African start-ups raised over Ksh. 600 Billion ($5.2 billion) in venture capital funds in 2021. This was a huge rebound from a pandemic-induced dip in 2020 and represented a nearly five-fold increase in investments. This was  according to data released by the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association .

This followed success of companies like Nigeria’s Paystack, which was acquired in 2020 by US payments firm Stripe, and  Flutterwave, valued at over Sh346.6 billion ($3 billion), has fueled international interest in up-and-coming businesses on the continent.

Much of the investor focus has been on fintech start-ups seeking to meet the needs of the continent’s largely unbanked population. The data compiled by AVCA showed the financial sector accounted for 60 percent of the investments by value and nearly a third of deals by volume.

Nigeria, was the leading destination for venture capital in Africa last year, surpassing South Africa, the continent’s most developed economy. Most venture capital deals were concentrated in early-stage funding rounds. However, late-stage funding ballooned in 2021, including a nearly 40-fold increase in financing raised by Series C fundraising rounds.

Fintechs Chipper Cash, MFS Africa, Yoco, and OPay together raised Sh96.2 billion ($833 million) via Series C funding rounds.

The African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA), which promotes private investment on the continent indicated that African startups raised more in 2021 alone than the preceding seven years combined.