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Nigerian, Other African Startups Raise Over $4bn In 2021

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Nigerian startups raked in the lion’s share from over $4bn funding that African startups, including Kenya, Egypt raised in 2021.

The African startups raised the funding through over 754 deals. The deals came in in $100k and above.

The fintech ecosystem crossed the $4bn mark in funding raised by startups in Africa despite the gloomy atmosphere Covid-19 painted.

Meanwhile, Nigeria took the lead, raising $1.41 billion, the highest amount out of the top four African countries.

The top big four countries are Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt and South Africa.

Compared to the big four, Senegal barely tried to cover some miles.

Nigeria among the Big Four:

According to Thebigdeal, Nigerian startups alone raised $1,4bn, signifying a 35% out of 80% of the over $4bn raised.

Also, out of the 76% of the total deals by all the African startups, Nigeria alone cuts 29% with 215 deals.

Meanwhile, while South African startups raised $838m with 118 deals, startups in Egypt raised $588m with 119 deals.

Similarly, Kenyan startups raised $375m in 119 deals while Senegal raised $222m with 18 deals.

Crawling from a very far distance are Tanzania with $96m with 5 deals and Ghana raising $48m with 39 deals.

Mega deals percentage share:

In terms of share of mega deals by the African countries, Senegal got 90% as compared with Nigeria that got 55%.

Likewise, While South Africa got a mega deals share of 39%, Egypt got 37%.

Meanwhile, below is how much a single largest deal represents from the total amount the startups raised.

Single largest deal in Kenya took the highest percentage at 90% while that in Nigeria amounted to 28%.

The Nigerian startup that raked in the largest single deal was Opay.

Similarly, Gro in Kenya raised the single largest deal, ranking the country at 23%.

Egypt’s MTN-Halan got the country 20% while Jumo netted South Africa 14%.

Meanwhile, these mega deals, 11 of them from the top African countries, raked in 44% of the total funding.

ALSO READ: Breaking: UK Removes Nigeria, 10 Others From Red List Over Omicron

However, the remaining 743 deals out of all the total deals by all the African startups raked in a whopping $2.23bn.

Major companies that raised the major funding:

In Nigeria, three fintech companies did the most funds raising.  They are  Opay ($400 million); Andela ($200 million) and Flutterwave ($170 million).

Others in Nigeria were Kuda Bank $80 million (two tranches), and Decagon $26.5 million (two tranches).

In South Africa, Jumo, TymeBank and MFS Africa raked in the most funding.

Similarly, in Egypt, MTN-Halan and Swvl got the most funding.

Senegal which had just 5 deals had Wave as the company raking in the most funding.

Although Data from the platform did not specify which country, it however shows that Chipper Cash alone raked in %250m.

Investments in the Nigerian space:

Nigeria raked in more of the funding in 2021 compared to other African countries.

This is partly as a result of the large population and size of its economy which attracted more investors.

This corroborates the summation in a report by RMB, a division of FirstRand Bank Limited, which says as follows:

“The sheer size of Nigeria’s economy and large population base has undoubtedly aided the country’s economic environment and has led to an increase in investments in the economy over the past 10 years.”

Also, RMB said Nigeria’s hydrocarbon resources, agriculture and mining potentials present a brighter outlook for the Nigerian economy.

It also said Nigeria’s fiscal support is likely to increase over a couple of the coming years.

However, despite this positive developments, Nigeria is still not among Africa’s top ten investment destinations.

The RMB report shows that the country slipped off the African top ten investment destinations to number 14.

Egypt has remained number one among the African countries as the destination where to invest.

However, the report says Nigeria has dropped from Africa’s top 10 investment destinations to 14.

RMD titled the report “Where to Invest in Africa 2021.”

Also, the report says and South Africa are the second and third African destinations to invest, respectively.

Likewise, it placed Rwanda and Botswana, as coming fourth and fifth respectively.

Making up the sixth to ten positions are Ghana, Mauritius, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya and Tanzania, respectively.

On why Nigeria dropped from the ranking, RMB said weak policy environment and poor infrastructure are to blame.

It also raised a concern that Nigeria is over-reliant on oil.

“Nigeria’s heavy reliance on oil means that the drop in oil prices and production generated by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ agreement is strongly impacting the economy. COVID-19 came at a time when the economy was still rebalancing from the drop in oil prices during the 2014 to 2016 period.”

Speaking on the criteria for measuring the countries’ economy, RMB Africa Economist, Daniel Kavishe, said thus:

“We created a new set of rankings that incorporated some of the unavoidable COVID-19-induced challenges, of which the operating environment score was one., as well as fiscal scores which are important indicators of how governments respond to COVID-19. This inclusion aimed to score governments’ fiscal positions and provided a basis from which investors can understand specific jurisdictions.”


The amount of funding raised by African startups signifies that, like pilgrims, Africa is the new Jerusalem for investors.

Meanwhile, individual countries are also becoming major attractions for investors.

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