South African Startup Ecosystem Report 2022

The South African Startup Ecosystem Report 2022 from Disrupt Africa dives into the local ecosystem by analysing active startups, local support networks, and funding and exit activity over the last 7.5 years.

Since launching its research arm in 2016, Disrupt Africa has built up a significant portfolio of publications, most notably the African Tech Startups Funding Report and Finnovating for Africa, previously available for sale but now made available free for all via open-sourcing initiatives with various partners across the continent’s tech ecosystem.

The South African Startup Ecosystem Report 2022 is the second geographically-focused publication released by the company, made possible by support from key partners the SA SME Fund and Nedbank CIB. Other supporters of the report are Newtown Partners, the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi), and Quona Capital.

The publication finds that at least 490 tech startups were in operation across South Africa as of May 2022, employing over 11,000 people between them. Fintech is the most populated sector, with almost one-third of the country’s tech startups active in that vertical. Over 25 per cent of South African tech startups have undergone some form of acceleration or incubation, though diversity is an issue as less than 15 per cent have a female co-founder.

These startups are also supported by a strong investment ecosystem. At least 357 individual South African tech startups raised a combined US$993,684,600 in funding between January 2015 and May 2022, a figure topped only by Nigeria over that time. Funding, both in terms of the number of startups backed and the total tally secured, has generally increased year-on-year, most especially in the last three years, and 2022 is already in course to be a record year for South Africa in both metrics. 

South African startups are by far the most successful when it comes to successful exits. Since 2015, 35 South African tech startups have been acquired, accounting for one-third of the acquisitions tracked by Disrupt Africa across the entire continent in the last 7.5 years.

The publication includes:

  • Analysis of the spread and growth of South African ventures;
  • Discussion of startup activity in 13 sectors of the local tech industry;
  • Data on startup launches by year;
  • Tracking of funding and acquisitions;
  • A detailed list of the 490 South African startups tracked by the report.

You can download your free copy here.
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For further information or for further purchase options, please email Tom at [email protected], or Gabriella at [email protected]

The South African Startup Ecosystem Report 2022 is the 17th publication released by Disrupt Africa’s research and analysis arm, which aside from the flagship annual African Tech Startups Funding Report also releases deep-dives into a variety of sectors and geographies of the continent’s tech startup ecosystem. Details on all other publications can be found here.