This is according to the latest edition of Disrupt Africa’s Finnovating for Africa publication, released every two years since June 2017, which tracks the extraordinary development of the fintech ecosystem across Africa over the last few years.
The fourth edition of the report is released in partnership with AZA Finance, an African fintech company offering secure and efficient financial infrastructure for payments, foreign exchange, and settlement; and Curacel, an insurance infrastructure company that helps insurers and partners in Africa and other emerging markets increase the reach and functionality of insurance through cloud-based tools and APIs.
It finds that fintech is still comfortably the most-populated vertical within Africa’s wider tech ecosystem, having maintained its steady growth over the last two years. The growth rate of 17.7 per cent to 678 ventures from 576 in 2021 is similar to that witnessed between 2019 and 2017, when the number of active ventures increased by 17.3 per cent. Overall, the number of fintech startups active in Africa has increased by 125.2 per cent between 2017 and 2023.
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 course of 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 maintained growth trajectory of the African fintech startup ecosystem is even more impressive when one considers the relatively high churn rate within the sector. Of the 576 startups included in the 2021 edition of this report, 115 – 20 per cent – have since ceased to operate.
“It is clear that African fintech is in its prime, driving forward financial inclusion and powering the commercial revolution occurring on the continent,” said Disrupt Africa co-founder Tom Jackson