The New African Giant: VC Perspectives on Africa’s Next Unicorn
Maria Rotilu, Andre Bennin, Lewam Kefela, Eunice Ajim, Faridah Usman
African tech startups are certainly meeting the moment when it comes to securing venture capital funding in 2022, raising a record-setting $4 Billion in total funding thus far. Notably, the vast majority of these investments have been at the earliest stage of investing, the seed round, however there’s also been an uptick in later stage investments. Following in the footsteps of the five African startups that were minted as unicorns (reaching $1 Billion valuation) in 2021, what will be required to take this year’s newly venture-backed companies from seed funding to unicorn status similar to exemplars such as Chipper Cash, Andela, and Wave? Furthermore, what can the next wave of entrepreneurs looking to raise early stage rounds on the African continent learn from VCs about what it takes to build a venture-backable business with $1B valuation potential? Finally, what role do VCs play post-investment in facilitating this trajectory of growth, and how should entrepreneurs think about which investors to invite onto their cap table? A panel of seasoned venture capitalists, including former entrepreneurs and operators in their own right, will discuss these questions and more, unpacking what we’ve learned this year in the VC landscape, and what we can expect going into the end of this year across Africa’s VC and entrepreneurial ecosystem.