Morocco's Startup Funding Reached All-Time High in 2021
Rabat - Moroccan startups raised a record figure of MAD 269 million ($29 million) in 2021, according to Techcabal, a leading platform in African startup news.
The figure attests to the pro-market business environment Morocco has been cultivating in recent years. Still, it remains relatively low in comparison to the $100 million startups raised in Egypt, according to the same source.
Hostile bureaucracy and lack of Fintech innovation are among the factors accounting for the margin between Morocco and Egypt, explains the report.
Despite the continuous efforts to simplify paperwork for startups in Morocco, procedures remain a “killer administrative process.” Gaining access to global services such as ads on Google and Facebook is not straightforward either.
Startups have to pay taxes or apply for a special authorization when they want to have access to services outside of their immediate markets.
Adding to the bureaucracy is the language barrier. Morocco, similar to other North African countries, belongs to Francophone Africa. With most foreign investors speaking English, finding investors for Moroccan startups is complicated, according to Techcabal.
Morocco has some of the highest rates of internet connectivity on the African continent, with 74% of the population having internet access, putting it at an advantage to work remotely. Yet, the startup ecosystem suffers a severe lack of funding.
Lack of funding drives many startups to go bankrupt within their first year, according to Digest Africa, a research firm.
Adding to the woes of Moroccan startups is that they often lack access to the expertise and data they need to grow and prosper.
Morocco has several capital funds for startups, such as Maroc Numeric Fund II. However, international investments are crucial for Morocco’s startup ecosystem to reach its full potential.