All the world's a stage

Exploring how African markets compare to their peers globally in terms of VC funding raised

If we take the continent as a whole, and compare with countries in the same range in terms of population, Africa’s $1.6bn of VC funding raised in 2020 is far behind China’s $57bn or even India’s $10bn. But we know that’s not a fair comparison at all, for many reasons. Now, if we look at a country level, focusing on populous fast-growing economies, and express the VC funding raised on a ‘per capita’ basis to account for differences in size, the numbers tell a different story. Kenya ($11 raised per capita), who led the way in terms of funding raised in 2020 in Africa, actually did better comparatively to India ($7 per capita). South Africa ($5 per capita) is more akin to Russia, and a bit below Mexico or India. Nigeria raised $2 per capita in 2020, a performance in line with that of the Philippines. Egypt’s $1.3 per capita is very similar to the continent’s overall average. Finally, the $13m raised by Ethiopia - one of three countries with 100m+ inhabitants on the continent with Nigeria and Egypt - only translate to $0.01 per capita, which puts it in the range of emerging Asian markets like Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Questions, comments, suggestions and shares are welcome, as always. And the full database of deals in Africa since early 2019, worth of total of - wait for it - 5 billion dollars (!!!!!) is still available at thebigdeal.gumroad.com, with a discount.

NB - In case you find the graph above is a bit much, here’s a simpler one using the same data 😉: