Startups in Africa have already raised more money in 2018 than they did last year

Fintech startups like Branch have raised the largest funding amounts across the continent.
Fintech startups like Branch have raised the largest funding amounts across the continent.
Image: Reuters/Thomas Mukoya/Illustration
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This is turning out to be a great year for African startups seeking funding.

Halfway through the year, with 118 deals completed, startup funding on the continent has reached $168.6 millionsurpassing last year’s total of $167.7 million, according to a report by WeeTracker. The total funding is also nearly a four-fold increase on the $47.2 million raised in the first half of 2017.

Fintech remains the most attractive sector as investors continue to bet on the promise of startups focused on making payments and banking easier in Africa.

Fintech also accounts for four of the 10 largest deals completed this year, receiving $95 million in funding—more than half of total amount raised on the continent. In the two largest deal Cellulant, a digital payments solutions company which operates in 11 African countries, raise $47.5 million in its Series C round while Branch, an online micro-lending platform, has raised $20 million.

Even though Nigeria was the biggest funding destination for volume of deals with 29 completed, Kenya accounted for the most funds raised with $82.8 millionnearly three times the total of funding received by Nigerian startups.

As different reports on startup funding in Africa are released annually, the total amounts differ based on methodology. Last year, Disrupt Africa’s pegged total startup funding at $195 million while Partech Ventures annual funding report—which includes startups that have a primary market in Africa whether or not they are headquartered or incorporated on the continent—showed that $560 million was raised last year. For its part, while it tracks companies incorporated in Africa and companies incorporated elsewhere but have their primary focus on Africa, WeeTracker does not include major private equity deals in fields like manufacturing in its reports, says Nayantara Jha, the managing editor.