Disrupt Africa releases report on African tech startups funding in 2021

The African Tech Startups Funding Report explored the important details about the over $2.148 billion in 800+ deals that were raised by African startups in 2021 — the number of funded startups grew by 42.1 per cent on 397 in 2020.

Disrupt Africa releases report on African tech startups funding in 2021

Disrupt Africa, an African startup news and research portal has released the seventh edition of its annual African tech startups funding report in collaboration with Novastar Ventures, MFS Africa, Quona Capital, 4Di Capital, MEST Africa and Future Africa.

The open-source report explored the important details about the over $2.148 billion in 800+ deals that was raised by African startups in 2021 — the number of funded startups grew by 42.1% in 2020, and the funding total was almost treble [up 190.6%] the $701,460,565 banked the previous year.

It was a record-breaking year as the continent's $2 billion mark for joint investment was exceeded for the first time.

Startups in Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa and Kenya secured a greater share of total funding between them than in 2020, yet Nigeria soared past all other countries to take top spot, with 161 startups raising a huge combined total of almost US$800 million.

Minting the highest number of unicorns in 2021. the fintech sector raised more funds than any other sector and a combined total that dwarfed all others. The sector broke the $1 billion funding barrier, something the African tech space as a whole only managed for the first time in 2021, with fintech accounting for more than half of total investment.

The report provides insight into investment trends within key startup geographies and verticals, as well as data on African startup acquisitions.

For too long access to crucial industry data such as this has been out of reach for active or aspiring entrepreneurs, as they are usually priced out of access. It is the Disrupt Africa ethos to make as much information freely accessible as possible, and we can’t thank our partners enough for helping us with the open-sourcing of this publication

— Tom Jackson

Gabriella Mulligan, Disrupt Africa co-founder "momentum has been building in the African tech space for quite some time now, and 2021 will be remembered as a watershed year", adding that "breaking not just the $1 billion but the $2 billion mark, creating more unicorns, and about doubling the number of active investors - it was a very good 12 months indeed. It is still just a beginning, however, and there is plenty of room for more growth"

Previously available for sale, the African Tech Startups Funding Report was until the last edition purchased each year by leading tech companies from Africa and the rest of the world, Big Four consulting firms, banking and fintech leaders, venture capital firms, supranational investors and international trade bodies. Now, however, Disrupt Africa releases the publication for free, making it accessible to those for whom the information is most valuable — African entrepreneurs.

Related: What to make of Silicon Valley's interest in African startups

"We have been investing in startups on the continent since 2014 and are encouraged by the tremendous growth of the venture ecosystem since then. Nevertheless, as startups move from proof-of-concept to scale, capital remains scarce. Disrupt Africa’s annual funding report is a critical resource for founders as they climb and navigate a capital ladder that still has missing rungs", Steve Beck, managing director at Novastar Ventures stated.