Homegrown talent still has it harder
CEOs who last studied in Africa signed 44% of the deals in 2021; however, they raised only 28% of the total amount raised on the continent.
Following some analysis we did almost a year ago, this week we’re digging a bit deeper into where CEOs of start-ups who raised in Africa in 2021 have studied. For the purpose of this analysis, what we’re looking at is the last higher education institution the CEO attended, as displayed on their Linkedin profile. And what do we learn? Africa-educated CEOs raised less - in both number of deals (44%) and in amount (28%) - than their foreign-educated counterparts. (Also worth noting is the fact that if a CEO has studied in Africa, they have almost always studied in the country their start-up is HQ’ed in). There are strong disparities between countries though, with two profiles emerging. On the one hand, Egypt and South Africa are similar in that about 2/3 of the deals, and of the funding raised, involve a locally-educated CEO. On the other hand, in Nigeria, Kenya, and beyond the Big Four, foreign-educated CEOs sign most of the deals, and raise the vast majority of the funding (up to 92% in Nigeria). If we break things down by continent, CEOs educated in Africa are ahead of their North America- and Europe-educated CEOs in terms of number of deals signed; however they’re often involved in smaller earlier-stage deals, which means that the CEOs educated in North America or Europe raised more in amount than those who studied in Africa. If we look at a more granular level, both in terms of number of deals and amount raised, it is US-educated CEOs who lead the charge, followed by their UK-educated peers, and then by those who studied in one of the ‘Big Four’, or in France. At a university level now, the University of Cape Town (South Africa) has the largest number of alum CEOs who raised funding in Africa in 2021: at least 34 of them, for a total raised of $150m+; they’re followed by Stanford (US), the American University in Cairo (Egypt), the University of Lagos (Nigeria) and Oxford (UK). If we focus on fintech specifically, the numbers are roughly the same as the overall numbers, with 62% of the deals and 76% of the amount raised by CEOs educated outside the continent. Finally from a gender point of view, female CEOs were more likely than male CEOs to have raised funding in 2021 if they were educated abroad.
The University of Cape Town is definitely doing something right here, with so many of their alums who are now start-up CEOs and have raised funding in 2021. Who are they all? One way to find out is to scroll through our comprehensive database of deals, which you can subscribe to - with a discount - here… 😉