Disrupt Africa to open-source annual funding report in partnership with key investors, accelerators


Startup-focused news and research company Disrupt Africa has announced it is to make its flagship annual funding report free to all in an open-sourcing initiative made possible through a partnership with key Africa-focused investment firms Quona Capital and 4Di Capital, and accelerator and philanthropic fund Catalyst Fund.

Every January since 2016, Disrupt Africa has released the African Tech Startups Funding Report, which quantifies investment into the African tech space over the course of the previous 12 months and analyses key trends and themes.

The report has tracked the extraordinary progress made by the continent’s startup ecosystems from an investment perspective since 2015, with the amount of total funding having increased by more than 160 per cent and the number of startups raising that funding growing by almost 150 per cent over those five years.

Aside from providing a full list of the funded startups – and who invested in them – from the previous year, the annual reports also provide deep-dives into investment trends within key startup geographies and verticals, as well as data on African startup acquisitions.

Previously available for sale, the report has been purchased each year by leading tech companies from Africa and the rest of the world, Big Four consulting firms, banking and fintech leaders, venture capital firms, supranational investors and international trade bodies. In January 2021, however, Disrupt Africa will make the next edition open source for the first time, to make it accessible to those for whom the information is most valuable – African entrepreneurs.

It is doing this with the help of partners Catalyst Fund, an accelerator for inclusive fintech startups in emerging markets managed by BFA Global; Quona Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in fintech innovations advancing inclusion in emerging markets; and 4Di Capital, an independent seed and early-stage technology venture capital firm.

“Our flagship funding report, which was the first of its kind when the inaugural edition was released in January 2016, has become an industry benchmark. We are proud of the customer base we have built, which is hundreds-strong and includes the great and the good of the global tech, innovation and investment industry. But Disrupt Africa’s core remit is to empower African entrepreneurs through access to information, and this was not happening under the previous model,” said Tom Jackson, co-founder of Disrupt Africa.

Gabriella Mulligan, Disrupt Africa co-founder, said the company was delighted to partner with major ecosystem support players such as Catalyst Fund, Quona Capital and 4Di Capital to make the African Tech Startups Funding Report 2020 available to everyone, anywhere, for free.

“Our partners understand the challenges African founders face in accessing not only capital, but vital information about who is providing that capital, to whom, and why,” she said. “We are grateful for their support in this initiative and looking forward to working with our partners across the ecosystem to ensure the next edition of the report lands in as many entrepreneurs’ inboxes as possible next January,” she said.

Disrupt Africa’s investor partners also expressed their excitement at playing such a key role in this open-sourcing project.

“Working closely with early-stage fintech funders across emerging markets, we are constantly reminded that access to the right funding at the right time is crucial for early-stage fintech startups in their journey toward product-market fit and scale. Catalyst Fund is excited to partner with Disrupt Africa on this annual funding report, to provide access to valuable data that can highlight opportunities for startups, as well as critical gaps in the market, and better support the innovation ecosystem in Africa,” said Maelis Carraro, director, Catalyst Fund, at BFA Global.

“We are excited about this partnership with the team at Disrupt Africa, which will go a long way toward ensuring that vital data on where investment in tech startups in Africa is coming from and going to will be available to all. As the African tech ecosystem continues to grow, the availability of reliable data is crucial – and this initiative means better information is accessible to all entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, regardless of their location or means, said Johan Bosini, partner, Quona Capital.

“We are excited to partner with Disrupt Africa on this initiative. For us, the report is an important snapshot illustrating key trends and metrics with regards to the African startup ecosystem. Tom, Gabriella and the team are at the forefront and hence perfectly positioned to publish a true and accurate reflection as to where we are headed as an industry,” said Anton Van Vlaanderen, partner at 4Di Capital.

Disrupt Africa continues to seek partners to help it increase the scale of this open-sourcing initiative. For more information on partnering, or to find out more about the annual funding report, please email Gabriella on [email protected], or Tom on [email protected].

About Disrupt Africa

Disrupt Africa is the one-stop-shop for all news, information and commentary pertaining to the continent’s tech startup – and investment – ecosystem. With journalists roaming the continent to find, meet, and interview the most innovative and disruptive tech startups, Disrupt Africa is a true showcase of Africa’s most promising businesses and business ideas. Its research arm releases in-depth reports on various aspects of the African tech startup ecosystem. Details here.

About Catalyst Fund

Catalyst Fund, managed by BFA Global, is an accelerator for inclusive fintech startups and innovation ecosystems, in emerging markets. Launched initially in 2016, with support from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, today Catalyst Fund is supported by UK aid and JPMorgan Chase & Co., and fiscally sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. The mission of Catalyst Fund is to accelerate the development of affordable, accessible, and appropriate digital financial solutions for the world’s 3 billion underserved.

About Quona Capital

Quona Capital is a scale-up stage venture firm focused on fintech for inclusion in emerging markets. Quona partners have deep experience as investors and operators in both emerging and developed markets, and look for entrepreneurs whose companies have the potential to provide outstanding financial returns and promote breakthrough innovation in financial inclusion. To date, Quona has supported more than 30 financial technology companies expanding access for underserved consumers and small businesses in Latin America, South and Southeast Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. The firm has offices in Washington D.C., Bangalore, Mexico City and Cape Town. For more information, visit quona.com.

About 4Di Capital

4Di Capital is an independent venture capital fund manager based in South Africa’s “Silicon Cape”, specialising in high-growth technology venture opportunities, at the seed, early-and growth-funding stages. The fund manager has offices in Cape Town, South Africa and Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. and funds are managed by the GP partnership team of Anton van Vlaanderen, Erik van Vlaanderen, Justin Stanford and Laurie Olivier.


About Author

Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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