Of Men and Men

84% of the funding raised by start-up in Africa this year so far has gone to male single founders and all-male founding teams

Gender inequality permeates all aspects of our societies and economies, and unfortunately start-up fundraising in Africa is no exception:

  • In 2021 so far, female single founders & female-only founding teams have only raised 0.7% of all funding raised by start-ups in Africa ($18m out of almost $2.7bn). On the other hand, 84% of the funding has gone to male single founders & male-only founding teams.

  • In other words, for every $1 raised by female single founders, male single founders raised $17. For every $1 raised by female-only founding teams, male-only founding teams raised $288 (!).

  • In terms of number of deals, things look only slightly better: 73% of deals are signed by male single founders & male-only founding teams, 7% by female single founders & female-only founding teams, and the rest (~21%) by gender-diverse teams. This also means that the deals signed by female-only or gender-diverse founding teams are on average smaller than those of their male-only counterparts.

  • Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like things are really improving over time: With 84% of funding going to male single founders & male-only founding teams, 2021 so far is certainly not as bad at 2020 (92%), though 2019 was actually better (81%).

  • And it will most likely take time until things really improve: indeed, if we look at earlier-stage deals specifically ($100k-$1m) - which can be an indication of larger deals to come - male single founders & male-only founding teams still represent 71% of deals signed, and 76% of funding raised.

  • From a leadership point of view, 15% of the start-ups who have raised funding this year have a female CEO, though they only received 7% of the total amount raised ($185m, almost half of which is Gro Intelligence’s $85m Series B).

This is our 25th post already, and the positive feedback we’re receiving from you is really what keeps us going week after week: Thank You! As usual, the database of deals will give you access to all ~500 deals of 2021 worth nearly $2.7bn we’ve analysed for this post, plus the 2020 and 2019 deals of course.