Skip to content

The Missing Middle in Africa’s Tech Investment Scene

The major African tech breakthrough of 2021 was that it is becoming easier for startups to close $100 million funding rounds, as Wave, MFS Africa, TradeDepot, and about eight others did. The trend has continued this year with InstaDeep, PalmPay, Flutterwave, Moove, and Wasoko (formerly called Sokowatch.) Amid talk of a global slowdown in venture capital activity, African startups have raised more in each of the first five months this year than in the same months in the past four years (thanks to mega rounds by Wasoko and others). Produced by Endeavor Nigeria (a branch of Endeavor, the global entrepreneurship support organization) in collaboration with McKinsey and Company, the report (pdf) argues that strong growth in consumer spending, rural-urban migration, and digital penetration are acting as firm pillars for Africa’s nascent digital economy. And the argument for investors to take the plunge is that Africa’s digital economy—whose value is projected to reach $712 billion in 2050—is at an inflection point, accelerated by the impact of covid-19 on appetite for digital services, and an increasing supply of software developers and other tech talent in Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt and South Africa.