Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya dominate list of top 50 African startups to watch in 2019

Digest Africa, a firm which seeks to organize all the information and data about Africa’s tech startup ecosystem then disseminate it in ways that are easier to consume and understand, has released the list of its Top 50 Startups to watch in 2019. The listing, called Digest Africa NEXT50, is intended to make it easier for some of Africa’s promising startups to be noticed and recognised.

“The list is a selection of the 50 African startups we are confident have the potential to take off and become the ‘NEXT’ high-flyers. As we highlight these startups, we also create opportunities for them in terms of follow-on funding, strategic partners as well as customers or users,” states Digist Africa.

“We follow a strict criterion which involves only considering startups that were founded not more than two years ago. This means that for the 2018 list, we considered those that were founded not earlier than January 1, 2017. Startups founded in that period but have raised over $1 million in funding – like Kobo360 – aren’t considered also. Please note that the startups are arranged in alphabetical order.”

The Digest Africa NEXT50 list is dominated by startups from Egypt with 24 per cent (12 startups), Nigeria at 20 per cent (10 startups), followed by Kenya at 12 per cent (with 6 startups on the list).

Below are the summaries and statistics of the entire list.


The list was dominated by startups from the Financial Services industry followed by those in the Transportation and Logistics sector:

All the 50 startups came from only 16 countries and Egypt dominated the list with 24% followed by Nigeria at 20%:

Digest Africa considered startups that have been active for 2 years or less and those from 2017 occupied the biggest chunk in the listing:

In total, the startups raised $7 million in funding last year. The list was led by Mali’s Teliman and Egypt’s Fakahany at $700,000 each. We excluded startup that with undisclosed funding or that never raised for the graph chart below:

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