Discover more from Africa: The Big Deal
The dreaded gender analysis 😬
Female-led and female-founded ventures attracted even less funding in 2022 than they had in 2021 (yes, that's possible)
If we look at the gender of the CEO first, female-led start-ups in Africa have raised $188m (4%) in 2022, while male-led ventures raised $4.6bn (96%). In other words, 25x times less funding has been invested in female-led start-ups in 2022, compared to their male-led counterparts. Year-on-year, the amount of funding raised by female CEOs has decreased between 2021 and 2022, both in absolute ($188m in 2022 vs. $290m in 2021) and relative numbers (3.9% vs. 6.3%). Another cause for concern is the fact that the number of $100k+ deals announced by female-led start-ups has also seen a YoY decrease, absolutely (128 in 2022 vs. 141 in 2021) and relatively (13% vs. 16%). One small glimmer of hope though: while we could have feared that the tougher context in H2 would have translated in even lower numbers for female CEOs, it turns out that they did better in the second half of the year (6% of funding) compared to H1 (2.8%). The number of $100k+ saw the same upward trend with 15% of deals bagged by female CEOs in H2, up from 11% in H1.
If we focus on the gender profile of the founding teams, male-only founding teams (whether a single male founder or an all-male founding team) continued to attract the vast majority of funding in 2022: 85%, up from 83% in 2021. Female-only founding teams raised more in 2022 ($115m, 2.4%) than in 2021 ($44m, 0.9%) though this progress was somewhat cancelled by a decrease of funding going to gender-diverse founding teams (from 16% in 2021 to 13% in 2022). Interestingly, in terms of number of $100k+ deals, the split was almost identical between 2021 and 2022: 73% male-only, 19% gender-diverse, 8% female-only, pointing to the slow building of a pipe of non male-only-founded start-ups for future funding. Worryingly though, in contrast to the numbers when it came to the gender of the CEO, the harder conditions in H2 translated into a further concentration of funding into male-only founding teams who raised 91% of all funding in H2, compared to 82% in H1.
If you need the full list of female-led and female-founded start-ups who have raised funding in 2022 (or as far back as 2019), you can find it in our database accessible with a newsletter reader discount here. Apologies if this post wasn’t as upbeat as previous ones this month, but it’s quite disheartening to see no real progress in this space. But we won’t stop raising the issue, and engaging those who are looking for answers, individually or as a community. And btw, as we’re moving into February, we’re reverting to one post a week, so our next 2022 regional map will come out next Tuesday :)