The past 24 hours have been crazy. So much has happened that it has been hard for me to decide on the top five stories for today.
Actually, there are a couple I have excluded that I think you will find interesting. Take an example of Rwanda signing a MoU with Andela as well as VC firm Sobek Capital opening its Rwandan office. Rwanda is on fire.
Let's dig in already.
- Tulaa raised $627,000 in seed funding
What happened: Finance and agritech startup, Tulaa, announced that it had raised a seed round of $627,00 in a round led by AHL Venture Partners. The startup is barely a year old and was spun out of Esoko.
Why is it important: When you look at how much money is coming to Africa, much of it is impact tagged. With the exception of a few startups, no one in another field can raise such a ticket size when they are barely a year. Plus, when you look at the nature of the investor. AHL has made bets on Zoona, Twiga, and Rent to Own. They are not new to above the average early stage ticket sizes. They participated in Twiga's $10 Million series A. The conclusion is that if you want certain ticket sizes, then you need to know who to pitch to.
2. Farmcrowdy CEO breaks down startup success ingredients
What happened: Farmcrowdy CEO and founder Onyeka Akumah had an interview with Ventureburn and he broke down the ingredients for a startup's success into three; hard work, relationships and luck.
Why is it important: Africa is at a point where a few people can now come out and claim to have an understanding of the market. This wasn't the case a few years ago. Startup founders who are going to follow those that came before will definitely have an experienced batch of mentors who have been there and done that. Plus, if someone has had an exit before, then you've got to pay attention.
3. Zimbabwe's Golix is expanding
What happened: The crypto exchange platform is expanding to Cameroon, Rwanda, Nigeria, and Tanzania.
Why is it important: The first half of 2018 has produced so many expansions that i have lost count. Now the norm is that whoever is raising money is doing so to expand to another market. My interpretation of this is two way; Either these startups are trying to cover as much ground as possible to raise the barrier to entry. Or, they are trying to position themselves for a potential acquisition. Though, I also think that whoever is planning to do a startup in the near future should critically analyze who has raised money or who is about to. Those are your potential exits. The same goes for the angel investors. Look for a startup that can complement the services of those that have raised a significant amount when they decide to scale their operations.
Zimbabwean crypto exchange Golix expands to yet more markets - Disrupt Africa
4. Kenya's M-Pesa is losing ground on P2P transactions
What happened: TechWeez reported that Safaricom's M-Pesa is losing ground when it comes to Peer-to-Peer transactions.
Why is it important: It is really difficult to dissect what could be happening here. There are several ways one can interpret this. One could be that Safaricom is trying to evolve M-Pesa after identifying a more lucrative area. But what could be better than P2P? Payments? Like the partnership, they just signed with PayPal? Additionally, one could say that with a service like Mshwari, most people (Bottom of the Pyramid) who carry out P2P transactions are the very ones who are likely borrowing. Perhaps whoever fails to pay back in time decides to just use the alternative. However, it is interesting for all that are building their products around mobile to pay close attention to it.
5. Gebeya acquires Coders4Africa
What happened: Ethiopian software talent marketplace - Gebeya - announced its acquisition of Coders4Africa.
Why is it important: Coders4Africa's CEO, Yusuf Bashir, pointed out the lack of opportunities for the developers they've trained as one of the reasons for the acquisition. This points to a lack of a business model or not having focused enough on it in the early stages. However, given that Amadou declined to disclose the details of the acquisition, perhaps it wasn't a cash deal. This implies that Gebeya saves cash in the short run (which it perhaps may not have) which it could have spent on training these developers. And has the opportunity to scale as fast as possible to match the likes of Andela who are now about to clock 8 markets on the continent. That's if you consider Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria and Egypt.