Funding for African tech startups hits $334.5m record in 2018

By
Maxwell Awumah, GNA

Hohoe, Feb. 5, GNA – Funding for African tech
startups hit a record high in 2018, as 210 startups secured US$ 334.5 million
worth of investment, with Nigeria emerging as the premier investment
destination on the continent.

This is according to the annual African Tech
Startups Funding Report 2018 released by Disrupt Africa, which is now in its
fourth year and copied to the Ghana News Agency.

The report, which tracks the total amount of
funding raised by African tech startups each year, found 210 startups raised a
total of US$ 334,5 million in funding in 2018, representing the best year for
tech startups since inception.

It said the number of startups grew by 32.1
per cent, and total funding jumped by an impressive 71.5 per cent.

A key finding of the report was the emergence
of Nigeria as Africa’s startup funding hub, after years of playing second
fiddle to South Africa. With 58 startups raising a total of US$94,9 million in
investment, Nigeria tops the chart; dislodging South Africa to second place
with 40 businesses raising US$59,9 million with Kenya ranking third.

However, other African countries are emerging
as more than viable alternative destinations for funding as investors
increasingly look beyond the traditional “big three” startup ecosystems.

It noted that, whereas in 2015, South Africa,
Nigeria and Kenya accounted for more than 80 per cent of total funding raised,
it fell to 61.8 per cent in 2018.

The report attributed it to the rise of Egypt
as a destination for funding, with the country’s startups raising US$ 58.9
million in 2018, clearly establishing Egypt as a leading startup hub on the
continent. Companies in 16 other African countries secured investment.

In terms of sectors, the fintech space
continued to dominate, remaining a clear favourite among investors and, at US$ 132.75
million, accounting for 39.7 per cent of total funds raised.

It said this was an increase on previous
years, but nonetheless there are strong signs of progress in other sectors,
with multiple ed-tech, e-commerce, e-health, transport, logistics and agri-tech
startups raising funding as investors saw opportunities in a large number of
areas.

Ms Gabriella Mulligan, co-founder of Disrupt
Africa said “It has been an incredible year for tech startups in Africa – and
it’s a real pleasure to release this report and the impressive figures it
contains.

The continent’s entrepreneurs have grabbed the
attention of investors, accelerators, and media both locally and globally this
year with their innovative solutions and business models, and it’s great to be
able to report on such strong results across our ecosystem.”

“The African tech space continues on its
upward trajectory, with more startups than ever before securing record levels
of funding in 2018. Investment levels are not the only way of gauging the
health of local ecosystems, but they are a valuable way of following the
sector’s progress and demonstrate that, increasingly, if you have an innovative
tech solution to a problem, with a strong business model, there are pathways to
funding should you require it to scale,” said Tom Jackson, co-founder of
Disrupt Africa.

GNA

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