Disclosed by Disrupt Africa in its ‘Finnovating for Africa 2023’, the report informed that African fintech startups grew by 17.7 per cent over the past two years, to 678.
According to the report, this was similar to the 17.3 per cent growth between 2019 and 2019 and between 2017 and 2023 overall. the number of fintech startups active in Africa increased by 1 Po25.2 per cent.Finnovating for Africa 2023, said: “Total investment per year has been on a fairly steady upward trajectory since 2016, yet growth has been especially impressive in the last two years. The number of funded ventures has almost doubled since 2021 and more than $2.7 billion has flooded into the ecosystem in the last 24 months.”
Further analysis of the report by connectingafrica.com, showed that since 2015, 540 fintech startups from 25 countries have raised over $3.6 billion, three times more than any other sector.
According to the report, this growth is taking place across the continent, with all major markets bar South Africa posting an increase in the number of active ventures.
Egypt and Nigeria are growing especially fast, with the number of fintech companies based in those countries leaping by 66.7 per cent and 50 per cent respectively over the last two years.
“Startups continue to launch at a steady rate. Almost 40 per cent of currently active fintech ventures were launched between 2019 and 2021 and though numbers for 2022 and 2023 look lower for now, there will undoubtedly be many startups that formed more recently that have yet to flick across our radar,” the report noted.
Disrupt Africa identified fintech startups operating across 25 African countries, with three new fintech markets emerging for the first time in the 2023 edition of this report Burkina Faso, Lesotho and Namibia.
The report observed that the number of ventures per country ranges from one in places such as Algeria, Burkina Faso and Mali to 217 in Nigeria, which over the last couple of years has overtaken South Africa to become Africa’s most fintech-populated country.
It pointed out that South Africa has been the most populated market since Disrupt Africa data began, but has now fallen to second, with 140 ventures. This accounted for 20.6 per cent of Africa’s 678 fintech startups, behind Nigeria’s 32 per cent. Kenya falls into third place with 102 companies in operation – 15 per cent of the total.
Accordingly, almost 68 per cent of Africa’s fintechs are located in the “big three” markets of Nigeria, South Africa, or Kenya, a percentage share that barely differs from a 67.9 per cent share in 2021 and 65.2 per cent in 2019.
In terms of the gender balance of founders, the report informed that the fintech market is lagging in the space.
It explained that under 15 per cent of the fintech startups tracked by the 2023 report had at least one female co-founder, and only 7.7 per cent were led by a female CEO.
These percentages, according to Disrupt Africa, mean fintech ranks below e-commerce and retail-tech, e-health, edtech, logistics, and recruitment and HR when it comes to gender diversity.
To compare with the ecosystem-wide average, 14.6 per cent of African tech start-ups have at least one female co-founder, while only 9.6 per cent have a female CEO.
Meanwhile the report noted that despite the sector’s strong growth, it also has a relatively high churn rate. Of the 576 start-ups included in Disrupt Africa’s 2021 report, 20 per cent have since ceased to operate. Between 2019 and 2021, 22.2 per cent of fintech ventures closed their doors, and between 2017 and 2019, another 23.2 per cent shuttered.
“The closure rate appears to be slowly falling, but remains high, something which is to be expected in a popular yet cluttered space that has so much potential but so many pitfalls,” Disrupt Africa said.