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A Summary of

Tech in Africa

Nichole Yembra, Peter Kisadha, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Hayden Simmons, Steven Grin, Lewam Kefela, Dauda Barry, Abdul Ly, Aaron Fu, Chris Muscarella, Mario Gabriele
The Generalist
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Africa's Key Demographics and Markets

  • Africa is not a monolith and is not homogeneous: its 1.2bn people speak over 2,000 languages, compared to Europe's 200 languages and dialects
  • An explosion in population growth is expected - Africans make up 16% of the global population today, compared to an expected 25% in 2050
  • A rising middle class and youthful population across the continent makes many bullish on Africa's future
  • 80% of total VC funding is funneled to 4 countries: Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt, and South Africa
  • Interestingly, funding diverges between Anglophone and Francophone countries - Anglophonic countries receive much more funding

The Stakeholders

  • Some familiar Western names are big players in the African tech scene - YCombinator launched an African incubator recently
  • There are some prominent African funds as well, such as the Nairobi and Lagos-based Novastar Ventures and the Cape Town-based Knife Capital
  • Corporations such as Vodacom and Orange are also providing capital to young African startups

The Surge of American and Chinese Capital

  • Western capital comes in many forms beyond the traditional VC sphere - the International Finance Corporation, a subsidiary of the World Bank, invests in African startups
  • Chinese corporations like Tencent have led the way in investing in startups like Flutterwave and Paystack
  • Not all money is the same - Chinese investors want to play a significant role in building the business, while American investors are happy to be more hands-off

Looking Forward

  • There is a huge opportunity to offer affordable education at scale across Africa - overcrowded classrooms and poor education make this a ripe market
  • SMEs: small to medium enterprises contribute up to 65% of African GDP, and many of these transactions are all in cash. Fintech companies are savoring at this figure
  • Healthcare has always been an issue in Africa, and healthtech could erupt in the continent. Making healthcare accessible, affordable, and easily digestible would go a long way
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