Egyptian tech startups have raised almost US$800 million between them since January 2015, with more than 50 per cent of that – over US$400 million – having been secured in the first three quarters of this year.
That is according to the newly-released Egyptian Startup Ecosystem Report 2021 from Disrupt Africa, which dives into the local ecosystem by analysing active startups, local support networks, and funding and exit activity over the last seven years.
The first geographically-focused publication released by the company, the report is made possible by support from key partners the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and Global Ventures. Other supporters of the report are AUC Venture Lab (V-Lab) and Quona Capital.
According to the Egyptian Startup Ecosystem Report 2021, at least US$791,072,500 has been raised by 318 Egyptian startups across 447 rounds since January 2015. These figures in terms of total investment and number of backed startups are bettered only by Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa on the African continent, and the gap is closing. The number of Egyptian startups securing investment each year has grown and grown, from humble beginnings to the point where it is well-established within the “big four” startup ecosystems on the continent.
Back in 2015, just US$8.6 million was invested into (just 10) Egyptian tech startups, but that figure approximately doubled every year until 2018, when total annual funding passed the US$70 million mark. Slower growth followed, yet increases of around 50 per cent still served to establish Egypt as a major player on the African continent from an investment perspective. The US$104,934,000 raised in 2019 was bettered by only Kenya and Nigeria, and though the US$156,248,000 banked in 2020 saw the country rank fourth, its share of total African startup investment was significantly up.
Egypt has, alongside other African tech startup ecosystems, experienced an extraordinary 2021 so far, with the US$403,562,000 raised by startups from the country as of the end of September already representing a 158 per cent increase on 2020 figures. Only Nigerian startups have secured more investment so far this year.
“With the number of funded startups remaining at similar levels to 2019 and 2020, it is the increased size of rounds that accounts for this impressive growth. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, rounds beyond the US$3 million mark were highly unusual, while the US$10 million mark for a funding round was only breached in 2018. Even then, funding success stories like Vezeeta and Swvl remained outliers rather than the norm,” said Disrupt Africa co-founder Gabriella Mulligan.
“Yet in 2021 news of a US$2 million seed round is considered standard and funding rounds of US$30 million and above are increasingly regular. With MNT-Halan reaching the US$100 million mark earlier this year, and Swvl set to join Fawry as a unicorn, Egypt has truly arrived as a tech startup investment destination on the African continent.”
As with this year’s African Tech Startups Funding Report 2021, which has been downloaded almost 4,000 times, and Finnovating for Africa 2021, released in June and already downloaded 2,000 times, the Egyptian Startup Ecosystem Report 2021 is available to all for free, making the data and analysis contained in its pages accessible to those for whom the information is most valuable – entrepreneurs.