I no come Lagos to count bridge 🇳🇬

Nigeria attracts nearly twice as much start-up funding compared to its share of the continent's GDP

If you follow the news about start-up fundraising in Africa, you’re very much used to Nigeria making headlines. Interestingly, in terms of number of disclosed deals $1m & over, Nigeria isn’t really punching much above its weight, with 22% of all deals disclosed since early 2019. South Africa actually ‘does better’ with 24% of deals, despite a much lower nominal GDP. Maybe Nigeria represents a larger share of smaller deals ($100k-$1m)? With 22% of those since Jan 2021 (33 out of 150), it doesn’t seem like it. Where we find a big difference though, is in terms of total amount raised. Since 2019, start-ups in Nigeria have raised close to $1.4bn through $1m+ deals. This is more than 38% of the total amount raised on the continent in that period, and almost as much as its two runners-up Kenya and South Africa combined. Start-ups in Nigeria are doing particularly well when it comes to very large deals with 4 in the Top5: Paystack, Interswitch, Flutterwave & Opay. Nigerian start-ups are more often than not led by Nigerians, including from the diaspora, which is less the case in Kenya for instance. On the downside, female representation still lags behind: 85% of the funding in Nigeria is raised by all-male founding teams, in line with the rest of the continent. Worryingly, female CEOs have raised less than 1% of all funding raised by start-ups in Nigeria since 2019, a proportion 8 times lower than in the rest of Africa… All in all, the next large deal in Africa is statistically very likely to be raised by a fintech in Nigeria with a male CEO and an all-male founding team. This doesn’t mean there aren’t many talented women entrepreneurs ready to jump on the main stage; nor that other countries (think Kenya, South Africa, or Egypt) aren’t working hard to snatch Nigeria’s crown… But that’s for another week 😉