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African startups raise almost $4B in 2021

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Africa's startup ecosystem raised almost $4 billion in 2021 with the "big four" countries of Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and Kenya taking the lion's share.

That's according to new data from Africa startups deals database Africa: The Big Deal which has broken down the total funding raised by startups in Africa for deals worth $100K or more.

The big four countries accounted for 80% of the total raised on the continent up until the end of November, with 35% of capital raised in Nigeria alone.

Nigerian startups raised $1.37 billion in 2021; followed by $838 million in South Africa; $588 million in Egypt; and $375 million in Kenya. Nigeria boasts over 200 deals for the year and the other three over 100 deals each.

Image source: Africa: The Big Deal
Image source: Africa: The Big Deal

Other honorable mentions were Senegal, where startups raised $222 million in 2021 and Tanzania at $96 million.

One of the biggest success stories was Chipper Cash, which raised a total of $250 million this year. The authors Max Cuvellier and Maxime Bayen decided not to pin the raise to Ghana, saying the startup's Ghanaian and Ugandan co-founders and its African HQs split between Ghana and Kenya "make it quite pan-African".

Without Chipper Cash, Ghana raised $48 million in 2021; Algeria $30 million; Morocco $29 million; Tunisia $23 million; Uganda $18 million; Rwanda $16 million; Democratic Republic of Congo $12 million and Cameroon $11 million.

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*Top image source: Business photo created by DCStudio -

Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

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