Lagos named a “challenger” startup ecosystem in global report

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Lagos has been named as one of 12 “challenger” startup ecosystems in a global report that otherwise neglects the African continent entirely.

The annual Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) released last week by Startup Genome, which researches startup ecosystems across the world and claims to have data on over one million companies across 150 cities, was released last week, looking at trends among startup ecosystems in areas such as funding and talent.

It ranked the top 30 startup ecosystems globally, naming the top five as Silicon Valley, New York City, London, Beijing, and Boston, with no African cities featuring in the list.

Lagos did warrant a mention as one of 12 “challenger” startup ecosystems, alongside the likes of Hangzhou, Melbourne, Moscow, Mumbai, São Paulo and Tokyo. Each challenger has at least one “unicorn”, though the report does not state which Lagos-based company or companies have secured a valuation of US$1 billion or over, and Lagos seems to have made the cut based on its status as a major focus point for the African continent.

Other key African startup ecosystems, such as Nairobi, Cape Town and Johannesburg, were not mentioned anywhere in the 199-page report. This is in contrast to previous editions, such as in 2017, when the report ranked the Lagos startup ecosystem as the most valuable in Africa and also reviewed Cape Town and Johannesburg.

More extensive data on African ecosystems was recently released by StartupBlink, a global startup ecosystem map with tens of thousands of registered startups, co-working spaces and accelerators, via its Startup Ecosystem Rankings 2019 April report.

That report rated Lagos as the 99th most developed startup city in the world, and also said the Rwandan ecosystem was one of the fastest growing globally, according to new research. Africa had a mixed bag of results otherwise, with no country from the continent making it into the top 50 this time round, after South Africa dropped 13 places to rank 51st. There were at least mentions for 11 other African countries, while Lagos was just one eight African cities to warrant a mention.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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