African tech startups raised more than US$1 billion in the first two months of 2022, more than half the amount raised in the entirety of 2021.
Investment into the African tech startup ecosystem trebled over the course of a record-breaking 2021 that saw total funding pass the US$2 billion – and indeed the US$1 billion – mark for the first time.
The seventh edition of Disrupt Africa’s annual African Tech Startups Funding Report found 564 startups raised a combined US$2,148,517,500 in 2021, but that record is already well on the way to being beaten in 2022.
As of March 1, 110 startups have raised US$1,123,556,000 this year, a figure that is already more than half (52.3%) last year’s total with five-sixths of the year still to go. Indeed, if funding carries on this way, new records could be set as soon as April.
This skyrocketing investment is being driven by Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa for now. As in 2021, Nigeria is the leader, with 33 startups having banked a combined US$364,598,000 (32.5 per cent of the total). Twenty Kenyan startups have raised US$223,450,000 (19.9 per cent of the total), and 16 South African startups have secured US$219,930,000 (19.6 per cent of the total).
For now Egypt, second last year for total investment, is having a relatively slow 2022 compared to the other major ecosystems, with 21 startups having raised a total of US$102,220,000 (9.1 per cent of the total) this year so far.
Once again, fintech is proving the main driver of investment on the continent, with 34 fintech startups having raised a total of US$434,296,000 in 2022 so far, or 38.7 per cent of the overall tally. Other sectors are playing a relatively bigger role, however, as fintech’s share of the 2021 total was only just shy of the 50 per cent mark.