Nigeria Loses Top Spot to Kenya in Africa’s Tech market

  • In 2023, Kenya surpassed Nigeria in tech funding, attracting the highest funds in Africa.
  • Tech funding among Africa’s big four markets became more evenly distributed in 2023.
  • The ‘Big Four’ nations collectively attracted 87% of startup funding in Africa in 2023.

Tech in Africa has become an integral part of the continent’s economic makeup and by extension tech funding. Companies such as Flutterwave and MNT-Halan have gone on to make significant strides in Africa’s tech ecosystem, paving the way for more ingenious startups to emerge. Additionally, the success of such companies has increased investor confidence as more venture capitalists are looking to tap into the market.

In 2023, Africa’s tech market experienced a readjustment of investments across the continent, particularly amongst the nations that have come to be known as the big four tech markets. This deduction is according to ‘Africa: The Big Deal’, a tech research firm.

According to the research firm, the tech financing distribution among Africa’s four largest tech markets; Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa, is starting to balance out.

For some time now, Nigeria has taken a commanding lead in the amount of funds invested in its tech market, however, in 2023, Kenya overtook Nigeria, gaining the highest amount of tech funds on the continent. Additionally, the report shows that for the first time in a while, tech funding across the four markets was distributed relatively equally.

“In 2023, the ‘Big Four’ attracted 87% of all the start-up funding in Africa, their largest share since 2019. They were home to 71% (357 out of 500) of the start-ups who raised $100k or more on the continent last year. Given their weight, their ranking pretty much mirrors the regional one, with Nigeria’s story quite different from the others,” the report read in part.

“With just under $800m raised in 2023, Kenya attracted the most funding, 28% of the continent’s total. While it suffered a decline (-25% YoY), its share of Eastern Africa’s funding grew from 86% in 2022 to 91% in 2023. 93 start-ups raised $100k or more during the period (19% of Africa’s total),” the report adds.

Nigeria had the most glaring change, going from $1.2 billion in 2022 to $410 million in 2023, the lowest of the big four, despite having 146 start-ups during the year, the highest of the big four.

As for Egypt, it had about 48 ventures, which raised $100k+ in 2023, the lowest number out of the Big Four. However, it had a total funding of $640 million, the second highest after Egypt, It is also home to the unicorn MNT-Halan which raised over $400 million by itself.

And, finally, in South Africa, it boasted 70 start-ups that raised at least $100,000 in capital totaling $600 million in funding for 2023.


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