African Tech Startup Funding Report 2022: Unpacking the Numbers

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African Tech Startup Funding Report 2022: Unpacking the Numbers

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The African tech startup ecosystem is a dynamic and rapidly evolving space. The “African Tech Startup Funding Report 2022” offers a detailed analysis of the funding landscape, highlighting key trends and insights. This aims to summarize the key headlines from the report, providing a comprehensive overview of the African tech startup scene.

Introduction

The report, now in its seventh edition, presents a landmark analysis of the African tech startup ecosystem. In 2022, the ecosystem witnessed a significant milestone as it surpassed the US$3 billion investment mark for the first time. This achievement is a testament to the resilience and potential of African tech, which has managed to thrive despite the global downturn in venture capital (VC) funding.

The report is open-sourced for the third consecutive year, ensuring that the valuable data and insights it contains reach the people who can benefit from it the most – African startup founders. The report is made available free of charge, thanks to partnerships with key ecosystem players like Flat6Labs, MarketForce, 4Di Capital, Mercy Corps Ventures, Newtown Partners, and InsiderPR.

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Methodology

The data presented in the report is based on information gathered by the Disrupt Africa team throughout 2022. The team maintained a complete record of funding rounds, either disclosed publicly or confidentially. Where amounts were not disclosed, the team made conservative estimates based on the details available.

The report includes startups that are relatively young, still scaling up, and may still seek external funding. The majority of the companies featured are usually no older than seven years old. The definition of an “African startup” is also addressed, with the report including companies that are at least Africa-based and Africa-focused.

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Overview

number of african startups that raised money in 2022

The report reveals that 2022 was another record year for funding activity in the African tech startup ecosystem. A total of 633 African tech startups raised a combined US$3,333,071,000 over the course of 2022, a record in both respects and a funding total that passes the US$3 billion mark for the first time. This represents an extraordinary growth of 1,694% since the team began tracking investment in 2015.

The report also notes that while the bulk of funding activity continues to take place in the “big four” markets of South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Egypt, there is growth in activity across many other ecosystems. Acquisitions are becoming a regular feature of the ecosystem, and record rounds are becoming a feature across various sectors.

A total of 276 startups raised US$1 million or over in 2022, representing 43.6 per cent of the total. This was up from 206 (36.5 per cent) in 2021, which was up from 110 (27.7%) in 2020 and 81 (26%) in 2019.

The record for the largest round ever raised by an African tech startup was again beaten in 2022, with Nigerian fintech startup Flutterwave topping its own 2021 record with a US$250 million raise in February. Standout amounts were also raised by:

  • Nigerian mobility fintech company Moove (US$181.8 million across five investments),
  • Egyptian fintech platform MNT-Halan (US$150 million)
  • Algerian super app Yassir (US$150 million)
  • Kenyan retail-tech startup Wasoko (US$125 million)
  • Tunisian AI startup InstaDeep (US$100 million)
  • South African e-commerce company Clickatell (US$91 million)
  • Kenyan PAYG solar company M-KOPA (US$75 million).

94.8 per cent had at least one local in its founding team, up from 500 (88.7%) in 2021.

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Investor Landscape

investors in african startups 2022The African tech startup ecosystem has seen a significant increase in investor interest over the years. In 2022, there were 987 different disclosed investors in African tech startups, marking a 28% increase from the 771 tracked in 2021. This is the largest number of individual disclosed investors in any year on record.

However, the growth rate is slowing down. The 2021 figure represented a surge of 108.4%, more than double the 370 disclosed investors in 2020. The numbers for 2019 and 2018 were 261 and 155, respectively.

Investors in the African tech startup ecosystem come in various shapes and sizes. Early-stage funds such as Launch Africa Ventures, LoftyInc Capital Management, and Future Africa were among the most active. Accelerators, both local and international, also played a significant role, with Y Combinator, Techstars, Flat6Labs, and Startup Wise Guys leading the charge.

At later stages, a host of international and local VC firms are active in the market. Major global investors such as Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital, and SoftBank are also increasingly active. Notably, successful African founders like Paystack’s Shola Akinlade and Flutterwave’s Olugbenga Agboola are also active investors, further bolstering the ecosystem.

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Sectors

top sectors

The fintech sector continues to power Africa’s startup funding revolution, posting another record-breaking year, yet its share of total funding declined as other spaces saw serious advancements.

11 sectors had faster growth rates in terms of total funding in 2022, such as restaurant tech and auto-tech. Funding is also growing in entertainment, marketing, transport, recruitment and agri-tech, as well as e-commerce and health, they can expect to see fintech’s lead further cut in the coming years.

Equity and Debt Funding

Of the rounds raised by the 633 African tech startups funded in 2022, in 310 of them, the stage of funding was disclosed. Of those 310 rounds, the majority – more than 70 per cent – were at the seed and pre-seed stages. Activity at later stages was broadly similar to in 2021, though they are seeing more investments at Pre-Series B or later.

Only 33 (5.1%) of the funded startups tracked for this publication reported any element of debt as part of any of their rounds, though this was up 4.6 per cent from 26 (4.6%) in 2021. Though later-stage startups, especially those in the energy sector, are increasingly able to take on debt funding, the perceived risk of African tech startup investments means companies remain much more likely to raise equity capital.

seed funding africa

More than half of 2022’s funded startups launched in the last three years.

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Conclusion

The African Tech Startup Funding Report 2022 provides a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the funding landscape in the African tech startup ecosystem. The report highlights the significant strides made in the ecosystem, with total investment surpassing US$3 billion for the first time in 2022.

The report also notes the growth in funding activity across various markets and sectors, and the increasing prevalence of acquisitions in the ecosystem. These trends underscore the resilience and potential of the African tech startup ecosystem, and provide valuable insights for investors, startup founders, and other stakeholders.

Please note that this article is a summary of the key headlines from the report. For a more detailed analysis, including data on specific markets and sectors, and information on the makeup of founder teams and the job creation ability of funded African tech ventures, please refer to the full report.

If you are an African business owner, we would love to hear your story! Please fill out this form if were born and raised abroad, or complete this form if you were raised in Africa.

 

 

 

 

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