26 minutes | Apr 28, 2023
African Pre-seed Podcast Bonus Episode: Agritech VibeCheck + Lessons from Nneile Nkholise
Lesotho-born Medtech entrepreneur and CEO of Thola, Nneile Nkholise, joins us on this Agritech-themed #APSVibecheck instalment of the African Pre-seed Podcast. Thola is accelerating auditing and global export compliance certification for farmers and their products for climate sustainability and quality standards through a mass decentralised 'Certification-as-a-Service' software solution. One of the things that shines through in this conversation with Nkholise is grit and the importance of perspective. Those themes are timely given today’s global tech ecosystem and the market uncertainties we’re living through. Nkholise is not a first time founder, and throughout the conversation, it’s easy to tell that she’s used to making bold decisions. Her time as a researcher helped her see the opportunity to solve a need in women’s health. It led to her founding iMedTech and building out that business before deciding to shut it down. 🌍 Yet, her boldest decision is something we can all learn from. For her second business, Nkholise decided to move from South Africa to Silicon Valley–smack in the middle of the pandemic–because she believes that the market for Thola is bigger in the US. “It’s not always the case that one needs to start a business in their home market; a bigger opportunity for us was in Silicon Valley,” Nkholise shares. Remember our conversation in last week’s newsletter? One key takeaway from that newsletter is that pivots (and bold business decisions) should happen when we’ve learned something that fundamentally challenges our assumptions of the customer and the market. But this story is not all roses. There’s a useful conversation about coping with failures, which is something Nkholise had to do following her decision to shut down iMedTech. Shutting down the business was not an easy decision, and it also points to the fact that startup failures can be unique and complex. For iMedTech, it wasn’t typical problems like lack of funding or an inability to find product market fit. Instead, the company struggled with dealing with scale–it’s not everyday you hear about how finding product market fit comes with its own set of existential pressures. Nkholise is right on the money when she says, “When a company gets to PMF, the only way it dies is if the founder can’t handle scale. It’s one that’s never quite spoken of because many founders never even get to PMF.” As I said early in the conversation, this is a timely conversation! Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this conversation is how experience and perspective can shape our position over a period of time. It’s especially important when the conversation moves to African VCs and the idea that they tend to be more stringent before signing cheques. According to Nkholise, “These experiences of doing due diligence with African VCs shape willing founders. Having a VC that forces a founder to be a strategist mitigates failure in a market downturn.” Before I give too much away, listen to the podcast and be sure to let us know your biggest takeaway! — Olumuyiwa Top 5 insights to unpack in the episode: 1. Please describe your startup journey from South Africa to San Francisco. Why didyou go to Silicon Valley? [0:18]2. What did I learn from founding a startup that failed? [05:15]3. What misconceptions do African founders have about Silicon Valley? [09:38]4. What is the perception of the African VC ecosystem among the stakeholders youinteract with within the Silicon Valley scene? [12:07]5. How do you keep perspective amid the highs and lows of being a founder? How doyou take care of your mental health? [17:10] CONNECT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA: Connect with Nneile Nkholise on Linkedin. Are you a Founder learning the ropes of the fintech industry? Please share what you're learning from some of your successes and setbacks on social via the #APSVibecheck #AfricanPreseedPodcast hashtags, or email us via firstname.lastname@example.org USEFUL RESOURCES: ARTICLE: Navigating the African tech startup ecosystem by Ventureburn. ARTICLE: The story of iMed Tech as told by Nneile Nkholise by IT News Africa. Click here to subscribe to the podcast wherever you listen.
