Disrupt Africa releases 4-part podcast series digging into African venture capital

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Disrupt Africa has partnered Quona Capital, 10X Entrepreneur, Catalyst Fund, and Knife Capital, to put together a four-part podcast series on the African venture capital space – how it works, what its dynamics are, and what is happening in the sector.

Available across every podcasting platform, the fortnightly Disrupt Podcast helps keep listeners in the loop on all that’s going on in the African tech startup ecosystem. Co-hosts Gabriella Mulligan and Tom Jackson recap all the major news and trends of the previous couple of weeks, while also bringing you interviews with key industry stakeholders, plus analysis and advice from those in the know.

The team at Disrupt Africa has now diversified its podcast offering, making available a host of special editions focusing on various aspects of the African tech startup ecosystem. The first of these, “The essential guide to African VC”, is a four-part series that educates listeners in the “A-Z of African VC”.

Produced in partnership with Quona Capital, 10X Entrepreneur, Catalyst Fund, and Knife Capital, and featuring special guests from those companies, the series really digs into venture capital, looking at its business model, how startups and VCs can work together to build Africa’s tech ecosystem, and what issues still remain to be resolved. 

The first episode, which is available now, takes listeners through the nuts and bolts of VC, defining what venture actually is, telling them where VC firms get their money from, how they make money themselves, and what an investor actually does all day. It also addresses misconceptions entrepreneurs may have about venture capital, why it is there, and what it can do for them.

In three subsequent episodes, to be released each week, Disrupt Podcast will dig further. Episode two will discuss the actual processes behind doing a VC deal, and the various ways in which investors can exit a startup and make a return. Episode three will look at the dynamics of the startup-investor relationship, and why it is so important to get it right, and in episode four, guests will discuss what makes a good VC, the backgrounds and motivations of these very important people, and the issue of diversity in the space.

“By the end of this “podumentary”, you should have a better understanding of what venture in Africa actually is, how it works, and what its dynamics are. So whether you are startup founder, aspiring entrepreneur, angel investor, or someone considering a career in venture capital, we hope you find the content valuable,” said Tom Jackson, co-founder of Disrupt Africa.

“With more and more African tech startups raising funding from venture capitalists, or attempting to do so, we thought it was vital to demystify the process, as misconceptions founders have about investors can be damaging to their chances of securing capital, or to the startup-investor relationship post-raise. This podcast series is our attempt to do just that,” said Gabriella Mulligan, co-founder of Disrupt Africa.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this new podcast series from Disrupt Africa,” said Johan Bosini, partner at Quona Capital. “There is so much that is misunderstood about how venture capital works, what the job is, and what founders can expect, there’s an entire textbook that could be written on the topic! We love that Disrupt Africa is boiling it down into meaningful conversations that will surely benefit their vast audience across Africa and MENA.”

“At 10X Entrepreneur, our mission is to increase scale-up success rates, job creation, impact, and returns to unlock more and better capital, talent, support and growth. When the opportunity arose to partner with Disrupt Africa, to participate in their podcast series that focuses on the African venture capital space, we couldn’t turn it down. As we seek to establish 10X Entrepreneur as a thought leader in the scale-up world across the continent, we are excited to share our deep experience in venture capital with the Disrupt Africa audience and share how we believe one can navigate fund-raising for their business,” said Jason Goldberg, founder and CEO at 10X Entrepreneur.

“The venture capital sector in Africa is rapidly growing, and sharing knowledge is fundamental to expanding the field and making it more inclusive. This is essential to crowd in more investors backing early-stage African ventures, and support aspiring VCs on the continent. We are excited to contribute to this podcast series to help support an informed and resilient startup and venture capital ecosystem in Africa,” said Maelis Carraro, managing director of Catalyst Fund.

“Knife Capital is delighted to partner with Disrupt Africa in demystifying venture capital in Africa. We are involved in various educational initiatives to advance this alternative asset class on the continent through our entrepreneurship development programme Grindstone, and we believe this deep-dive podcast series will be a valuable additional reference tool for entrepreneurs and investors alike,” said Keet van Zyl, co-founder and partner at Knife Capital.

