African tech startups raised $780m in H1 2024, the lowest half-year funding since 2020

Ejike Kanife
Kenya displaces Nigeria as top African tech startup funding destination 
Why startups in Africa have now raised more funding in 2022 than last year

The African startup funding winter has continued to bite harder as African tech startups raised $780 million in the first half of 2024 This was disclosed in the first half funding report by African funding analytics company, Africa the Big Deal.

Per the report, the total H1 2024 funding represents a 31 per cent decline from the total funding attracted in the second half of 2023. But it looks even worse if compared with the total funding numbers from the first half of 2023, representing an even steeper 57 per cent decline. 

Indeed, African tech startup funding between January and June 2024 is the lowest recorded since the second half of 2020, indicating how much funding into the continent continues to decline.

Two-thirds of the total $780 million funding ($513 million- representing 66 per cent) was raised using equity. This is an improvement compared to only 60 per cent in 2023. 33 per cent came in the form of debts, a decline compared to 38 per cent in 2023. One per cent of the total funding came in the form of grants.

Two-thirds of this funding was in the form of equity, and a third was debt. As for 2023, this is a much higher share of debt than what we’d been seeing in the past (17% on average since 2019),” the report says.

African tech startups raised $780m in H1 2024, the lowest half-year funding since 2020
Credit: Africa the Big Deal

Kenya displaces Nigeria as top African tech startup funding destination 

Per the report, Kenya was the choicest destination for funding as it accounted for $244 million of the total sum. This represents a 32% share. Nigeria comes second. with $172 million -representing 23% of the total.

Egypt accounted for $101 million of the total funding representing 13 per cent while South Africa rounds off the Big 4 with $85 million attracted in funding representing 11 per cent of the total. 

Together, the Big 4 tech startup ecosystems raised $602 million of the total $780 million raised on the continent between January and June 2024. This represents 79 per cent of total funding.

4 out of 5 dollars invested in start-ups in Africa went to ventures based in the Big Four. This is high, but not the highest we’ve seen (92% back in H1 2023). A third of all the funding went to Kenya alone,” the report noted.

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Other African countries that attracted at least 10 million in funding include Benin Republique with $50 million, Ghana with $29 million, Uganda with $19 million, Morocco with $14 million and Senegal with $11 million.

The Transport and Logistics sector has continued to edge financial technology, attracting $218 million. This represents an outstanding 28 per cent of the total H1 2024 funding. This was bolstered by two of the three largest deals announced in H1 (Moove and Spiro) belonging in that space. 

The Fintech sector attracted $186 million representing 24 per cent of the total while Energy and Water raised $132 million representing 17 per cent of the total. Though fintech came only second in the amount raised, it stayed in the lead in terms of the number of start-ups raising $1 million or more during the period (30).

Male-led startups dominate H1 African tech startup funding

Despite best efforts to bring some degree of gender parity into the African tech startup funding space, it appears male-led startups have continued to dominate the space. In the first half of 2024, 85 per cent of the funding went to startups without a single female founder on the team.

Similarly, 92 per cent of the funding went to startups with a male Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In total, 98 per cent of the funding went to startups with at least one male founder while only 15 per cent went to startups with at least one female founder. Only 8 per cent of funding went to startups with a female CEO. This disparity needs to change.

See also: Climate tech edges fintech, attracts 45% of Africa startup funding in 2024 so far


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