As we near the end of 2021, it’s absolutely incredible to me how quickly some startup ecosystems have grown over the past 3 years.
And, even more incredible to me is how much these ecosystems have grown in spite of (or in some cases, because of) the pandemic.
Africa is certainly no exception.
This is my 3rd edition of the Top 10 African Startups to Watch and, in my opinion, 2021 was the year the region truly caught 🔥 🔥 🔥 for both startups and VCs.
It's about time.
Other Startups to Watch:
- Top 10 Pakistani Startups to Watch
- Top 10 Middle East Startups to Watch
- Top 10 Latin American Startups to Watch
- Top 10 European Startups to Watch
- Top 10 Indian Startups to Watch
- Top 10 Chinese Startups to Watch
- Top 10 Israeli Startups to Watch
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Africa’s Startup Environment
2021 was an incredible year for African startups.
The continent has already surpassed $3B in startup funding and may, just may, break $4B by the end of the year.
In the 3rd quarter of 2021, African FinTech firms ALONE raised $906m, according to Digest Africa. The FinTech sector represented more than 60% of all venture money that flowed into Africa during the quarter, and more than the amount raised by all other sectors in the first half of 2021 (!)
For context, the total funding for African FinTechs in 2018 was only $385MM.
Another sign of the progress made by startups on the continent is the number of unicorns, or companies worth more than $1B.