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The Land of Opportunity: Silicon Savannah

With Potential VCs trip to the African continent this year to attend DEMO Africa 2015, here’s a quick overview to introduce you to the potential opportunities.

The African continent over the last few years has seen an uplift in attention from VCs and the tech community globally. The opportunities of being first to market with products and services and engage with highly diverse communities is endless for entrepreneurs and investors.

The Final Frontier

One of these angel investors, Vinny Lingham, founder of Gyft, says the attraction comes from the fact Africa represents the “final frontier for humans on earth.”

“Nowhere else do you have more than one billion people who are so underprivileged and under-catered to. There is a huge business opportunity here,” said Lingham, investor in South African startups.

With all these opportunities on the great continent, the Venture Finance for Africa Report has reported that investment in African startups has increased by more that 100% from previous years. However the Venture Finance for Africa Report only reports back an amount of approx US$27 million from their online funding platform. Whereas in reality this is only a small fraction of the continent’s total investment, which is reported by TNW News as being closer to US$500 million last year.

Here’s the Top 5 Tech Companies who raised the most funding in 2014

Most-Funding-Africa

Coming to America…

Coming-To-America-DI

Besides the ever growing investment in African tech startups, some startups are making the leap to the US. TechCrunch referred to the movement earlier this year within their article “The rise of Silicon Savannah and Africa’s Tech Movement. Some startups that are making the move include:

Future Projections

Aubrey Hruby and Jake Bright, authors of The Next Africa have published their expectations for the continent and projected that by 2018 VC funding for African tech startups will reach new heights, as illustrated below:

tna-tc-charti

African Exits

Alongside the future projections of VC money Africa is set to see over the coming years, this year Africa has seen the acquisition of the Kenyan fintech startup Weza Tele. The  acquisition was by the financial services company AFB for a cool US$1.7 million, according to Disrupt Africa.

The fintech startup Weza Tele provides a number of mobility solutions in commerce, supply chain, distribution and mobile payment integration, these solutions are not only on offer in Kenya but also the likes of Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.

Harry Hare executive producer, DEMO Africa 2015.  “It is big news because you don’t hear of such exits for tech startups often in Africa, let alone in Kenya. We need more such exits in the region to show that there is value in this ecosystem and that local investors need to start taking the opportunities more seriously”.

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