It’s been a huge year in the African tech startup world – perhaps the busiest year to date. Featuring new launches, funding rounds a plenty, impressive growth stories, and pan-African collaboration. So what were the highlights? We asked a group of investors from around the continent to pick their top moments.
Yele Bademosi, founder and managing partner, Microtraction:
“Outside of launching Microtraction, the big one for me is Andela’s US$40 million Series C being led by an African VC, CRE Ventures. I think it was also TLCom’s first (public) deal. It’s a watershed moment for venture funding in Africa and I’m super excited about the future of our industry.”
Paul Cook, managing director, Silvertree Internet Holdings:
“There’s a growing crop of US$10million+ funded tech companies, especially in the fintech and payments sectors, plus of course Andela.
The quality of startups coming through pipeline is (anecdotally) improving – some real businesses are being built, though still too many concept-heavy pitches for my liking.”
Stephen Gugu, founder and director, Viktoria Ventures:
“This is a hard one, I would say for me it was Capetown XL Africa and the African Angel Investor Summit (AAIS) 2017 and seeing the continent coming together… I love that now the whole Africa story is coming together with more collaborations that help both entrepreneurs and startups be able to do stuff that is cross-border.”
Oliver Drews, chief executive officer, Clifftop Colony:
“For me the highlight for the Cape Town ecosystem was the sale of GetSmarter to 2U for US$103 million plus a US$20 million earn out, which showcased what this market can deliver when companies are put together properly and business models piloted out of Cape Town can generate international interest at multiples far exceeding our home market. That valuation arbitrage opportunity is something we will continue to play at.”