Black Excellence: African Startups Raise $2.25 Billion In The First Third Of The Year

According to data from the Big Deal compiled by Max Cuvellier, Head of Mobile for Development, GSMA, and Maxime Bayen, Senior Venture Builder for BFA Global, a total of $2.25 billion was raised in funding activities by tech companies in Africa in the first four months of 2022.

The $2.25 billion is 2.5 times what startups will rise by the end of April 2021, five times what they will raise in 2020, and eight times what they will raise in 2019. Additionally, it is already more than half of the total amount raised in 2021, which stands at $4.4 billion. The $2 billion mark was reached in 17 weeks, nearly twice as quickly as it was in 2021 when it took 30 weeks.

“If the ecosystem maintains this momentum and raises over half a billion dollars per month on average throughout the year, it will raise nearly $7 billion in 2022,” Cuvellier noted.

April 2022 saw the least funding, with approximately $430 million raised. Sun King, a Kenyan renewable energy startup, raised $260 million in Series D funding, surpassing Flutterwave’s $250 million in February. The funding round for the Kenyan company is the continent’s sixth Series D round and the largest to date. Additionally, it is the third-largest transaction ever completed.

The largest funding round occurred in March when startups raised approximately $710 million. February brought in $630 million, cementing Flutterwave’s status as Africa’s most valuable tech startup ($3 billion valuations). In January, the startups raised $480 million.

According to data from the first quarter of 2022, the majority of funding went to four countries. Nigeria is the largest contributor, with $600 million, followed by Kenya ($482 million), South Africa ($228 million), and Egypt ($202 million).

Additionally, African entrepreneurs and fintech startups will benefit from ARM LABS’ partnership with Techstars.

Despite this, the tech ecosystem has yet to produce a new unicorn, unlike in 2021, when Flutterwave’s valuation soared to over $1 billion following a $170 million Series C funding round.

Experts had predicted a slowdown in technology funding as investors pressed high-impact startups to return to their roots – pursuing profits and reducing cash burn. Investors are hesitant to write checks to tech companies following the closure of companies such as Fast, which raised $100 million a year before shutting down. In India, technology companies have been laying off employees, with up to 1,800 employees laid off by April 2022.

 

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“With the impending tech slowdown, I hope that Africa can shift its focus away from obsessive overvaluation and toward value creation. By 2021, at least three startups on the continent will have generated annual revenue of $100 million. “On average, it takes 4.7 years to reach $100 million,” said Peter Oriaifo, Principal Investor at Oui Capital.

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