West African Startup Decade Report: A story of entrepreneurship and innovation

West Africa’s Internet startup boom began in the early 2010s when the likes of Co-creation Hub and CTIC Dakar were established in Lagos, Nigeria and Dakar, Senegal, respectively.

The region has since become a major force in the African Internet space, witnessing deals like Visa’s $200 million investment in Interswitch, a payment company with headquarters in Nigeria. Another interesting deal was Stripe’s acquisition of Paystack— Stripe paid over $200 million for the Nigerian-based payment company. 

Despite some of these landmark events, there’s no record of the activities of Internet startups in the West African region over the years.

Release of the West African Startup Decade Report

“From the beginning, Techpoint Africa has been committed to providing adequate and verified information on startups in Africa,” affirmed Adewale Yusuf, Techpoint Africa, Founder and CEO. “We extended that responsibility in 2018 when we started the Nigerian Startup Funding Report, to provide detailed and comprehensive reports about the funding activities of Nigerian startups.”

Also in 2018, the Intelligence by Techpoint team commenced data gathering and verification for the West African Startup Decade Report to give accurate information on the funding activities of startups in the region from 2010 to 2019.

“We are aware that one can’t predict the future of a market without looking at its past,” Yusuf said, “so the team worked with the most accurate data on startups in the region over the past ten years.”

The past ten years have seen the rise of startup entrepreneurs in the region with funding interests from North American, European, and Asian investors. Still, there hasn’t been a report that carefully observes and analyzes startup activities.

“We have been curating the activities of African startups and innovation in the last five years and there are people on the team that have been active in the African technology space over the last decade,” Yusuf said, commenting on why Techpoint Africa is in the best position to release the West African Startup Decade Report.

Techpoint Africa believes that this report will give insights into the types of startups that thrive in the region, their founders, the investors they attract, and the sectors they play in.

Beyond releasing the report in English, Techpoint Africa partners have translated the report to Mandarin and Japanese.

Some of the insights in the report include a West African technology market overview, a breakdown of funding activities by industries, and a comparison between accelerated and non-accelerated West African startups. Some industries, founders, opportunities, and investors in the region are also spotlighted. 

Other insights include a breakdown of founders by gender, experience, education, and origin. Also highlighted is the relationship between the number of founders and the amount raised, as well as the investment deals they participated in. 

Click here to download the West African Startup Decade Report in English.

About Techpoint Africa

Techpoint Africa is a technology company that amplifies the best innovations out of Africa through its media, data, events, and tech-focused platforms.

Founded in 2015, Techpoint Africa has grown to become one of the most notable brands across Africa’s tech, startup, and business ecosystem, with a growing and dedicated audience of investors, startups, developers, professionals, and African tech enthusiasts.

Techpoint Africa hosts a variety of events, all-day seminars, and conferences, which have been host to the likes of Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square; Andre Iguodala, NBA star and tech investor; and Funke Opeke, CEO of MainOne among others.

About Intelligence by Techpoint

Intelligence by Techpoint is in charge of the Nigerian Startup Funding Report, a detailed and comprehensive report on the funding activities of Nigerian startups. Intelligence by Techpoint also offers research consultancy services to businesses and institutes.

  • Originally published October 21, 2020, updated October 12, 2021