To your left: the Giant of Africa
Western Africa represents 41% of all the start-up funding raised on the continent since 2019, 86% of which went to Nigeria alone
By popular demand, and after covering Eastern and Northern Africa, we’re now headed to Western Africa. With a total of $4.2bn (41% of the total), Western Africa is by far the region that has attracted the most funding since 2019. Start-ups in the region have attracted more funding than in Northern and Eastern Africa combined during the period. As a matter of fact, start-ups in Nigeria alone almost outperformed those two regions combined ($3.6bn vs $3.8bn). Indeed, Nigeria represents the vast majority of the funding raised in Western Africa, 86% since 2019, that’s 6 out of every 7 dollars raised. The percentage is slowly decreasing (from 93% in 2019 to 84% in 2022 to date) but the absolute numbers remain staggering. In 2021 for instance, start-ups in Nigeria raised the same amount ($1.6bn+) that was raised by all start-ups in Africa in 2020. Beyond Nigeria, two ecosystems stand out as distant runners-up, though with very different profiles. On the one hand, Ghana ($279m since 2019, 7% of the regional total) did not grow much YoY between 2019 and 2021; however, it has had an extremely strong start of 2022 with more funding raised in 5 months ($143m through 24 deals) than it had raised in the previous 3 years combined. On the other hand, Senegal performed well ($243m since 2019) but would not be anywhere near Ghana if it were not for Wave’s $200m Series A in September 2021 (this deal remains the only 9-digit deal in the region so far outside of Nigeria (which recorded 11 of those since 2019)). Combined, Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal have claimed 99% of the funding in the region since 2019. What’s next? So far the region has been performing really well compared to last year with just short of $1bn raised between January and May 2022, to be compared with $342m in the same period last year. That said, January-May 2021 only ended up representing 17% of the total raised in 2021 in the region, so the 2022 performance will eventually depend on the ecosystem’s ability to deliver a very strong H2 2022. More specifically, Nigeria’s performance in the second half of the year will strongly influence the performance of the region, and of the continent overall…
Next week the numbers for Q2 and H1 will be in, and though we already know that in H1 2022 start-ups in Africa will have raised more than double what they had raised in H1 2021, we also know many observers are watching out for any sign of a slowdown, in a pretty gloomy global context… If you can’t wait for the analysis on Tuesday, remember you can get the full updated database in your mailbox on the last day of the month, for as low as $7 a month, using this discount code.