Funding raised by startups in Africa since 2019 (in the 4 key markets)

Article by Max Cuvellier (www.
21 May 2022

A more granular view of the performance of the ecosystem since 2019

Looking at funding raised from a calendar year point of view (between Jan and Dec) is both convenient and intuitive… but it feels a bit unfair sometimes, in particular because the deals announced at the beginning of the year were often closed at the end of the previous year. Looking month by month is very interesting, but not ideal either, as the MoM fluctuations can be very high due to the weight of mega deals. And again, deals are not always announced on the same month they were actually closed, especially for the larger ones. At the end of the day, what’s important to track is whether ecosystems can keep the momentum. So to try and assess that with a bit more granularity, this week we’ve looked at the data neither on a calendar nor on a monthly basis, but rather in 12-month rolling periods.

And what does it tell us? At an overall ecosystem level, the inflection point happened in mid 2021, driven mostly by Nigeria’s performance. Start-ups in Nigeria are now raising more ‘annually’ than the whole ecosystem was just a year ago. Until mid-2021, Kenya and South Africa could challenge Nigeria’s dominance. As a matter of fact, there is a 5-month period in late 2020/early 2021 when Kenya was outperforming Nigeria. For the Mar ‘20 – Feb ‘21 period, South Africa was even also close to outclassing Nigeria. Since mid-2021 though, the gap is now quite substantial between Nigeria and its runner-up. Finally, we will keep an eye in the coming months on the recent flattening of the Nigerian curve and more notably on the now 4 consecutive months of decline of the South African one…

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