Investment into the African tech startup ecosystem almost trebled over the course of a record-breaking 2021 that saw total funding pass the US$2 billion mark for the first time.
This is according to the seventh edition of the annual African Tech Startups Funding Report released by Disrupt Africa, as part of an open-sourcing initiative in partnership with Novastar Ventures, MFS Africa, Quona Capital, 4Di Capital, MEST Africa and Future Africa.
According to the report, 564 startups raised a combined US$2,038,627,500 in 2021. The number of funded startups grew by 42.1pc on 397 in 2020, and the funding total was almost treble – up 190.6pc – the US$701,460,565 banked the previous year.
The number of African startups securing investment increased by 351.2pc since 2015. Growth had slowed a little in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, investors doubled down in 2021, with the number of different investors increasing by more than 100pc to 771 from 370 the previous year.
While Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, and Kenya remain Africa’s “big four” from a funding perspective, securing a greater share of total funding between them than in 2020, there is still plenty of activity elsewhere on the continent, with startups backed in 24 African countries.
The fintech sector was, yet again, the most attractive to investors in 2021, with more startups securing funding than any other sector. The sector broke the US$1 billion funding barrier, something the African tech space as a whole only managed for the first time in 2021, with fintech accounting for more than half of total investment.
Other sectors also had impressive years – notably e-commerce and retail-tech, e-health, logistics, ed-tech, energy, agri-tech, and transport.
The report is available for free download here.