Venture Investors See Promise In African Startups

Home to 5 of the world’s top 12 fastest-growing economies and a rapidly expanding mobile money landscape, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that venture investors are now looking to Africa for the latest crop of undiscovered startups.

This quarter, some of the first later stage rounds seen for African e-commerce companies Konga and Jumia pushed total venture money raised by African startups in Q4 to nearly $200 million — an unprecedented amount.

Today’s $16 million for renewable electricity company Off Grid Electric marks by far the largest round recorded by a startup out of Tanzania to date.

According to our data, South Africa leads the way for number of venture rounds seen in the past four years, followed by Nigeria, Kenya, and Egypt.

The money raised by Jumia alone makes Egypt the country with the most venture dollars invested to date, but South Africa follows at a close second thanks to Tiger Global-backed and e-commerce retailer Zando that raised $25 million from Summit Partners back in 2012.

We do our best to keep tabs on all global startup activity, but we know we’re not catching everything. As startup and funding activity in emerging tech hubs across Africa continues to grow, we want to be able to track its progress — and we need your help!

If you are a startup based in Africa, make sure your CrunchBase profile is up-to-date with the latest funding information, and don’t forget to add a location and any venture funding you’ve raised so we can include you in our analysis.

If you are an Africa-based accelerator or venture firm, you can join the CrunchBase Venture Program and we’ll be glad to update the profiles of all of your portfolio companies for you.

If you have any questions, feel free to shoot us an email — we appreciate all of your feedback.


  • Originally published December 9, 2014, updated April 26, 2023