Nigeria leads as 750 African startups raised at least $1m round in five years

Nigeria is home to a quarter of startups in Africa that raised at least a $1 million round since 2019, new data from Africa: The Big Deal has shown.

At least 750 start-ups raised one or more $1m+ rounds (equity and/or debt) in the past five years.

“Once again, the Big Four reign supreme: They are home to more than three quarters of the start-ups who have raised a $1m+ round or more. Nigeria in particular claims 50 percent more such ventures than its peers South Africa, Egypt, Kenya who are in a pocket handkerchief,” said Max Cuvellier, co-founder of Africa: The Big Deal.

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In Nigeria, 194 startups achieved that feat, compared to 132 in South Africa, 129 each in Kenya and Egypt.

“Other countries host to at least 10 such start-ups include most of those we found last week on the list of markets having attracted $100m+ since 2019: Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Tunisia and Senegal; plus Morocco which could be entering this club soon. Algeria and DRC however are relative under-performers with three and four respectively,” Cuvellier said.

He said another 19 markets have seen at least one local start-up raise a 7-digit round since 2019, taking the total number of countries with such activity to 29. 

“This also means that 25 countries haven’t recorded a single $1m+ deal since 2019, which most likely means they have not done so ever.” he added.

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