USD 1,000,000,000+ and counting

Start-ups in Africa are raising faster than ever, reaching the $1bn mark in less than 5 months

Last week, the start-up ecosystem in Africa crossed a significant milestone, with over $1 billion raised since the beginning of the year. This is an achievement in itself, but what’s particularly impressive is how fast it all happened. Back in 2019, it had taken until mid-November to reach that point. In 2020, it was in the bag by end of September. This time, it took merely 5 months to get there! Should start-ups in Africa keep raising at this pace, they could reach $2.5 billion of total funding raised by the end of 2021. Comparing 2021’s first billion to that of 2019 and 2020, we find that:

  • The majority (80%) of the funding is still raised in one of the ‘Big Four’ markets (Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Egypt), though slightly less than in 2019 and 2020 (83% and 87% respectively).

  • So far this year, 41% of the disclosed deals $1m & over were by start-ups raising their first million; this proportion is lower than it was for the first billion in 2019 and 2020 (50% for both).

  • Finally, while women CEOs had only raised 4% and 2% of the first billion raised in 2019 and 2020 respectively, this year they have bagged 14% of the amount; a long way still from 50%, but a significant enough improvement to be noted.

And one last thing: over 320 investors have already participated in at least one deal in Africa this year. Quite spectacular!