Africa’s ‘Big Four’ Startup Ecosystems

The African continent has seen a rise in investments in startups and new technologies, especially since the beginning of the pandemic. 2022 saw a record year for funding with $4.85 billion, a 7.6% increase from 2021.

Out of the 54 countries in Africa, four countries led funding rounds last year, making up 75% of total investments. South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Egypt, known as the “big four”, have established themselves as the leaders of the African tech startup scene.

South Africa
Africa’s southernmost country has the most mature startup ecosystem today. Unlike its fellow leaders that have one or two startup hubs, South Africa’s tech hubs are spread between four different cities, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Port Elizabeth.

The tech and startup scene has grown in recent years thanks to an overall increased belief that technology can help tackle the challenges of sluggish economic growth and high rates of unemployment in the country. More investments from the government and South African corporations are also helping the sector pick up.

Total startups: 490

Jobs created: 11,000

Top sector: Fintech

Startups to watch:

Ozow, an online payment platform that facilitates e-commerce without the need for a credit card.
Click2Sure, cloud-based insurance saas and winner of the VivaTech AfricaTech Awards 2022.
Aerobotics, agricultural and farming startup that uses AI, software, drones, and machine learning to provide insights to growers.

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