African Tech: How Investors are Betting on Africa’s Early-Stage Startups

African Tech: How Investors are Betting on Africa’s Early-Stage Startups
May 9, 2022 Peter Kisadha
African Startups: How investors are betting on early-stage companies in Africa

In partnership with TechCabal Insights and The Baobab Network, we have released a report on early-stage investing in Africa. The report explores the value and size of early-stage deals in the past five years and further probes the data across sectors and countries. We also interviewed early-stage investors across the continent to better understand Africa’s early-stage investment landscape and make the following recommendations:

1.Founders should build what matters and believe in their solution as much as they want investors to believe in it. 

2.Early-stage investors should first look into the quality of the founders before the idea they are presenting because a good product in the hands of a bad founder or team will most eventually fail. Great founders, even when they fail, find it easy to pivot and move into something more important.  

3.Early-stage investment is exactly what it is; an investment. Investment is simply taking a calculated risk. Investors should, therefore, not wear out founders in the due diligence process by overly asking for requirements that take the founder’s attention away from building the solution. Once the important requirements are provided, decisions should be made and communicated on time.

4.Networking is an important skill that every founder should have. A prominent investor we interviewed told us it is a skill they look for in the founders as it shows the ability to reach out for help when there’s a problem. The great thing for founders who do not have it is that it can be learned and imbibed over time. 

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Yvonne Johnson 

Yvonne Johnson is the Co-founder/CEO of Indicina. 

Yvonne Johnson is a strategic thinker with a demonstrated ability to influence change by leveraging innovative solutions. She comes with over a decade of leadership experience supporting executive management on strategy within Financial Services. Most recently, Yvonne led the Strategy team of a Tier 1 Nigerian banking group. She received her MBA at the Kellogg School of Management where she graduated on the Kellogg Dean’s List and was a recipient of the Donald P. Jacobs International Scholarship. At the Bank, Yvonne led the Strategy function for the Commercial Banking Group including its local and international subsidiaries. Notably, she led the efforts in defining a Digital Finance strategy for the Bank including the launch of its first-ever innovation hub.

Zachariah George

Managing Partner at Launch Africa Ventures. 

Zachariah George is a Managing Partner at Launch Africa Ventures – the most prominent and active early-stage Venture Capital Fund across the African continent, solving the significant gap in the pre-Series A investment landscape in Africa​. He is also the co-founder and Chief Investment Officer at Startupbootcamp AfriTech – the leading multi-corporate backed venture accelerator program in Africa. Zach is widely recognized as one of Africa’s most prominent Angel investors, with investments in 100+ of the leading tech startups in Africa including Flutterwave, Kudabank, MPost, Peach Payments, RecoMed and several Others.

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