A massive $2.4 billion (KES 264 billion) was invested in African startups in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic that threatened the global economy.
The Africa Investment Report 2020 reveals the details about the funding in the continent. It was written from participation from over 70 funds, institutions and syndicates who provided insights to the funding landscape in Africa.
The 2.4 billion in funding in 2020 is a slight drop from the record $2.584 billion that was seen in 2019. Generally, there has been an increase in funding over the past 5 years. In 2016, $759 million in capital was deployed in the continent, 2017 ($638 million) and 2018 ($980 million).
The $2.4 billion in capital that was deployed in Africa was split in several ways. The report says that they estimated a minimum of $1.07 billion was disclosed funding, $1.12 billion was disclosed in mergers & acquisition market (M&A) and at least $243 million in non-publicly disclosed deals. The top 10 deals accounted for over 50% of the $1.3 billion deployed into ventures across Africa while 30% of companies funded are incorporated in the United States.
The funding in 2020 throughout the year is also an interesting trend to notice. There was a slow down in funding towards the end of Q1 due to COVID-19 and the issuance of the first wave of lockdown. However, funding jumped back up in July and peaked in August where it steadily declined towards December.
The report highlights the fact that only a few sectors in the many industries in Africa get the funding. “Despite its steady growth over the past decade investment, activity remains significantly skewed towards a few sectors and geographies,” the report said.
Fintechs accounted for over 90% of M&A volumes. This is thanks to high profile acquisitions like Paystack, DPO Group and Wave. They also comprised over a third of all non-acquisition funds followed by cleantech and healthcare.
In total, funding was mostly skewed to Fintech and Cleantech. Here is the breakdown:
- Fintech (31%)
- CleanTech (22%)
- Health (9%)
- Agriculture (7%)
- Data & Analytics (7%)
- E-commerce (5%)
- Logistics (4%)
- Mobility (3%)
- SaaS (2%)
- CivicTech (1%)
- Others (9%)
The report also highlights how capital is sourced and allocated to a select pool of countries as well as their headquarter countries. Among the top 100 funded companies in Africa, 32 have headquarters in North America, Europe and a few African countries (Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa). In addition, 37 of these companies have operations in Africa which includes Kenya.
Kenya’s performance in the funding landscape
Kenya was singled out as having operations of top companies with African headquarters with around $77.1 million (Kshs 8.473 billion) in funding. The country is also home to a lot of headquarters for these companies in the continent and almost on par with its peers in Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt.
There are also a number of companies operating in Kenya that got a lot of funding in 2020. These include Twiga, Cellulant, SWVL, Chipper Cash, One Acre Fund, MKopa, Lori, Copia, KopaGas, Sendy and many more.