African tech startups raised just under US$186 million in funding over the course of 2015, with South African companies receiving in excess of US$54.5 million, making the country the most popular destination for investments over the course of the year.
This is according to the African Tech Startups Funding Report 2015, launched yesterday by tech startup ecosystem news site Disrupt Africa, which found 125 tech startups raised funding in 2015 around the African continent, to the tune of US$185.79 million.
South African startups claimed 29 per cent of that funding, with the 45 startups raising almost US$55 million in funding, making the country the most successful when it comes to funds for startup tech businesses. Standout rounds from the country included those of fintech startup WiGroup, microjobbing service M4JAM and e-commerce companyFaithful to Nature.
Nigeria was not far behind in terms of funding, with startups from the West African country raising US$49.4 million, and with the average Nigerian startup in fact raising more than the average South African equivalent.
In third place, Kenyan startups brought home over US$47.3 million, while Egypt, Tanzania and Ghana also proved to be hotspots for funding activity. A host of other countries, including Rwanda, Uganda, Cameroon and Zambia, also saw local startups raise funding.
Of the 10 sectors monitored in the report, the solar sector saw the most investor activity, accounting for 32.9 per cent of total funds raised. The fintech sector proved a close second, securing 29.6 per cent of the total funds.
Gabriella Mulligan, co-founder of Disrupt Africa, said the continent’s tech startup ecosystem was becoming increasingly vibrant, with more quality tech startups and more investor activity than ever before.
“There is so much happening in this space, but often the level of innovation has not been matched by the amount of funding on offer. This data is important, as it demonstrates that African startups are being backed by investors both at home and abroad. We fully expect this figure to be larger next year, and hope this research proves a useful starting point in understanding and growing the ecosystem,” Mulligan said.
Disrupt Africa co-founder Tom Jackson said the numbers were only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the amount of funding received by African tech startups, as there will have been many more rounds that have taken place quietly.
“Nonetheless, the numbers are impressive. That is because the opportunity is so large. Solar startups are helping provide power to 620 million Africans that currently lack it. Fintech solutions are playing a huge role in bringing financial services to millions who have previously not had access to means of saving and borrowing. Tech is changing the continent, and investors are seeing the opportunity,” Jackson said.
The full report is available here.