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In May, African Startups Emerged from a Two-month Funding Hiatus

After an exceptionally quiet March and April, with the former being the worst month in two and a half years, startups in Africa raised a total of $645m in May 2023, putting them back on track to surpass the $5bn they raised last year. “May 2023 was actually the best May the ecosystem has ever had in terms of funding raised,” says Max Cuvellier, the founder of the startup deal database Africa The Big Deal. This remarkable month was mainly due to significant amounts raised by two Kenyan startups. Asset financing platform M-Kopa secured over $250m in equity and debt, and Sun King, an off-grid solar energy company and the most funded non-fintech startup in Africa, announced a $130m securitisation led by Citibank. In February, African startups raised $700m – the highest ever recorded for that month. However, hopes for another exceptional year sharply declined after a 10-fold month-on-month drop in March, with only $70m raised.