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The Hype and Hustle of African Tech Startups

By Maja Andjelkovic on February 27, 2015

‘Is now a good time to invest in African technology startups?’ asks Maja Andjelkovic of infoDev / WorldBank.

Hardly a day goes by without an African tech startup being featured in the mainstream media. CNN regularly updates its special report on the topic; The Guardian covers local debates surrounding emerging ecosystems; The Financial Times tracks Africa’s mobile revolution; Forbes has extended its “Top 10” series to include African female tech founders; Vanity Fair pins its hopes of “continental lift” on entrepreneurs. Blogs, opinion pieces and social media cover the sector in even more granular detail.

Judging by VC4Africa’s 2015 report on venture finance, perspectives on African incubation and funding models, and the entrepreneurship program announced [...] Continue reading The Hype and Hustle of African Tech Startups »


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Meet the Orange Cohort graduates on VC4Africa: ready for investors!

By Miguel Heilbron on February 24, 2015

Version en français plus bas / See below for French.

Orange & VC4Africa are pleased to present the Orange African Social Venture Prize 2014 finalist entrepreneurs who graduated from an intensive online acceleration program: a new batch of top entrepreneurs ready for investment.

From November 2014 to February VC4Africa supported the finalists of the Orange African Social Venture Prize 2014 competition with an online acceleration program. The Orange Cohort program sponsored by Orange helped the participants position for growth, get investment-ready and prepared for fundraising.

VC4Africa has been successfully running acceleration programs for the past 2 years, tailoring the curriculum to the needs of partners and sponsors. This is an effective way to give select entrepreneurs targeted support. The Orange Cohort program had an ICT [...] Continue reading Meet the Orange Cohort graduates on VC4Africa: ready for investors! »


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Why ‘venture builders’ are changing the startup model – and how they are connected with Africa

By Ali Diallo on February 19, 2015

What do South Africa’s Springlab, SPARK in Nigeria and Dakar-based JokkoLabs and CTIC have in common? Ali Diallo, VC4Africa Pro Account user and member of the VC4Africa Investor Network, introduces the world of ‘venture builders’. At the bottom of the article you’ll find a special Afterword on the African relevance Ali Diallo wrote for VC4Africa. “A lot of entrepreneurs and analysts don’t realize that Venture Builders are ‘African’ companies at their core”. 

This story originally appeared on VentureBeat, except for the new Afterword at the bottom. 

If you haven’t yet heard of venture-builders — also called tech studios, startup factories, or venture production studios — let me introduce them to you: They’re organizations that build companies using their own ideas and resources.

Unlike incubators and accelerators, venture builders don’t take any applications, nor [...] Continue reading Why ‘venture builders’ are changing the startup model – and how they are connected with Africa »


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Is 2015 the year you raise capital for your venture? 7 tips and tricks

By Ben White on February 16, 2015

Do you require capital to grow your business? If you are working on a scalable business, and think investors should consider backing your venture, VC4Africa is the place for you.

See for example the companies that raised more than USD 27 million over the course of 2014. Our advice? Don’t wait and start early. Fundraising takes time. Much more time than most entrepreneurs might expect. Get ahead of the curve by building a network of trusted business contacts today. Create visibility for your company with a venture profile on VC4Africa and document the progress you are making as a team. In this way you allow prospective partners to follow your journey, to see how you are progressing over time, and so they can [...] Continue reading Is 2015 the year you raise capital for your venture? 7 tips and tricks »


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Cameroon Angels Network selects #YouCAN Pitch Competition winners

By Miguel Heilbron on February 9, 2015

Congrats to the #YouCAN Pitch Competition Winners selected by Cameroon Angels Network (CAN)! Three startups will receive cash prizes and up to $40,000 in investment each.

The #YouCAN pitch competition was organized by Cameroon Angels Network (CAN) in partnership with ActivSpaces, VC4Africa and Sanaga Ventures. Via a campaign page on CAN’s VC4Africa Partner Page the competition was open to all startups in Cameroon. CAN invests in all sectors and industries with a particular interest in technology. Founded in 2014, Cameroon Angels Network (CAN) is the first network of angel investors in Cameroon.

