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Africa’s Big Four in the Startup Scene

Startups from more African countries than ever before secured funding in a record-breaking 2020 that saw a combined US$701 million raised across the continent, but the “big four” of Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt still collect the lion’s share of the capital. That is according to the just-released African Tech Startups Funding Report 2020. The report, which was the first of its kind upon its inaugural publication in 2016 and is now on its sixth edition, tracks investment into the continent’s startup space, and highlights growth in funding for African tech ventures. The latest edition details an impressive 2020, which saw new records set. In all, 397 startups raised an impressive US$701,460,565 in total funding. Both of these figures represent significant increases on 2019 – the number of funded startups is up 27.7 per cent on 2019, and the funding total is 42.7 per cent higher. While as recently as 2017, we talked of a “big three” African tech investments destinations in the form of South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, the emergence of Egypt over the last few years means there is now undeniably a “big four” when it comes to startup funding on the continent. A total of 307 startups from South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt raised funding in 2020, accounting for 77.3 per cent of the 397 funded ventures. Together, they raised a combined US$625,659,000, accounting for 89.2 per cent of the pan-African tally.