Africa Is The Next Frontier For VCs As Startup Funding Has Increased

By Staff Published: April 30, 2017, 10:25 am
VCsStartups from Kenya, Uganda and South Africa participate in a workshop during the $200K Zambezi Prize Competition. Image: Venture Beat

Venture Capitalists are becoming more and more interested in investing in African startups, and this is only expected to increase over the next few years. According to Clarium Capital founder Peter Thiel, entrepreneurs should look for secrets where no one is looking and turn them into business opportunities. Thiel says it best in his book: “The road doesn’t have to be infinite after all. Take the hidden paths.”

One of those hidden paths leads to Africa, a market that remains unknown to most VCs. And yet African startups are expected to raise more than a billion dollars by 2018. According to Partech Ventures, the VC funding raised by African startups reached $367 million dollars in 2016, representing a 33 percent year-over-year growth. In fact, fundraising by African startups has grown by an explosive factor of 8.7x over the past four years.

Story from Venture Beat. Story by Ali Diallo.

Doing business in Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa in particular, is not for the fainthearted. However, in this part of the world more than any others, obstacles are golden opportunities in disguise.

For instance, cross-border payment inefficiency is giving birth to innovative models such as MFS Africa and First Access’ microfinance platforms, while a looming energy crisis has prompted international superstar Akon to propose a complete redesign of the traditional solar energy approach. In Nigeria, a company called MDaaS (for Medical Devices as a Service) is addressing the lack of access to quality medical equipment by pioneering a new healthcare distribution model. In Uganda, a company called Tugende is fixing the broken motorcycle financing system with its unique lease-to-own model.

Opportunities are waiting for those that have the courage to get out of the living room and to stop judging places based on TV, says Amnesty’s Global Council member Bassim Haidar, whose fintech group is powering mobile loan transactions that amount to more than $2 million a day in Nigeria alone.

 

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