Funding StartUps; The East African Version.

Startup funding in Africa has significantly increased due to the large market size of a young population and rapid urbanisation among others. This has led to the production of a number of unicorns from the continent. Most of these are based in the North and West of the continent.

In this article i shade a light on how East Africa has fared and where we stand in this African tech ecosystem especially in term of startup funding.

Facts; As of 2019, Startups in East Africa received $255M, 19% of the African total. 2020 saw a drastic increase to $646M, or 38% of the African total startup Funds. This increase created optimism of a new tech frontier emerging on the Indian  Ocean Coast to counter predominant African tech power houses mainly on the Western Coast ( Ghana, Nigeria ) and North of the Sahara ( Egypt). Kenya was  East African leader in both Years receiving $185M in 2019 and $553M in 2020 equating to 72% and 86% of the East African total funding for the respective years. 2021 had a  surprise for fellow optimists, East Africa  received only 13% of the African total startup funding ($571M), the value of funding raised by East African entrepreneurs as a proportion of total deal value in Africa fell by more than half. This on the backdrop of an explosion in African Startup funding elsewhere on the continent with the so called ” African tech Home coming”. For context, in the continent, the total amount raised by African startups more than quadrupled to $5.2 billion from $1.1 billion in 2020 helped by a surge in venture capital (VC) deal activities in Nigeria like Flutter Wave an Nigerian fintech which was valued at over a Billion dollars after raising over $170M by March 2021. This is just one of many around the continent.

Then came 2022, So far so good, by that i mean better, chart topping, record setting!. East Africa as of the 1st quarter of the year has received over $845M in startup funding a 31% share of the African total with the usual suspect taking the lions share; Kenya $784M, 93%. With the second quarter in motion, new interesting and innovative startups emerging in the region, more support from partners and stakeholders, East African may be well on its way to produce its first Unicorn not far from now.

Here is a round up of how much specific countries have received in startup funding since 2019.


Amount( in $)


1.9B +


152M +


125M +


46M +


23M +

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