'pain and/or gain'

‘In start-ups, you’ve got to bet on soft skills, not numbers’, says investor Ryosuke Yamawaki

in depth

This article is part of the dossier:

Top 20 Future Champions of African Tech

By Quentin Velluet

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Posted on May 18, 2023 09:34

A partner in one of the continent’s most dynamic funds, Japanese investor Ryosuke Yamawaki describes his method for spotting the future champions of African tech.

This is part 9 of a 9-part series

Aside from investigating the future tech champions, we couldn’t resist talking to those who have been our source for this survey: investors.

To do so, we submitted a questionnaire to a dozen founders of African start-ups that had already raised at least $5m. The idea was to determine who, among these key players in the ecosystem, was the one whose reputation, investment choices and seriousness in terms of due diligence deserved the title of ‘start-ups’ favourite investor’.

Coming in ahead of American behemoths Y Combinator and Partech Partners, Nigerian-Japanese fund Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures won by a hair. The ex-Japanese Kepple Africa Venture, which until now has focused on pre-seed and seed stage start-ups, recently joined forces with Nigerian venture capitalist Verod Capital Management to create a fund dedicated to early-stage fundraising

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