The Rise of The African Tech Scene

[Disclaimer: Our idea is to help the ecosystem by giving a snapshot of the emerging tech scene in Africa. So it might not be exhaustive since it’s complicated to cover a huge continent and growing ecosystem in one slide but you can access to our open shared database with more players by cliking on the link below in this post. I’ll be happy to update our database and mapping if we have missed something, or someone, feel free to reach out to me. This is only the first version and any feedback or new ideas to improve it will be highly appreciated.]

The African continent is no longer seen as an inhospitable place for investors and entrepreneurs. It is rather perceived as a land of multiple opportunities and a viable market, where the word leapfrog spreads as fast as innovation nowadays. While most of western players are focused on disrupting traditional industries, the African ecosystem is meanwhile bridging the gap with new technologies, that’s what we call leapfrog.

Over the last decade, the African tech scene has emerged and it is definitely on the right path to accomplish its mission: bridging the gap with developed economies by using technology as a catalyst for the African growth.

There is plenty of literature on the topic but we wanted to give you a synthetic snapshot of this incredible and emerging ecosystem. To do so, we didn’t want to be redundant with the wonderful work that has been done by some people such as Ido Sum from TLcom Capital or Cyril Collon from Partech Ventures. Instead, we have preferred to gather these interesting pieces of research and projects, including ours, to join forces and bring as much value as we can to an ecosystem where it might be sometimes difficult to identify and understand its players or global trends.

Our unique purpose is to give a better understanding of the scale of the African tech scene, by walking you through:

  • Some key numbers on the African market and digital growth
  • A mapping of the emerging ecosystem
  • An overview of investors by stage
  • An overview of tech Hubs via a GSMA study. You can access their infographic by clicking here
  • Some people to follow, thanks to TLcom Capital’s incredible open source initiative. They have started a community project that aims at capturing all investors’ information on a google sheet, making it easier for entrepreneurs to contact relevant VCs. Anyone in the ecosystem can edit and access the file through this link http://tiny.cc/AfricaTech_View ; we encourage you to enrich yourself this document, as we did. To find more info on this project, you can also read Ido Sum’s blog post by clicking here
  • African tech investments via the Partech Ventures analysis. For the past 3 years, they have been tracking the dynamics in the ecosystem and released a great report on 2015 and 2016 investments. You can read more on their findings in Cyril Collon’s post by clicking here
  • An exciting list of startups to watch in the ecosystem
  • Insights on tech exits in Africa

And for the icing on the cake, we’re pleased to share with everyone our database of investors, accelerators, incubators and tech hubs in Africa.

______________To access the database, click here ____________

We have aggregated all the data that we have collected on the ecosystem since we started Orange Digital Ventures a few years ago.

It only captures general information but it’s intentionally not meant to contact people. We’d rather suggest you to use the AfricaTech open source project for this: http://tiny.cc/AfricaTech_View

We hope you’ll find our database and presentation useful. If you enjoyed it, just clap your hands on Medium and spread it to the world by sharing this important fact: The African tech scene is rising!

[TUTORIAL FOR THE DATABASE]

They are 3 tabs and it’s pretty self-explanatory:

  • Incubators/accelerators: They are listed by name, location, type (accelerator or incubator), creation date, contact info, website and mission.
  • Hubs: we define a hub as a place where entrepreneurs can work and/or learn, and/or connect with the local ecosystem. Again, they are listed by name, location, type (accelerator or incubator), creation date, contact info, website and mission
  • Investors: we have only listed Africa-focused investors by name, location, investment stage, creation date, investment scope, geographical focus and website.

A special thanks to Sami Machta, research analyst at Orange Digital Ventures and to Allison Pianpanya for her helps on the mapping.

About Orange Digital Ventures

We stand as an early-stage corporate fund to support unconventional and driven entrepreneurs from around the world whose ambition is to imagine, design and develop tomorrow’s services and technologies. We engage with compelling technology startups, creative spirits and visionary founders to help them achieve breakthrough innovation in the digital industry, accelerate their growth and successfully bring their products and services to the market.

Since 2015, we already invested in 15 companies

Find out more at http://digitalventures.orange.com/

Bilal Zidane Djelassi

Written by

CVC @Orange_DV, formely @ChaussonFinance, alumni @sciencespo, #DataMonetization, #SaaS, #Fintech, #AfricaTech

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