental growth. It also underscores the gradual maturation of the industry and a pace of investment acceleration being achieved nowhere else in the world.
Fintech remains on top of the preferred investment sectors, garnering 30% of total capital in Q1 2022. eCommerce and logistics, which raised $200 million and $142 million, respectively, are closely following fintech.
BNPL is also fast becoming a choice sector. In Q1 2022, the sector raised over $102 million in VC funding. In 2020, the Gross merchandise value (GMV) was estimated around $204 million and is expected to reach $1,741.2 million by 2028.
TechCabel Insight study state that the United States alone accounted for about half of total investment globally, with some of the region’s most significant acquisitions going to biotech company Altos Labs, security analytics platform Securonix, and logistics unicorn Flexport. It also emphasized that US-based firms generated a substantial chunk of the Q1 fundraising activity, accounting for 37% of all transactions.
Selected in no particular order, here are the names that piqued our attention.
Acorns is a financial startup that enables people to round up their transactions and invest automatically in a low-cost, diversified portfolio of exchange-traded funds provided by Vanguard and BlackRock.
The company has raised $507 million in funding over 12 rounds, the latest beeing in March 2022, reaching a post-money valuation in the range of $1 to $10billion.
Acorns has invested in Acorns.com – an exact brand match .com name. This is the natural choice of most internet users and securing that domain for their business is a clear indication that Acorns is here to stay.
Launched in 2015, BYJU’S is India’s largest ed-tech company and the creator of India’s most loved school learning app. The company has raised $1.2 billion via a term loan from the overseas market and has been planning an IPO for early next year, and is confident it can surpass a valuation of $40B then.
The EdTech giant uses its EBM (exact brand match) with byjus.com.
Cross River is a New Jersey-based financial institution that provides individuals and companies with technology and banking services.
Apart from owning the exact brand match name crossriver.com, the company has also secured crossriver.org. Such domain strategies are in place for brands that are serious about maintaining a consistent and strong presence. Some of the most common reasons for registering multiple domain names are to protect their brand (by ensuring that a competitor or other brand does not register the name); to make their clients’ and investors’ lives easier by making sure that they will reach at the correct address even if they mistype the brand name; and for creative reasons – for marketing campaigns, products, and sub-brands.
DailyPay provides a payment solution for businesses in the financial sector.
Dollar Tree, Berkshire Hathaway, and Adecco are among the best-in-class employers DailyPay has partnered with.
Throughout 11 rounds of funding, DailyPay has raised $814 million. Their most recent capital came through a Debt Financing round on March 17, 2022.
DailyPay.com is the domain name this startup has chosen to operate on; it perfectly matches their brand name, and the .com extension is what visitors intuitively lean towards when typing a web address.
Rokid is a Chinese startup developing artificial intelligence voice assistants and smart devices.
Rokid latest funding of $160 million came in a Series C round, bringing its total funding to $378 million.
The company has launched on a rokid.ai domain name and upgraded to rokid.com. Many brands start on compromise names and invest in their exact brand match .com at a later stage of development.
The majority of the companies (668 out of 940) have been using the .com extension.
61 entries have chosen the .ai extension, while 63 use the .io .Tech startups have widely adopted both extensions as they are associated with popular technology terms Artificial Intelligence and input/output.
.co is a top-level domain extension, and it’s the acronym for company or corporation. It is a chosen by 29 companies in our list.
19 companies use a dash. Dashes are often included with two-word brand names or if the exact brand match name is taken/not within reach.