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Thursday, 11 February 2021

Egypt was Africa’s most-active destination for VCs last year

Egypt was the #1 destination for venture capital last year when measured by the number of transactions announced, global venture capital outfit Partech said this afternoon in its annual report on VC funding for African startups (pdf). Egyptian startups accounted for nearly a quarter of all transactions on the continent in 2020, with 86 having been announced, up 83% from the previous year.

Nigeria and Kenya edged us out by total value of equity raised. Companies in Nigeria raised USD 307 mn and Kenyan outfits USD 305 mn against USD 259 mn by Egyptian companies. Egypt was, however, the fastest-growing market by total value in the top four, narrowing the gap with the top two. Partech said Egypt’s performance was thanks to “the strength of its ecosystem driven by high quality entrepreneurs and increased activity from regional MENA funds.”

Top industries: Egyptian companies accounted for 28% of all equity invested in fintech (second only to Nigeria with 38%) and nabbed about 50% of all funding for African logistics, mobility and edutech companies.

Only four countries are really competitive in the race for VC funding: Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt and South Africa each attracted well over 2x the value of funding landed by companies in Ghana last year. And Ghana? Companies there raised nearly 10x more than their nearest challenger.

Woman-founded startups accounted for 13% of all rounds raised last year, down 4 percentage points from the previous year, and for 14% of all equity raised.

Fintech accounted for 25% of total equity raised continent-wide in 2020, followed by agritech and then logistics and mobility. Off-grid technology companies and healthcare-focused tech outfits rounded out the top five.

Covid bit, though: Total equity funding for startups in Africa was down 29% year on year at USD 1.4 bn even as the total number of transactions was up 44% to 359. In total, Partech says 347 startups raised money last year. Partech only counts data from African startups and includes just equity rounds worth more than USD 200k.

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