Context and Thoughts
Welcome back dear readers: It’s been a little while since my last issue of Africa Notes! Since then, Africa has seen new world-class datacenters go online and more in progress, subsea Internet cables under construction, accelerators launched, and even more acquisitions and funding. And because as momentum increases it gets harder to track and understand the market, I’m keeping Africa Notes (notes.africa) as a simple, convenient newsletter to help you stay on top of it all.
As always, Africa Notes covers the last ~2 weeks of African tech startup news highlights, focusing on major ecosystem shifts, funding events, startup M&A, and other relevant items.
Looking at a few upcoming investment-related events in Africa, I see the Africa Early Stage Investor Summit (one of my favorite investor-focused events) is coming up again in Cape Town this November, and this week is the India Africa Entrepreneurship & Investment Summit in Mauritius.
Keeping an eye on the big picture, the Disrupt Africa Tech Startups Funding Report shows continued growth in African startup investment, with a year-over-year African startup fundraising increase of 71.5% (!) in 2018 for a total of $334m raised. (This reflects particularly strong YoY growth when you remember that 2017’s Africa investment numbers were already boosted by Andela’s relatively large $40mm Series C round.)
Chinese investment in African tech startups is rising, notably with the launch of ShakaVC / Shaka Ventures, a Chinese-backed VC firm based in Lagos and a pan-African investment thesis, who have made 6 investments in the 6 months since their launch.
News coverage on African tech startups is also increasing, notably TechCrunch’s Africa coverage (note the uptick on article tagged Africa over the last 12 months) alongside continued strong coverage from long-standing African tech news sites such as Ventureburn and Disrupt Africa.
Industry and Ecosystem News
South Africa proposes amendments to the Income Tax Act which the 12J Association says would make it harder to both raise and invest 12J capital link
Deals, Startups, and More
The Gambia Angel Investors Network (GAIN) launches with 10-12 local investors and target of funding 8-12 startups/year in The Gambia link