Discover more from Africa: The Big Deal
Welcome to the $1m+ club 💯
More than 100 start-ups have already raised their first $1m+ round this year so far. Let's have a closer look at who they are...
There are quite a few milestones in a start-up’s life like developing your first MVP, signing your first client, or setting up your first Board. Raising your first 7-digit round (‘$1m+’) is usually one of them. Last week, we realised that already over 100 start-ups in Africa have raised their first $1m+ round this year. And that’s only counting disclosed deals (though most start-ups tend to announce those). So we thought you’d be at least as curious as us to find out more…
100 you said? As of August 31st, there were 99 of them, and those are the ones our analysis is focusing on. But the 100-mark has been crossed since. If you compare to previous years, this is a very strong performance: at the end of August, the meter was at 40 in 2019; at 55 in 2020; and at 72 in 2021. In the whole of 2021, 112 start-ups raised their first $1m+ round in Africa; we can confidently predict that the number will be higher for 2022.
Where can we find them? As is often the case, most of the action is concentrated in the ‘Big Four’, where 84% of them are headquartered. Egypt (29) and Nigeria (28) are neck and neck, followed by Kenya (17). South Africa (9) is comparatively underperforming; back in 2019, it was topping the list. Another 8 countries can claim at least one such deal.
What type of round is it? There’s a shift that happened between 2020 and 2021 on this front. For the rounds that were ‘labelled’, in 2019 and 2020, the split was roughly 50:50 between ‘Seed’ and ‘Series A’, with just a few ‘Pre-Seed’. Since 2021, the proportion of ‘Pre-Seed’ + ‘Seed’ rounds exceeds 80%.
How much are they raising? For 84% of them, the amount announced was somewhere between $1m and $5m. The median amount raised is just above $2m, which is almost getting back to pre-pandemic levels ($2.1m in 2019) after two lower years ($1.5m in 2020, $1.7m in 2021).
And that’s it for today. Because we’re committed to keeping these weekly posts short and sweet. So you’ll have to be a little patient for the rest of the analysis (sector, team size, follow-on funding, gender…) 😉
I hope you’ll have it in you to forgive us for leaving you hanging like this, but there was simply too much to say to cram it all in one post. While you wait for the second half of the analysis, I have opened the Substack comments for once 👇, and would be curious to hear about what you think is the most notable ‘first $1m+ round’ story of 2022 so far? And as usual, please feel free to access the full database (I suggest you use this discount code) and do your own analysis!
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