Two years ago, the African tech ecosystem saw newfound attention from global players that translated to the continent’s best year ofreceiving venture capital. From varying sources, it is estimated up to $2 billion went into African tech startups in 2019.
With high-profile visits from the most famous Jacks (Ma and Dorsey), a long-awaited first IPO by e-commerce giant Jumia and massive $100 million rounds, it was a sign of things to come for African tech.
But two months into 2020, the pandemic did an excellent job of lowering expectations as investment activities from local and international investors slowed down.
It wasn’t a bad year, though. African startups nearly raised $1.5 billion and saw a couple of fascinating exits: Stripe-Paystack and WorldRemit-Sendwave.
Entering 2021, the bullishness of African tech stakeholders returned — and why not? As businesses reopened globally and the pandemic drove people to adopt new habits in e-commerce, work, spending money, online delivery, and learning, venture capital into various industries was poised to increase immensely, and Africa would not be exempt.
Predictions were made on how much the continent’s startups would raise in December. AfricArena, a tech ecosystem accelerator, pegged deals to close between $2.25 billion and $2.8 billion. Stephen Deng, the co-founder and partner of DFS Lab, a firm that invests in digital commerce startups, serially compared the 2016 Southeast Asia funding landscape to where Africa might be in 2021, at $3 billion.