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Startups explore mergers to survive funding shortage

Startups explore mergers to survive funding shortage

Startups have begun to embrace mergers to survive funding shortages and economic headwinds.

According to a report by Briter Bridges, at least two fintech companies merged in the first quarter of 2024. Nine acquisitions also occurred in the quarter, exceeding the total number of acquisitions for 2023.

It said, “Four of the nine acquisitions were in the fintech Sector. South Africa and Nigerian startups accounted for six of the nine acquisitions.”

In recent years, the Nigerian tech ecosystem has seen its fair share of mergers and acquisitions.

Mergers allow companies to pool their strengths, whether it is complementary technologies, diverse talent pools, or enhanced research and development capabilities.

By joining forces, startups are better positioned to tackle emerging challenges and capitalise on emerging opportunities.

Here are the startups that merged in Q1:

Carbon and Vella

In February, Carbon acquired two-year-old Vella Finance, a Nigerian fintech company with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises, through its parent company, One Credit Limited.

The digital bank aims to leverage Vella Finance’s AI-powered SME banking feature, which helps users gain actionable insights from financial transactions.

This integration will extend to Vella Finance’s 8,000 SME customers, who will be transitioned to Carbon Business.

Carbon, a mobile-only digital bank that provides innovative financial services to the financially underserved mass retail segment, was launched in 2012 by Carbon, Chijioke Dozie, and Ngozi Dozie. In 2021, Gabriel Ajenifuja, Mark Afolabi, and Tolu Adedayo founded Vella Finance.

Mathesis Analytics and Migo

In a LinkedIn post in March, Ekechi Nwokah, chief executive officer at Migo, announced that the company will join forces with Mathesis Analytics.

He said, “Mathesis shares our commitment to bridging the global credit gap and brings an ambitious plan to leverage Migo’s innovative technology to expand access more broadly. We look forward to powering Mathesis’ success for many years to come.”

According to Nwokah, all of Migo’s employees joined the Mathesis team, and he will be moving on from his role as CEO to join the Mathesis board alongside Tom Desmond from Velocity Capital and others.

Migo, established in 2010, is a digital content platform that enables customers to download entire films. Mathesis Analytics, founded in 2023 by Anton Tarasyuk, Maksym Tereshchenko, and Ostap Vykhopen, specializes in AI-powered risk management services.