Kenya has set itself apart as the leading startup hub in East Africa. Is it a country to watch? Yes. From a general perspective, over 20 heads of state from EAC and the Rest of Africa attended H.E. William Ruto’s Inauguration. I don’t know about you, but I last heard some country names in High school i.e. Comoros. Building political friendships is as important as building ecosystem / industry friendships.
The little swimsuit-shaped country in the East has attracted a lot of tech-related attention since the successful launch of M-Pesa, a mobile banking service that allows users to store and transfer money through their mobile phones.
We have observed great milestones from Start-ups based in Kenya such as;
- 2022 – Sun King, a solar provider with operations across Africa and Asia, raised $260 million in Series D funding, and Wasoko, a B2B retail, and e-commerce platform, raised $125 million in Series B funding. MarketForce, a retail B2B and end-to-end distribution platform, raised $40 million in Series A funding and raised over US$2 million in pre-Series A funding in 2021.
- 2021 – AI Company Gro Intelligence raised an $85 million Series B round, and Agri-tech venture Twiga Foods raised $50 million in Series C. These two companies accounted for 46.2 percent of Kenya’s annual funds. Twiga foods announced a $50 million Series C round to scale its efforts in Africa. This funding comes after the company’s $30 million Series B round in 2019. According to Crunchbase, Twiga has raised more than $100 million in both debt and equity financing rounds.
As observed by Max Cuvellier, about $820 million has been raised by start-ups in Kenya as of June 2022. Since 2019, Kenya’s investment ecosystem has seen a growth spurt of 443%. Kenya has raised a cumulative $1.9 Billion in funds since 2019 while Tanzania and Uganda came in close with $170 million and $129 million respectively.
With the conclusion of the election, the Nairobi Stock Exchange reported a gain of up to $350 million. Hopefully, this is a sign that Investors have resumed the search for Africa’s next unicorn.