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, and Disrupt Podcast is one of the leading Africa-focused business podcasts on the continent.

About Quona Capital

Quona Capital is a venture firm focused on fintech that can expand access for underserved customers and small businesses in emerging markets including Africa and the Middle East (MENA), South and Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Quona’s global partners are experienced investors and operators in both emerging and developed markets and invest in entrepreneurs whose companies have the potential to provide outstanding financial returns and promote breakthrough innovation in financial inclusion for both consumers and SMEs. The firm’s impact efforts have been recognised through its selection as a prestigious “ImpactAssets 50 Impact Fund” for the past three years. Quona got its start through a strategic relationship with Accion, a global non-profit with a legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. More at quona.com

About 10X Entrepreneur

At 10X Entrepreneur, we believe that success requires removing all growth constraints. We offer a holistic, end-to-end approach to business (strategy, capacitation, acceleration) that is proven to deliver measurable impact.

Going from 1 to 10 staff, and from 10 to 100 staff are different worlds. The skills and knowledge required to scale 10X are totally different, and few scale up teams have them. That’s why 70% of successful entrepreneurs get stuck in No Man’s Land.

If you’re scaling up and your team has never built and led a sizeable organisation before, the single most valuable investment you can make is acquiring cutting edge tools, skills and knowledge to scale a company. Because scaling up is a unique and acute business leadership challenge, generalist MBA’s and business management programmes are totally inappropriate for scale up teams. They’re too academic, slow, and time-consuming.

10X Entrepreneur offers a ’Just-In-Time’ process to give your team the practical tools you need to put to work, for 10Xing a great business, with a time commitment that works for entrepreneurs. We offer a variety of individual Boot Camps, company-specific scale up Workshops, and long-term programmes to help your team every step of the way.

About Catalyst Fund

Catalyst Fund, managed by BFA Global, is an accelerator that supports inclusive tech innovators, and facilitates the growth of innovation ecosystems in emerging markets. Launched in 2016, with support from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, today Catalyst Fund supports companies offering accessible, affordable and appropriate solutions across a range of sectors and key markets in Africa, South Asia and LatAm, to improve the lives of the world’s 3 billion underserved. All Catalyst Fund programmes provide flexible capital, bespoke venture building support from market and sector experts and access to a global network of investors and corporate partners, while sharing learnings with the broader inclusive tech ecosystem.

Current programmes include the flagship Catalyst Fund inclusive fintech accelerator, supported by JPMorgan Chase & Co., the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), and PayPal, and fiscally sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, and the digital commerce accelerator, supported by Mastercard Foundation. Our current markets of focus include Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Mexico and India.

About Knife Capital

Knife Capital is a South African venture capital investment firm focusing on innovation-driven ventures with proven traction. By leveraging knowledge, networks & funding, Knife accelerates the international expansion of entrepreneurial businesses that achieved a product/market fit in at least one beachhead market. Knife has a deep understanding of, and proven track record with, early-stage technology investments in Africa. Apart from managing various VC funds across funding stages, Knife partners with founders early-on in its Grindstone Accelerator programme.

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DP #21: The essential guide to African VC, episode 1 – April 10, 2022 – Disrupt Africa has partnered Quona Capital, 10X Entrepreneur, Catalyst Fund, and Knife Capital to put together a four-part podcast series on the African venture capital space – how it works, what its dynamics are, and what is happening in the sector.

“The essential guide to African VC” educates listeners in the “A-Z of African VC”, digging into venture capital, looking at its business model, how startups and VCs can work together to build Africa’s tech ecosystem, and what issues still remain to be resolved.

Episode one takes listeners through the nuts and bolts of VC, defining what venture actually is, telling them where VC firms get their money from, how they make money themselves, and what an investor actually does all day. It also addresses misconceptions entrepreneurs may have about venture capital, why it is there, and what it can do for them.

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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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