Discover more from Africa: The Big Deal
This is a man's man's man's world...
Less than 7% of the funding has gone to female CEOs in 2021 in Africa; less than 1% to single female founders and female-only founding teams.
Our last post on gender - Crumbs, basically. - was our most-read post of 2021, and in itself, this is quite encouraging. The numbers, however, are certainly not. Starting with who leads the start-ups that raised in 2021: 93% of the funding in Africa in 2021 went to start-ups led by male CEOs. It is a direct consequence of the gender profile of the founding teams, but still. The numbers are bad across the board, but much worse in Egypt (99.8%!), in Nigeria (>95%) and outside the Big 4 (~98%). South Africa does only slightly better than the average (92%), and Kenya is the only outlier, with over 28% raised by female CEOs, though this performance is driven by one single deal: Gro Intelligence’s $85m Series A. From a sector point of view, healthcare performs better, with over 29% raised by female CEOs. Fintech (which drives the numbers with more than half of the funding in 2021 overall) does particularly poorly: 98.5% of the fintech funding went to male CEOs. Now looking at founding teams, over 99% of the funding in 2021 was raised by a single male founder, or a founding team with at least one male co-founder. Male single founders and exclusively male founding teams raised 82% ($3.5bn) of the total $4.3bn raised. This imbalance is particularly acute in Egypt (where the number reaches almost 98%) and in terms of sectors for fintech (96%), which drives the average up. There are countries where diverse founding teams are a bit more represented (Nigeria (23%) and Kenya (30%)), but in both cases it is thanks to one single large deal (Andela’s $200m Series E and Gro Intelligence’s Series A, respectively). Talking of large deals, of the 11 companies involved in one of 12 mega deals ($100m+) announced in Africa in 2021, all 11 had a male CEO, and all but one (Andela) had a single male founder or an all-male founding team.
In case you missed it, I’m including below an extra graph I published last week to complement the post on funding raised compared to population and GDP. I hope these are helpful. We’ve received so many positive comments - as well as a lot of very interesting follow-on questions - since the beginning of the year: Thank You! Our underlying database with thousands of data points (rated 4.9/5 by subscribers) is still available at a discount for newsletter readers of course 😊