LIST | Nigeria Topped Africa with Most Startup Shutdowns in 2023

2023 was a hard year for startups across Africa and the World, as funding declined tremendously amidst a harsh economic climate.

The cryptocurrency sector was heavily affected, struggling through a bear winter that claimed many businesses and so a retreat of money into the sector.

When broken down in terms of countries, Nigeria, which is typically the leading receiver of funding, and the one with the most startup innovations in Africa, also saw the most shutdowns.


In this article, we highlight the leading shutdowns across the crypto and fintech sector that occurred in Nigeria:


1.) Pivo

Early in December 2023, Pivo, a Nigerian fintech company providing banking services to small supply chain businesses, revealed its decision to cease operations.

FINTECH AFRICA | Nigerian Fintech, Pivo, Shuts Down Operations One Year Post-Funding

Pivo, a Nigerian fintech that provided banking services to small supply chain businesses, is closing down one year after securing a $2 million seed round.

— BitKE (@BitcoinKE) December 7, 2023

This announcement followed a funding round conducted just a year ago during which Pivo secured over $2.6 million in investments from notable backers, including Y Combinator, Ventures Platform, Mercy Corp Ventures, and more than 15 other investors.

The particular reasons behind the closure were not put forth.


2.) LazerPay

On April 13, 2023, Lazerpay, a web3 crypto payments company, unexpectedly declared its closure, due to an inability to secure funding.

Nigerian Web3 Startup, LazerPay, Shuts Down After Failing to Secure Additional Funding

The startup had reportedly raised $1.1 million by April 2022 backed by:

* Shola Akinlade of @paystack
* @nuwacapital
* @voltronafrica
* @Nestcoin

— BitKE (@BitcoinKE) April 17, 2023

“Despite our team’s tireless efforts to secure the necessary funding to keep LazerPay going, we were unable to close a successful fundraising round,” Njoku Emmanuel, Founder and CEO of Lazerpay said in a statement.

“We fought hard to keep the lights on as long as possible, unfortunately, we are now at a point where we need to shut down.”

The decision followed a series of layoffs a few months prior where the startup reduced its workforce to prolong its financial runway while actively seeking additional investors.


3.) Bundle Africa

In July 2023, Nigerian crypto startup, Bundle, announced it was closing down the exchange part of its operations to focus on Cashlink, another of its web3 offerings.

In a tweet announcing the shutdown, CEO, Emmanuel Babalola, stated that the decision was reached by stakeholders seeking a restructuring of the company.

1/ This afternoon, news broke about the cessation of Bundle’s operations in Africa. Irrespective of this early exit, Bundle Africa has made its mark on the African continent, growing to become the top local crypto app by market share and retail volume, providing our users with

— ₿abz (@Emmanuelbabzz) July 21, 2023

Bundle Africa had amassed 50,000 monthly active users and achieved $50 million monthly transaction volume. Moreover, Cashlink has had significant success, surpassing 3 million transactions.


4.) PayDay

PayDay, another Nigerian startup that was making waves having raised $3 million in March 2023, was announced to be acquired by Bitmama in December 2023.

ACQUISITION | Nigerian Crypto Platform, Bitmama, Reportedly Acquires PayDay for an Undisclosed Sum

Bitmama is expected to assume PayDay’s customer deposits and liabilities. It is also set to absorb several PayDay’s key personnel across various departments, including…

— BitKE (@BitcoinKE) December 6, 2023

Bitmama is expected to assume PayDay’s customer deposits and liabilities. It is also set to absorb several of PayDay’s key personnel across various departments, including marketing, customer service, and engineering.

PayDay was launched in June 2021 to support African remote workers, freelancers, and digital professionals with frictionless, borderless payments, enabling global payment processing from over 130 countries.

5.) Zazuu

Another remittance-based fintech, Zazuu, announced its closure on November 17, 2023, again citing that it had been unsuccessful in raising funds.

FUNDING | London-based African Remittance Platform, #Zazuu, Shuts Down Due to Lack of Funding

Zazuu, a London-based fintech that built a marketplace for African remittance companies and raised more than $2 million, has shut down, citing a lack of funding.…

— BitKE (@BitcoinKE) November 28, 2023

“We explored every option before making this decision,” the company said in a LinkedIn post announcing the closure. This is despite having raised $2 million in July 2023.



VIBRA, the Pan-African P2P cryptocurrency platform, ceased operations across all markets of Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana in October 2023.

Pan-African P2P Crypto Startup, VIBRA, Shuts Down in Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana

VIBRA had secured $6 million in 2021 to expand cryptocurency adoption in Africa.

The Founder of VIBRA is also Co-Founder of Adaverse, an African Web3 accelerator.

— BitKE (@BitcoinKE) October 20, 2023

VIBRA, which had been funded by Lateral Frontiers VC, CRE Venture Capital, Musha Ventures, and Dragonfly Capital was derailed by the slowdown in the cryptocurrency sector.

Moreover, analysts pointed to its approach of using incentives for customer acquisition, which is common in blockchain startups, as being quite costly for the company.




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