The #YouCAN competition attracted over 45 applicants from all over Cameroon vying for the opportunity to be selected as the first investment of the newly created CAN. After an initial selection process, [...] Continue reading Cameroon Angels Network selects #YouCAN Pitch Competition winners »


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How to get/give access to Africa’s startup ecosystem

By Michelle Atagana on February 6, 2015

“How hard can it be to meet up with VCs, journos, Angels and all the different people who play a part in how the ecosystem rolls?” writes Michelle Atagana. “In two words: pretty hard.” How can Africa’s VC ecosystem expand its networks, reach more people and add more value?

How do you infiltrate the startup ecosystem in Africa? – This question makes Africa’s VC (Venture Capitalist) ecosystem seem like the mafia, where your cousin Vinny has to introduce you to the godfather and you have to get through a series of tests to get into the inner circle of this elite group. In some ways, it pretty much is like that, or at least that’s what it will have you believe. I have been asked this question many times and [...] Continue reading How to get/give access to Africa’s startup ecosystem »


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VC4Africa entrepreneurs raised over USD 1.3 million in January

By Miguel Heilbron on February 3, 2015

Congratulations to the VC4Africa members who secured new funding over the last month! While we see more and bigger deals get published in the African startup space, the transparency also increases. More to share? Let us know.

Last month VC4Africa profiled some inspiring success stories we documented over 2014, and in January 2015 VC4Africa listed entrepreneurs already secured over USD 1.3 million more in funding! Also see the VC4Africa 2015 Venture Finance in Africa report for trends in progress made by startups across Africa. VC4Africa listed entrepreneurs who participated in this research indicated they had secured USD 26.9 million in total in 2014.

Below we list some examples of deals by VC4Africa listed entrepreneurs from the past month. Find out more by clicking on the companies’ VC4Africa venture [...] Continue reading VC4Africa entrepreneurs raised over USD 1.3 million in January »


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Tugende kicks off 2015 with USD 780K in new funding

By Ben White on January 30, 2015

VC4Africa listed Tugende, a for-profit social enterprise based in Uganda, gained USD 780,000 in additional growth funding and working capital in an investment round closed in January. Also see our earlier profile of Tugende one year ago.

Tugende offers an affordable lease-to-own model to help motorcycle taxi drivers own their own motorcycles in 18 months or less instead of renting indefinitely. Payments are comparable to what drivers would otherwise pay in rent, and ownership significantly increases income, job security and road safety for drivers.

Investors in the round, which consisted of equity and debt, included the Segal Family Foundation, a private foundation supporting social enterprises in 23 African countries, and Echoing Green, one of the oldest and most respected funders of early stage social enterprises. A [...] Continue reading Tugende kicks off 2015 with USD 780K in new funding »


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Is the “best startup from emerging markets” from Africa (again)?

By Miguel Heilbron on January 29, 2015

Meet the 7 African entrepreneurs who are among the 36 finalists in the worldwide startup competition Seedstars World: Congrats to VC4Africa members Beam, Green Energy, Lumkani, OkHi, Poeyek, Remit and TorQue!!

Last year 5 African entrepreneurs reached the finals and in the end VC4Africa member Simeon Ononobi of SimplePay won SeedStars World investment! This year, the Seedstars World winner 2015 will be announced coming Tuesday night, February 4th, in a grand finale in Switzerland. Over 1,500 startups from all across the world applied. The winner will receive an equity investment of up to $500k.

The VC4Africa community wishes the 7 listed African finalists presented below the best of luck and success!!

Beam Remit (Ghana)

Beam brings Bitcoins to Africa, making [...] Continue reading Is the “best startup from emerging markets” from Africa (again)? »


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Top entrepreneurs selected for the Green Pioneer Accelerator in Kenya & South Africa

By Miguel Heilbron on January 27, 2015

Impact Amplifier, Growth Africa, VC4Africa and Hivos are pleased to announce the entrepreneurs selected to participate in the 2015 Green Pioneer Acceleration Program.

The Green Pioneer Accelerator is a comprehensive business accelerator that seeks to support early stage enterprises contributing innovative solutions to environmental issues such as climate change, loss of biodiversity and degradation of soils. 11 committed entrepreneurs were selected for the program in Kenya and 12 entrepreneurs for the program in South Africa.

The selected entrepreneurs were identified after a rigorous multi-phase selection process which focused on the viability of their businesses, the strength of the teams, and their potential to solve huge challenges through innovative products and creative solutions.

The 16 week acceleration programs are starting end of January and early February. Continue reading Top entrepreneurs selected for the Green Pioneer Accelerator in Kenya & South Africa »