Big Four African Nations Dominate Start-Up Funding, Nigeria Sees Drastic Decline in 2023

Big Four nations dominate African start-up funding; Nigeria faces sharp decline, securing lowest regional share.

In 2023, Kenya, Egypt, South Africa, and Nigeria, collectively known as the ‘Big Four,’ secured 87% of all start-up funding in Africa, marking their largest share since 2019, according to the ‘Africa: The Big Deal‘ report. Key highlights include:

  • Kenya: Led the continent with just under $800 million, constituting 28% of Africa’s total funding. Despite a 25% YoY decline, Kenya’s share in Eastern Africa increased from 86% in 2022 to 91% in 2023.
  • Egypt: Claimed the second spot with 48 start-ups raising $100k or more in 2023. Despite a 20% YoY decline, Egypt’s share of North African funding grew substantially from 72% in 2022 to 95% in 2023.
  • South Africa: Maintained dominance, securing a 97% share of regional funding. Experienced an 8% YoY increase in total funding, with 70 start-ups raising $100k or more.
  • Nigeria: Faced a drastic change as total funding plummeted by 67% to $410 million. While still leading in the number of start-ups (146, 29% of the continent), Nigeria’s share of Western African funding dropped to 68%, the lowest among the Big Four.

Despite Big Four dominance, the report emphasizes a growing entrepreneurial landscape beyond these countries, with 29% of start-ups raising $100k or more located outside the Big Four.

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