2019 was the best year yet for investment into the African tech startup space, with 311 companies banking a combined US$491.6 million – according to the annual African Tech Startups Funding Report 2019 released by Disrupt Africa.
The report, which tracks the total amount of funding raised by African tech startups each year, found the number of startups that secured investment increased by more than 50 per cent on 2018, while total funding grew 47 per cent. This made 2019 a record year for funding, driven by a 61 per cent increase in the number of investors in African tech startups, which reached 261.
Kenya and Nigeria were the lead markets in terms of total funding, securing US$149 million and US$122 million respectively, though Egypt was the main market in terms of startup numbers, with 88 companies raising funding over the course of the year. South Africa fell to fourth in both regards.
With investors increasingly looking beyond the established hubs of South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya for opportunities, the continued development of the Egyptian tech space is a key trend.
The fintech sector remained the most popular among investors, with 77 fintech startups raising a combined $107 million, though fintech’s share of total funding fell to 21.8 per cent from 39.7 per cent as other sectors, notably logistics, transport, e-commerce, agri-tech and e-health, enjoyed bumper years.
“Investment in the African tech space continues to grow and grow, and at the current rate of development, it won’t be too long before we are talking about it breaching the $1 billion mark. Beyond the headline numbers, however, it is exciting to see the growth in particular markets and verticals as investors diversify and expand their interests on the continent,” said Tom Jackson, co-founder of Disrupt Africa.