The conference, organized in partnership with the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA), aimed to bring together more than 600 direct investment specialists from 50 different countries, responsible for more than $1.5 trillion of assets.
During one of the roundtable discussions, African venture capitalists were asked which company in their portfolio they were most excited about and they answered this:
1. Twiga: streamlining supply chains
Twiga, a Kenyan start-up, was selected by Maurizio Caio, founder and managing partner of TLcom Capital. Twiga, founded in 2014, uses a smartphone app to connect farmers and small business owners. When a seller is short of a certain item, they can use the Twiga app to place an order, and the company will fill it directly from their warehouse or from a small farmer and ship it within 24 hours. Twiga also invested $10 million in its own farms last year through a new subsidiary called Twiga Fresh.
2. Touch and Pay: digitizing micro-transactions for the transportation sector and beyond
Idris Bello, Managing Partner of LoftyInc Capital Management, has praised Nigerian fintech startup Touch and Pay. Bus tickets in Nigeria can be paid by commuters using the product offered by the startup called the Cowry card. Bello compared it to the Oyster card in London. Customers’ Cowry wallets can be used for more than just carrying; they can also be used for financial transfers, airtime purchases, payments for interstate travel and merchant transactions.
3. Fuelin: manage fuel consumption
Dina El Shenoufy, chief investment officer of Flat6Labs, mentioned Fuelin, an Egyptian company that provides a platform for logistics companies to track and manage their fleet’s fuel consumption. Fuel expenses can represent 50-60% of a company’s annual revenue in an environment of volatile oil prices and significant inflation. Effective management is therefore essential.
In 2022, the World Economic Forum revealed that 92% of African investments in technology are made by just four countries: Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya and South Africa. A similar report published a year earlier by the African Development Bank (AfDB) showed that these four countries represent around a third of the continent’s start-up incubators and accelerators and receive 80% of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa. .
According to the seventh edition of Disrupt Africa’s African Tech Startup Funding Report, the top four startups collectively raised $1.9 billion in 2021, representing 92.1% of all investments made in Africa. The dominance of the big four in Africa’s startup sector is a long-standing trend, as evidenced by the most recent statistics. It’s no surprise, then, that the startups hailed at the African Private Capital Association’s annual conference come from three of Africa’s big four tech innovators.