With an expansive digital innovation scene whose attributes intersect across the continent’s 54 countries and 1.2 billion people, Africa’s technology potential is garnering a cornucopia of attention.
The monetary value of the region’s tech ecosystem could be a pinch compared to the standards set by Shenzhen or Silicon Valley, but it’s exponential growth year after year promises a much more sophisticated future.
The volume, as well as expansion of V.C.s, tech hubs, startup information and angel groups, makes Africa one of the fastest-growing tech markets in the world. Nearly USD 1 Bn was invested in the continent in 2018, and much more is expected in venture capital this year.
For the same reason large corporates and tech titans are pumping millions into the continent, these angels are betting their money on Africa’s developing tech.
Founder and CEO of Paga, a leading mobile payments company in Nigeria, Tayo Oviosu is a tech entrepreneur willing to put his money into very sector he operates in. With no less than 200 employees, 11,000 agents across Africa’s largest economy, and 6 million users for his fintech brainchild, Tayo understands the potential in the digital landscape of the continent.
Aside from being one of the most-seen faces in the continent’s startup scene, Tayo is also an angel, and he has invested in ChopUp, a Lagos-based gaming startup, alongside four other investors. Tayo has also put his money into luxury teas firm YsWara and fruit value chain company Reelfruit.
Based in South Africa, Michael Jordaan is the former chief executive of First National Bank. Although he announced some time ago that his portfolio is full and not accepting any more applications, he remains one of the most popular investors in S.A.
The Stellenbosch-based initiative, via his venture capital firm Montegray Capital, has invested in Rain – South Africa’s first data-focused network bringing one of the most competitive internet rates in the continent.
Jordaan has also invested in Snapplify, an online textbook delivery company, and the same country’s mobility startup GoMetro. The angel investor has also aided the establishment of Bank Zero, a South African digital bank.
Africa Media Ventures
With well-founded and hard-nosed connections with the Netherlands, Africa Media Ventures stands an angel investment platform that backs entrepreneurs in Africa’s media sector, as well as affiliated Small and Medium-sized companies. The financial initiative typically invests between USD 20 K and USD 200 K, and has an intrinsic focus on promising startups from Kenya and Ghana.
However, the bulk of its investments cut across most of Sub-Saharan Africa, with South Africa as the only exception. Offering a marriage of venture capital, business development support, know-how, experience and access to proven business concepts as well as network, the platform has invested in Nairobi-based food media and technology business EatOut.
Team Africa Ventures
The investment platform is championed by the former joint chief executive of Groupon South Africa, Wany Gosling and Daniel Guasco. It specializes in startups and early-stage investments, typically investing in technology-driven businesses.
The Cape Town-based team of angels has invested in South Africa’s digital package delivery startup WumDrop. It has also financially supported Lulalend and LifeQ. According to Crunchbase, Daniel Guasco has invested in four companies on his own, including Intelword and 8bit. Wany Gosling, on his part, has bet on two companies, investing in 8bit and Ekaya.com.
After revealing she had been quietly investing in many companies since 2014, the United States 23-time tennis Grand Slam champion Serena Williams was discovered to have invested in one of the best-known and best-funded tech companies in Africa.
Andela, a developer training and outsourcing company with four stations in the continent, has a high-powered roll call of investors, including the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore-led Generation Investment Management, Spark Capital, Google Ventures and CRE Venture Capital. As announced by the winged investor via her Instagram post, Serena Ventures participated in Andela’s recent USD 100 Mn Series D.
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