Over the course of a record-breaking 2021, overall financing in the African digital startup ecosystem trebled, passing the US $2 billion barriers for the first time.
This is according to the seventh edition of Disrupt Africa’s annual African Tech Startups Funding Report, which is available for free to anyone as part of an open-sourcing project in collaboration with Novastar Ventures, MFS Africa, Quona Capital, 4Di Capital, MEST Africa, and Future Africa.
The study tells the narrative of a remarkable 2021, in which more entrepreneurs raised much more money than ever before. In 2021, 564 startups raised a total of $2,148,517,500 USD. This signified tremendous progress.
Since 2015, the number of African businesses that have received funding has surged by 351.2%. Though growth slowed slightly in 2020, partially owing to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, investors doubled down in 2021, with the number of distinct investors jumping by more than 100% to 771, up from 370 the year before.
Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, and Kenya remain Africa’s “big four” in terms of investment, gaining a larger percentage of overall funding than in 2020, but Nigeria leapt above all other nations to claim first place, with 161 companies raising a massive sum of over US $900 million.
In 2020, the fintech industry was the most appealing to investors once again, with more companies getting investment than any other area and a sum that exceeded all others. Fintech accounted for about half of total investment, breaking the $1 billion financing barrier for the first time in 2021 when the African tech industry as a whole did so for the first time.
Other industries, such as e-commerce and retail-tech, e-health, logistics, ed-tech, energy, agri-tech, and transportation, had strong years as well.
The yearly reports give comprehensive dives into investment patterns across important startup locations, in addition to providing a full list of funded businesses, who invested in them, and, if feasible, the amount raised from the previous year.