African Startups Raised Over $1B Funding in H1 2021 – Reports


In the first half of 2021, African startups raised $1.19 billion in funding, a figure which is more than they had raised in H1’19 and H1’20 combined.

This is according to data titled “Mapping the Money,” published by Maxime Bayen, a Senior Venture Builder for Catalyst Fund at BFA Global.

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The data hinted that 80% of that funding was raised by start-ups HQ’ed in one of Africa’s ‘Big Four’ – Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and Ghana.  South Africa and Nigeria are in a league of their own, and together attracted more than half of all the funding raised on the continent (28% & 27% respectively, $300m+ each).

Some of the notable funding rounds were closed by led the way with a momentous $170 million Series C raise to become the third payments unicorn in Africa.

Startups with all-male founding teams still took home most of the funding with 77%, while female CEOs raised 14% of the financing, up from 2% for the same period in 2020.

Fintech is the most funded sector.

Of all the sectors, fintech remains the most funded sector in Africa. Nearly half (48%) of the funding went to fintech start-ups. This share is higher than in previous years where most of the fintech funding was raised in H2 (89% of it in 2019, and 76% in 2020).

Local investors have been quite active this year and 40% have been involved in more than one deal in the past 6 months. Of the 369 investors who have been involved in at least one $100k+ deal in Africa this year, 110 (30%) are headquartered on the continent.

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The US is home to more investors (133) involved in a deal in Africa than Africa itself. US-based investors are however significantly less active than Africa-based investors: 87% of them have so far only participated in one deal.

Nearly $150 million have already been raised by start-ups in Africa in the first 10 days of H2. The current boom in funding in Africa will continue to grow rapidly before the year ends.

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