How do these African countries compare in terms of startup ecosystem and funding size?

January 30, 2020 · 2 min read
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From two separate reports, we take a look at how some African countries compare in terms of their startup ecosystems and respective investment sizes.

First, is a report published by StartupBlink.

StartupBlink gathers data of registered startups, accelerators, and coworking spaces from its community and partners such as Crunchbase and SimilarWeb to track both momentum and trends within startup ecosystems. Last year, its 2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Rankings report ranked the startup ecosystems of more than 1,000 cities and 100 countries around the world.

The scores given to each city and country by StartupBlink are a sum of three factors — quantity of startups and other supporting organisations, quality of startups and other supporting organisations, and business environment.

According to the report, Lagos emerged as Africa’s best city startup ecosystem ahead of Nairobi and Cape Town. The Nigerian city, now a top 100 city, ranked 99th with a score of 8.044; Nairobi ranked 105th with 7.918; and Cape Town ranked 157th with 7.527.

To complete the top five African cities on the list, Cairo was placed 177th with a score of 7.1777, and Tunis ranked 223rd with 6.712.

However, their respective countries were ranked differently, and when compared to StartupBlink’s 2017 list, this is how the top five fared.

Dropping 13 places from its position in 2017, South Africa took the lead at 51; Kenya moved up a spot and is at 52; Nigeria is ranked 56th, one spot better than 2017; Egypt dropped 6 places to occupy the 60th spot; while Rwanda made its first appearance on the list in 64th place, displacing Morocco as the fifth-best African startup ecosystem.

According to points assigned to them, this is how the countries were represented.

The top startup ecosystems in Africa according to StartupBlink

Other African countries to make the top 100 include Tunisia, 74th; Ghana, 75th; Uganda, 81st; Cameroon, 84th; Zambia, 92nd; Algeria, 99th; and Ethiopia, 100th.

But how do these countries compare to their respective investments sizes in 2019?

Based on a recent report by Partech Africa, which covers equity deals in tech and digital spaces with funding rounds higher than $200,000, we can find out.

From the report, a total of $2.02 billion was raised by 234 African tech startups in 250 equity rounds. Nigeria attracted $747 million — 37% of the continent’s funding. Kenya’s sits in 2nd place with $564 million, while Egypt breaks into the top 3 with $211 million. South Africa and Rwanda complete the top 5 with $205 million and $126 million, respectively.

Most funded African countries accroding to Partech Africa

Ghana, $55 million; Uganda, $38 million; Senegal, $16 million; Zimbabwe, $13 million; and Zambia, $13 million make up the rest of the top 10.

In retrospect, though South Africa was the best startup ecosystem, it was 4th in funding size; Kenya was in second place for both categories; Nigeria was the third-best startup ecosystem but occupied the 1st position in funding size; Egypt emerged 4th in startup ecosystem but 3rd in funding size, with Rwanda 5th in both categories.

Although these countries switched spots in the two categories, it can be deduced from the reports that the best African startup ecosystems last year were the most funded ones.

Tage Kene-Okafor

Tage Kene-Okafor


Endlessly amused by technology. @ulonnaya

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