According to a report by the annual African Tech Startups Funding Report 2020, Kenyan tech startups raised a record-high amount of funding in 2020, securing a combined Sh19.1 billion.
This accounts for 27.3pc of the continent’s total investment. This is the largest amount of funding ever achieved by a single country. The record was previously was still held by Kenya when the country’s startups netted 1Sh4.9 billion in 2019.
This outstanding funding was however raised by relatively “few” ventures – with only 59 Kenyan startups responsible for the investment total. This made Kenya number four in terms of the number of funded companies – with Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa all boasting more funded startups, albeit to a significantly lesser cash total.
However, the report shows that both the amount of funding raised and the number of startups to raise it in Kenya have continued to grow in the last 5 years. The 2020 total investment raised went up by 28.3pc on the previous year’s result of Sh14.9 billion; similarly, the number of startups to raise (59), is an increase of 31.1pc up from the 45 that won funding in 2019.
Kenya accounted for some of the continent’s standout rounds of the year, such as agri-tech company Twiga Foods (USD 29.4 million) and conservation venture Komaza (USD 28 million). Other notable raises in the country went to logistics startup Sendy (USD 20 million), retail-tech solution Sokowatch (USD14 million), and energy ventures SunCulture (USD 14 million), Angaza (US$13.5 million), and Solarise (USD10 million).
Compared to the rest of the continent, in Kenya investor activity is more evenly distributed. Fintech and e-commerce are the two leading spaces in terms of the number of funded startups, with 13 and 12 respectively, while the e-health, logistics, and energy sectors each saw five startups backed while four agri-tech companies also raised.
The energy sector contributed $41 million (21.4 pc of Kenya’s total), and agri-tech $35.7 million (18.7 pc). The remaining funds were split between the logistics space ($27.3 million, 14.3 pc), e-commerce ($3.7 million, 12.4 pc), and fintech ($16.2 million, 8.5 pc).
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