More investors join forces with Disrupt Africa to open-source annual funding report

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Startup-focused news and research company Disrupt Africa has joined forces with more investor partners – Villgro Africa, Lateral Capital and Otundi Ventures – in the open-sourcing initiative that will make its flagship annual funding report free to all in January 2021.

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, who invested in them, and, where possible, the amount raised, 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 various investor and accelerator partners. Catalyst Fund, Quona Capital and 4Di Capital were confirmed as partners back in September, and now another three have been brought onboard.

They are Villgro Africa, an early-stage business incubator and impact investor; Lateral Capital, a mission-driven venture fund; and Otundi Ventures, which invests in founders that are building technology-enabled businesses across Africa. These additional partnerships will ensure that Disrupt Africa is able to provide free funding data and analysis to more African tech entrepreneurs and other stakeholders when the report is released in January.

“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 Villgro Africa, Lateral Capital and Otundi Ventures, as well as the partners previously announced, 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.”

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

“Any startup enabler or ecosystem actor is as strong as the entrepreneurial ecosystem they operate in. Villgro Africa has partnered with Disrupt Africa because we are passionate about democratisation of transactions happening across the continent which will then lead to better deal flow and even more vibrant ecosystems, especially in geographies that have been under-represented over the years. As Villgro scales its model across Africa, these investment insights and analytics will come in handy,” said Wilfred Njagi, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Villgro Africa.

“We appreciate the fundamental importance of data and equal access in building the ecosystem. Democratising it and reducing its scarcity, especially in Africa, is the responsibility of everyone,” said Steven Grin, managing partner of Lateral Capital.

Nnena Nkongho, principal at Otundi Ventures, said timely and accurate data around investing activity in the growing, African venture capital ecosystem was important.  

“It helps inform all stakeholders – founders, investors, advisors – in their assessments of both risks and opportunities, stimulating further action. We’re happy to have partnered with Disrupt Africa in helping to broaden access to this information so that more people can participate in an engine for economic transformation of the African continent,” she said.

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].

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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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