Faster deals, less diligence: The African startup market mirrors its larger rivals

New data indicates that African startups have already outraised all known prior years, meaning 2021 is sure to be a record. But, more importantly, the pace at which African startups are raising money in 2021 is accelerating, with September data indicating that it was perhaps the best month ever.


Given that venture capitalists are putting more money to work in Africa this year as the quarters tick along, it’s reasonable to anticipate that 2022 could bring even greater total venture investment to the continent.

Investors told The Exchange that their investment pace is picking up tempo and prices are rising. But it’s not all good news on the African front. There may be a dearth of late-stage checks despite a surfeit of early-stage deals, and the African startup economy remains weighted toward a single country (Nigeria) and category (fintech).

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