South Africa-based Carry1st Raises $20M Series A Extension Led by

South Africa-based Carry1st Raises $20M Series A Extension Led by

Carry1st, a South Africa-based mobile games publisher, has recently raised a $20 million Series A extension in a funding round led by a16z, marking the firm’s first investment in an Africa-headquartered company [1]. This significant investment highlights the growing interest in the African tech ecosystem and the potential for high-growth startups in the region.

Carry1st was founded in 2018 with the aim of addressing the underserved mobile gaming market in Africa. The company focuses on publishing and distributing mobile games specifically designed for African audiences. By partnering with local developers and leveraging their deep understanding of the African market, Carry1st has been able to create engaging and culturally relevant gaming experiences [1].

The recent funding round will enable Carry1st to further expand its operations and develop new games tailored to the African market. The investment will also support the company’s efforts to strengthen its user acquisition and monetization strategies, as well as enhance its technology infrastructure [1].

Expanding Venture Capital in Africa

Carry1st’s successful funding round is a testament to the increasing interest from venture capital firms in African startups. In recent years, there has been a surge in venture capital activity on the continent, with several firms raising significant funds to invest in early-stage technology companies.

For example, South Africa-based VC firm HAVAÍC recently announced the final close of its $20 million HAVAÍC Universum Core African Fund. This fund aims to invest in early-stage technology companies across South, East, and West Africa [3]. Similarly, Knife Capital, another South African venture capital firm, is raising a $50 million fund to support startups in raising Series B financing [4].

These investments highlight the growing recognition of Africa as a promising market for tech innovation and entrepreneurship. With a rapidly expanding population and increasing smartphone penetration, the continent offers immense opportunities for startups to address local challenges and tap into a growing consumer base.

The Potential of the African Gaming Market

Carry1st’s focus on mobile gaming is particularly relevant in the African context. The continent has seen a significant rise in smartphone adoption, with mobile devices becoming the primary means of accessing the internet for many Africans. This trend has created a massive potential market for mobile gaming.

According to a report by Statista, the mobile gaming market in Africa is projected to reach a value of $2.8 billion by 2025, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 12.5% [1]. This presents a significant opportunity for companies like Carry1st to capture a share of this market and establish themselves as key players in the African gaming industry.

Furthermore, Carry1st’s focus on culturally relevant games tailored to African audiences sets it apart from global competitors. By understanding the unique preferences and interests of African gamers, Carry1st can create engaging experiences that resonate with local players. This localized approach is crucial for success in a diverse and culturally rich continent like Africa.


Carry1st’s recent $20 million funding round led by a16z demonstrates the growing interest in African startups and the potential of the African tech ecosystem. The investment will enable Carry1st to expand its operations, develop new games, and strengthen its user acquisition and monetization strategies. With the increasing smartphone penetration and a booming mobile gaming market in Africa, Carry1st is well-positioned to capitalize on the continent’s untapped potential.

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