... but if you want to go far, go together

80% of start-up deals in Africa are signed by start-ups with 2 co-founders or more

For this week’s post, we looked at the size of founding teams in Africa, and what we found is a very strong constant:

  • Roughly half of the deals in Africa are signed by a founding team duo: this is true regardless of the deal size; of the deal type, of the sector; of the gender diversity of the founding team; of the CEO’s gender; over time; and across geographies. The only exception being Egypt, where the percentage of 2-person founding teams is slightly lower at 39%, and 3-person founding teams are almost as common (35%).

  • The second finding is that as deals grow in size, so does the size of the founding team. While one-founder start-ups make up 27% of small deals (<$1m*), this proportion is down to 13% for $10m+ deals.

  • Finally, gender-diverse founding teams are larger. But this is a direct consequence of the fact that in 95% of the cases, when a one-founder start-up raises $1m+, that one-founder in a man.

All in all, whether you’re an entrepreneur or an investor, it seems you’re better off thinking of start-up founding as teamwork, rather than solitary genius…