Investors Stay Bullish On Africa’s Fintech Startups Despite Downturn
Africa’s fintech startup ecosystem grew in size by almost 20 percent, and saw USD 2.7 B in investment flood in over the last 24 months, a new report suggests.
The biennial Finnovating for Africa report by tech publication Disrupt Africa, which tracks the development of the fintech ecosystem across Africa, maintains that the fintech ecosystem is the most-populated vertical within Africa’s wider tech ecosystem, having retained its steady growth over the last two years. Since the last edition of the report in 2021, the number of startups operating in the space grew by 17.7 per cent to 678.
This growth is taking place across the continent, with all major markets bar South Africa posting an increase in the number of active ventures. Egypt and Nigeria are growing especially fast, with the number of fintech companies based in those countries leaping by 66.7 per cent and 50 per cent respectively over the course of the last two years,
While leading the way for activity, fintech is also by far and away the most popular vertical for investment within the wider African tech space. Since 2015, 540 fintech startups from 25 countries have raised ~USD 3.6 B, three times more than any other sector, per Disrupt Africa.
“This report, which we release every two years, is one of our flagship publications, alongside our annual funding report, and this year’s edition is a big one, tracking a remarkable 24 months of development in the African fintech space. We’re looking forward to releasing it, and thankful to our partners for helping to make it happen,” said Tom Jackson, co-founder of Disrupt Africa.
Total investment per year has been on a fairly steady upward trajectory since 2016, yet growth has been especially impressive in the last two years, the new report shows. The number of funded ventures has almost doubled since 2021, and more than USD 2.7 B has poured into the ecosystem in the last 24 months.
African fintech startups are also more likely to be acquired than their peers. The Africa-focused tech publication tracked 26 fintech startup acquisitions between June 2021 and July 2023, compared to just seven between 2019 and 2021, and accounting for over 60 per cent of the 43 such deals reported since 2011.
This year’s report is released in partnership with AZA Finance, an African fintech company offering secure and efficient financial infrastructure for payments, foreign exchange, and settlement; and Curacel, an insurance infrastructure company that helps insurers and partners in Africa and other emerging markets increase the reach and functionality of insurance through cloud-based tools and APIs.
It includes consideration of the regional spread and growth of fintech ventures, discussion of startup activity in various sub-sectors of the fintech industry, data on fintech startup launches by year, and tracking of funding and acquisitions in the fintech space, as well as a full list of every known African fintech startup.
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