April 16, 2024
Kenya, Nigeria & Egypt Lead Agrifoodtech Investment in Africa

Africa’s agrifoodtech sector has been the epicenter of investment activity in recent years, with significant contributions from Kenya, Nigeria, and Egypt. In 2022, these nations collectively raised a staggering 86% of all funding for African agrifoodtech startups. This enduring dominance, despite economic challenges, underscores the pivotal role these countries play in advancing the region’s food and agriculture startup ecosystem.

This data snapshot delves into the pivotal role that Kenya, Nigeria, and Egypt have played in the African agrifoodtech landscape. It provides a comprehensive overview of their contributions, highlighting key trends and significant developments within the sector.

A Decade of Leadership

Over the past decade, Kenya, Nigeria, and Egypt have consistently led the way in attracting investment to the agrifoodtech sector. Together, these three nations have secured 76% of the total funding directed to the region, amassing over $1.3 billion in investments. In 2022, their dominance reached new heights, with an impressive 86% of the total funding, amounting to $546.8 million out of the $636 million raised across the continent.

Kenya’s Ascension

Kenya and Nigeria have been engaged in a competitive race for dominance within the agrifoodtech sector, with Kenya emerging as the front-runner in 2022. The Kenyan startup ecosystem outpaced Nigeria in both dollar totals and the number of deals, securing $280 million across 38 funding rounds. Notable contributions came from significant deals, such as Wasoko’s $125 million Series B round, backed by Tiger Global and Avenir. Wasoko’s technology serves as a bridge, connecting small shops selling essential goods to the digital economy, and its raise represented a significant 67% of all In-Store Retail & Restaurant Tech fundraising in Africa for the year 2022.

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Nigerian agrifoodtech deals, while similar in number to Kenya, amounted to $154 million across 35 deals in 2022. ThriveAgric, an agribusiness marketplace, played a prominent role in Nigeria’s funding landscape, securing a substantial $55 million round and claiming the title of the largest deal in the Agribusiness Marketplaces category.

In the first half of 2023, Kenya and Nigeria remained neck and neck, raising almost the same amount of funding, with Kenya securing $41 million and Nigeria securing $45 million, respectively. Kenya’s agrifoodtech startups have particularly excelled in fundraising over the past decade, amassing an impressive $608 million. This sum represents a third of the total funding directed towards African agrifoodtech since 2013.

Egypt’s Evolution

Egypt also emerged as a prominent player in the African agrifoodtech landscape, securing $112 million in 2022 through 24 deals. However, despite these promising figures, the report highlights a deceleration in funding for Egypt, notably in the first half of 2023. During this period, agrifoodtech startups in Egypt raised a mere $700,000, a stark contrast to the over $15 million they secured in the first half of 2022. Egypt’s situation serves as a reminder that maintaining momentum and investment interest is a continuous challenge in the dynamic agrifoodtech sector.

Contrasting Landscapes

While Kenya, Nigeria, and Egypt have been the trailblazers in agrifoodtech investment, other African nations present a different investment landscape. In 2022, funding deal sizes in countries outside of these three were notably smaller. Mauritius recorded the most substantial deal among these nations, amounting to $19 million.

South Africa, traditionally a pivotal market for Africa, faced the adverse impacts of a prolonged economic crisis. In 2022, the country secured just $18 million across 15 deals, reflecting a near-flat increase in the number of deals and an 18.5% drop in funding amounts compared to the previous year. Ethiopia, where agriculture contributes 40% to GDP, featured only minimally in the investment landscape, underscoring the uneven distribution of agrifoodtech investment across the continent.

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Conclusion

The dynamism of Africa’s agrifoodtech sector is evident in the significant investments made in Kenya, Nigeria, and Egypt. These nations have consistently led the way in attracting capital and fostering innovation within the sector. Their contributions have propelled the African agrifoodtech landscape to new heights, emphasizing its strategic importance in addressing the region’s food and agriculture challenges.

However, as the report indicates, maintaining this momentum and overcoming economic challenges are ongoing endeavors. The experiences of Egypt and the contrasting landscapes in other African nations underscore the complexities and nuances of the agrifoodtech investment environment. The future of agrifoodtech in Africa will likely continue to evolve, presenting new opportunities and challenges as the sector matures.

This data snapshot sheds light on the remarkable journey of Kenya, Nigeria, and Egypt within the agrifoodtech space and serves as a reminder of the broader investment trends that shape the African landscape.

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