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Trends in African Startup Funding Show a Shift in Investor Focus

In 2023, African startups secured a total of $2.9 billion in funding across equity, debt, and grants for deals exceeding $100k, marking a 39% year-on-year decline according to Africa: The Big Deal. The Big Four – Kenya, Egypt, South Africa, and Nigeria – captured 71% of the total investments, with Kenya leading with an impressive $800 million, significantly boosted by two major deals in the energy sector. In contrast, Nigeria, once a dominant force, experienced a dramatic funding decline.

Kenya dominated in East Africa, claiming 91% of the region’s total funding, while Egypt and South Africa led in North Africa and the Southern African region with 95% and 97%, respectively. Despite having the highest number of startups, Nigeria’s share of funding in West Africa fell to 68%, marking the lowest share among the Big Four since 2019, due to economic indicators and the absence of mega deals. Beyond the Big Four, startups outside these hubs still managed to secure 29% of the funding for ventures raising $100k or more in 2023.

Fintech and Energy were the top sectors, attracting $1.2 billion and $800 million, respectively, and making up 69% of the total funding. A striking trend is the $1 billion raised by ventures with a climate focus, highlighting the growing investor interest in Africa’s green investment potential. Notably, equity funding dropped by 57% to $1.7 billion, while debt grew by 47% to $1.1 billion, indicating a strategic shift among investors fueling Africa’s starup ecosystem.

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