Despite the global venture capital downturn, the African technology ecosystem grew faster than all other markets globally, attracted an 8 per cent growth in funding, a new report has shown.
In its annual report, Africa Tech Venture Capital, Partech Africa, a VC fund dedicated to technology startups in Africa, noted that the total ecosystem raked in $6.5 billion.
The report showed that debt funding doubled in volume to $1.5 billion, accounting for nearly a quarter of the total funding. Fintech, still leading, attracted 39 per cent of the total equity volume, while Nigeria retained the top spot with 23 per cent.
The report, which aims to provide a practical picture of the state of the ecosystem, revealed that despite the global VC downturn, the African tech ecosystem grew faster than all other markets globally.
The total funding invested into tech startups on the continent ($6.5 billion) is an increase of 8 per cent vs 2021, spread across 764 deals, compared to 724 rounds in 2021.
The report, consisting of disclosed and confidential deals, saw debt funding more than double in volume, reaching $1.55 billion through 71 deals (65 per cent Year-on-Year growth). In comparison, equity rounds showed a slight decline, as 653 African tech startups raised $4.9 billion [-6 per cent] in 693 equity rounds [2 per cent YoY growth].
Focusing on equity funding, the report revealed the ecosystem was still accelerating during Q1 and Q2 of 2022 compared to 2021, with the YoY comparison showing Q1 and Q2 at 127 per cent growth YoY and 83 per cent YoY, respectively. However, the global VC slowdown stifled growth in activity in Q3 (-65 per cent YoY) and Q4 (-35 per cent YoY). In 2022, fundraising activities remained flat across all stages.
At $1.4 million, Seed+ ticket sizes averaged higher in 2022 (+12 per cent YoY), while Series A remained the same at $8.5 million. Later stages reverted to 2019 levels, as Series B and Growth round sizes dropped by -23 per cent and -50 per cent YoY, respectively. In addition, 2022 witnessed a significant reduction in the number of megadeals (deals over 100 million], with only seven deals compared to 14 in 2021.
Overall, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, and Kenya remain the top investment destinations in Africa, with a share of total volume staying relatively steady at 72 per cent.
Nigeria retained the top rank, bringing in $1.2 billion in capital, despite a decline of 36 per cent from 2021; South Africa, Egypt, and Kenya each attracted over $0.7 billion in funding, with Ghana completing the top 5 with just over $0.2 billion. Overall, 28 countries attracted equity funding in 2022, 13 of them in Francophone Africa.
In light of the market downturn, the report’s findings also revealed that Fintech, which has historically attracted sizable investments, was the most impacted by the slowdown in the number of large rounds.
However, fintech remains the most funded sector in Africa, and this is across all sources of capital, with 39 per cent of the total equity volume ($1.9 billion) and 45 per cent of the total debt volume [$691 million].
Other sectors have experienced substantial growth and gained a meaningful share of the equity funding activity this year, most notably Cleantech, which made a big comeback with 18 per cent of total equity funding at $863 million [+347 per cent YoY] but also 39 per cent of the total debt funding at $605 million.
Speaking on the launch of the annual report, Mr Tidjane Deme, General Partner at Partech, said: “2022 was a particularly challenging year for the venture ecosystem worldwide, as venture and growth investors scaled back their investment by a third.”
“However, by comparison, our report revealed the African tech ecosystem showed great resilience, as more investors have doubled their commitment to the continent by investing in local teams and funds dedicated to the market, which is proving to be the best way forward,” he added.