For the second year in a row, The Africa Report and Jeune Afrique are publishing an exclusive ranking of the 50 people that are leading the continent's digital revolution. In order to give more visibility to these tech champions, we decided to shake things up by dividing our ranking into three parts.
This is part 3 of an 11-part series
The past two years have seen ever more and ever bigger fundraising rounds. Behind these deals are giants such as Visa, as well as US funds such as Sequoia Capital as well as Silicon Valley operators.
African players remain rare in this market, both in the field of private equity and seed capital.
Our selection, which includes 10 investors, illustrates both this effervescence and this lack. Already ranked in the 2021 edition, TLcom has once again caught our attention. But this time, we are highlighting the work of Zimbabwe’s Andreata Muforo (1st). After an initial $71m fund, her company aims to raise $150m, half of which has already been acquired.
Senegal’s Tidjane Dème (2nd) is also a regular. Although the former Google representative in French-speaking Africa is making slow progress, Partech Africa’s investments are hitting the mark, as demonstrated by the trajectory of Wave and Tradepot.
As far as seed funds are concerned, we have decided to celebrate the work of India’s Zachariah George, head of Launch Africa Ventures (more than 60 investments in 13 countries in 2021, according to the start-up investment ranking site, The Big Deal), Japan’s Ryosuke Yamawaki, head of Kepple Africa (35 deals in 8 countries in 2021), Nigeria’s Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, founder of Future Africa (27 deals in 4 countries) and the US’ Peter Orth, who runs 4DX Ventures (18 deals in 7 countries).
Although they are not focused on the continent, North American players such as Y Combinator, 500 Global and Techstars are also authorities in this field and their bosses – or regional managers such as Marem Dieng (8th) – also feature in our selection.
Ranked 10th because her fund, Norrsken22, has not yet announced any investments, South Africa’s Natalie Kolbe, ex-Actis, has been leading the most exciting private equity project dedicated to tech since the beginning of this year. Created by the Norrsken Foundation and 30 unicorn founders, it has secured $110m and expects to double this amount this year.
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We believe that Africa is poorly represented, and badly under-estimated. Beyond the vast opportunity manifest in African markets, we highlight people who make a difference; leaders turning the tide, youth driving change, and an indefatigable business community. That is what we believe will change the continent, and that is what we report on. With hard-hitting investigations, innovative analysis and deep dives into countries and sectors, The Africa Report delivers the insight you need.View subscription options