Disrupt Africa to again open-source annual funding report in partnership with key VC firms


Startup-focused news and research company Disrupt Africa has announced it is to once again make its flagship annual funding report free to all in an open-sourcing initiative made possible through a partnership with Africa-focused VC firms Novastar Ventures, Quona Capital, 4Di Capital and Future Africa.

Every January since 2016, Disrupt Africa has released the African Tech Startups Funding Report, which quantifies investment into the African tech space over the course of the previous 12 months and analyses key trends and themes.

The report has tracked the extraordinary progress made by the continent’s startup ecosystems from an investment perspective since 2015, with the sixth edition – released in January – detailing a record-breaking 2020, as 397 startups raised an impressive US$701.5 million in total funding. 

Previously available for sale, the report was purchased each year by leading tech companies from Africa and the rest of the world, Big Four consulting firms, banking and fintech leaders, venture capital firms, supranational investors and international trade bodies. The most recent edition, however, was open-source for the first time, to make it accessible to those for whom the information is most valuable – African entrepreneurs. It has so far been downloaded thousands of times.

As a result of the success of this initiative, and the subsequent free release of its deep dive into the African fintech startup ecosystem, Disrupt Africa will make the seventh edition of the African Tech Startups Funding Report, due for release in January 2022 and set to tell the story of a year in which funding records have already been toppled, free to all once more in partnership with key Africa-focused VC firms.

This year’s open-sourcing initiative will be undertaken with the support of Novastar Venturesa venture capital firm that helps founders build businesses with the potential to transform markets and sectors for the common good; Quona Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in fintech innovations advancing inclusion in emerging markets; 4Di Capital, an independent seed and early-stage technology venture capital firm; and Future Africa, a fund that connects investors to mission-driven startups turning Africa’s most difficult challenges into global business opportunities.

“Our flagship funding report was the first of its kind when the inaugural edition was released in January 2016, and has become an industry benchmark. In democratising access to this vital data, we hope to empower African entrepreneurs through access to information,” said Tom Jackson, co-founder of Disrupt Africa.

Gabriella Mulligan, Disrupt Africa co-founder, said the company was delighted to partner with major ecosystem support players such as Novastar Ventures, Quona Capital, 4Di Capital and Future Africa to make the African Tech Startups Funding Report 2021 available to everyone, anywhere, for free.

“Our partners understand the challenges faced by African founders in accessing capital, and also vital information around who is providing that capital, to whom, and why,” she said. “We are extremely grateful for their support in this initiative and looking forward to working with our partners across the ecosystem to ensure the next edition of the report lands in as many entrepreneurs’ inboxes as possible.”

Disrupt Africa’s investor partners also expressed their excitement at playing a key part in making key funding data available to anyone that needs it.

“We have been investing in startups on the continent since 2014 and are encouraged by the tremendous growth of the venture ecosystem since then. Nevertheless, as startups move from proof-of-concept to scale, capital remains scarce. Disrupt Africa’s annual funding report is a critical resource for founders as they climb and navigate a capital ladder that still has missing rungs. We are delighted to partner with the team at Disrupt Africa to ensure their research is accessible to all entrepreneurs. The data and insights in the report are a vital resource, not just for charting the development of the venture ecosystem in Africa, but for supporting it,” said Steve Beck, managing director at Novastar Ventures. 

“Quona Capital is proud to support this important work by Disrupt Africa,” said Johan Bosini, partner at Quona Capital. “We are seeing such incredible traction on many fronts of the venture ecosystem in Africa, with major milestones being achieved in large investment rounds and total quantum being invested in technology businesses across the major hubs in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt. We all learn and benefit from this industry data, and we are delighted to be part of this important initiative.” 

“Once again we are very happy to support this crucial initiative. It is publications like this that help all members of the African ecosystem to get a snapshot as to how and where the industry is moving, and therefore vital to all of our businesses and teams. We cannot thank Tom, Gabriella and the team enough for the effort in putting the report together,” said Anton van Vlaanderen, partner at 4Di Capital.

“Tom, Gabriella and the Disrupt Africa team are doing important work in ensuring we have the right data when it comes to measuring the success of the African tech ecosystem. Future Africa is happy to support the Disrupt team in making sure actionable data and insights are available to founders, operators and investors looking to build the future of Africa,” said Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, managing partner of Future Africa. 

Disrupt Africa continues to seek partners to help it increase the scale of this open-sourcing initiative. For more information on partnering, or to find out more about the annual funding report, please email Gabriella on [email protected], or Tom on [email protected]

About Disrupt Africa

Disrupt Africa is the one-stop-shop for all news, information and commentary pertaining to the continent’s tech startup – and investment – ecosystem. With journalists roaming the continent to find, meet, and interview the most innovative and disruptive tech startups, Disrupt Africa is a true showcase of Africa’s most promising businesses and business ideas. Its research arm releases in-depth reports on various aspects of the African tech startup ecosystem. Details here.

About Novastar Ventures

Founded on the belief that the most valuable companies are those that address our biggest challenges, Novastar is a venture capital firm dedicated to helping founders build innovative businesses for the common good. Novastar partners with entrepreneurs who have the character, capacity, and ambition to transform markets and sectors. They are innovating business models to widen access, improve quality and lower cost for aspiring mass market consumers and producers in Africa. With offices in Nairobi, Lagos and London, Novastar is one of the largest platforms dedicated to financing and supporting early- and growth-stage businesses on the continent.

About Quona Capital

Quona Capital is a scale-up stage venture firm focused on fintech for inclusion in emerging markets. Quona partners have deep experience as investors and operators in both emerging and developed markets, and look for entrepreneurs whose companies have the potential to provide outstanding financial returns and promote breakthrough innovation in financial inclusion. To date, Quona has supported more than 30 financial technology companies expanding access for underserved consumers and small businesses in Latin America, South and Southeast Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. The firm has offices in Washington D.C., Bangalore, Mexico City and Cape Town. For more information, visit quona.com.

About 4Di Capital

4Di Capital is an independent venture capital fund manager based in South Africa’s “Silicon Cape”, specialising in high-growth technology venture opportunities, at the seed, early-and growth-funding stages. The fund manager has offices in Cape Town, South Africa and Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. and funds are managed by the GP partnership team of Anton van Vlaanderen, Erik van Vlaanderen, Justin Stanford and Laurie Olivier.

About Future Africa

Future Africa is a fund that connects investors to mission-driven startups turning Africa’s most difficult challenges into global business opportunities. Our mission is to build a future where purpose and prosperity are within everyone’s reach.


About Author

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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