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2020 Saw another Few Great Leaps forward for Kenya’s Tech Startup Ecosystem

After a period of stagnation, Kenyan startups have rebounded on the funding front in the last couple of years. Startups from the country raised more than anyone else in 2019, attracting US$149 million, and there were several major rounds in 2020 as well.  Logistics startup Sendy raised a US$20 million funding round to help it expand across Africa, agri-tech startup Twiga Foods secured US$29.4 million in debt funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and B2B e-commerce platform Sokowatch raised US$14 million in Series A funding as it continues its rapid expansion across the continent. Kenya looks set to become the latest African country to adopt startup-specific legislation for the first time after the September gazetting of “The Startup Bill, 2020. The first specific startup law globally was passed in Italy in 2012, and Tunisia and Senegal were the first two African countries to have enacted them. A host of countries, including Mali, Ghana, Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda, are expected to implement their own. Kenya, however, is the first of the “big five” startup ecosystems to publish its own proposed legislation, though there have been some movements to do the same in South Africa.