29 minutes | Mar 31, 2023
African Pre-seed Podcast #12: Measuring success in the African B2B e-commerce sector
In this e-commerce-themed episode, Co-Founder and CEO of Omnibiz Africa, Deepankar Rustagi, shares his insights about measuring success in the African e-commerce space and the business models that are best positioned to succeed within the broad online market. 🤔 B2B e-commerce asks that you throw away vanity metrics Hi there,Olumuyiwa here again. You may remember me from the previous edition of the APS newsletter. 😉 Last week, I was moderating a Twitter space conversation about the evolution of the African tech ecosystem in the last ten years. While recent observers may think that only fintech has been sexy for a minute, early players know that B2C e-commerce was where it was once at. Konga and Jumia slugged it out for African dominance in 2012, and South Africa’s Takealot—founded in 2012—has seen major success. But worsening macroeconomic conditions on the continent in the last decade means that most of the e-commerce action is focused on the B2B side of the market. 🔍 Why is everyone moving to the B2B space? According to Deepankar Rustagi, the Co-Founder and CEO of Omnibiz Africa, “the B2B space is more organized, structured and has a much larger frequency…so the opportunity in the B2B space. There's a very big difference when we compare it to a normal e-commerce business. A normal e-commerce business is always exploring to find where there is need.” Deepankar refers that B2B e-commerce businesses focus on the army of small and medium businesses in Africa. You know that army of informal retailers you always read about? They often need a more efficient supply of goods, better logistics, or even opportunities to scale their businesses. You could say that they’re always looking for better value. So what should matter to a B2B focused business in a world where vanity metrics reign supreme? 📈 Focus on repeatability, retention, and Growth If you follow B2C e-commerce companies, it’s easy to understand that Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) is the holy grail of metrics. GMV, which is the value of all goods and services sold on an e-commerce platform, is so important that many companies have really interesting ways to measure it. For instance, one e-commerce giant in Africa counts returned goods and orders canceled as part of its GMV. 📌 Should a B2B e-commerce company obsess over its GMV so much? Deepankar doesn’t think so because when you focus on businesses, acquisition isn’t the end goal. Instead, “retention by creating value for the customer is the end game. If you could measure value for the customer, that would be the perfect metric.” What’s my big takeaway from this episode of the African pre-seed podcast? When you’re a B2B e-commerce company, focus on the two R’s and one G: repeatability, retention, and growth of your customers. That’s enough spoilers, listen to Deepankar speak on the metrics that matter, and see you in the next episode! What to look forward to in this episode: Identifying pain points that need solving within the African B2B e-commerce market [02:11] Pursuing the right metrics when looking to enter the B2B space in Africa [04:03] Oversimplifications about the 'wholesaler' within an African context [06:19] Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) in the B2C space vs. B2B space [08:14] Key metrics for B2B founders [10:31] Analyzing the effectiveness of your business model [12:15] Tools to measure and follow the right metrics [14:36] Adding value to the business through supply chain visibility [16:22] Personal lessons learned from scaling B2b e-commerce in Africa [19:36] Coming to terms with failure as tech entrepreneurs [22:35] Simplifying workplace culture and hiring processes [23:43] Three key personality traits for B2B founders [26:05] CONNECT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA: Connect with Deepankar Rustagi on Twitter and Linkedin. Connect with Hope Dithlakanyane on Twitter and Linkedin. Connect with Philani Mzila on Twitter and Linkedin. Tell us... What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? What topic would you like for us to feature on a future podcast? Let us know via the hashtag: #AfricanPreseedPodcast USEFUL RESOURCES: ARTICLE: Rethinking Metrics in B2B Ecommerce by The Flip Africa. ARTICLE: Enriching the Lives of FMCGs Retailers in Nigeria by Business Elites Africa.
17 minutes | Feb 28, 2023
African Pre-seed Podcast Episode #11: Fintech VibeCheck + Lessons from Bernard Laurendeau
Ethiopian tech investor and CEO of Arifpay, Bernard Laurendeau, joins us on this fintech-themed #APSVibecheck instalment of the African Pre-seed Podcast. ArifPay is Ethiopias first universal mobile Point of Sales (mPOS), an electronic payment platform designed for use by merchants, banks, and consumers in Ethiopia that any business, merchant, or consumer can use to transfer money, make invoices, or pay taxes. Arifpay’s story feels familiar because some of the best startups are the result of founders wanting to solve a pain point they experienced. The conversation with Bernard comes at a time when Ethiopia is opening up its economy. The country granted its first private mobile licence in 2021 and one year later, granted a mobile money service licence to M-Pesa. In Ethiopia, M-Pesa will be looking to replicate the kind of success it has had in Kenya where it has become the runaway market leader. Yet that may not play out the same way because it is in a market where growth is happening in the banking sector and where the competition is aware of the importance of moving quickly. At the 3-minute mark, Bernard talks about the rapid growth in the country’s banking sector and you get the sense that the payments space will see more players. The banks know there’s value in being connectors and startups like Arifpay are already out of the blocks. Yet the entire industry and end users benefit from having more players in the payments space. Today, Nigeria’s payment space has a lot more players all trying to comprehensively solve the payments problem, even though it wasn’t always this way. It’s a sign of where Ethiopia could be if progress is sustained over the next decade, but it will need significant funding to get there. In March 2021, ArifPay raised over USD 3 million in March 2021 in its "pre-Series A round", a significant sum for a startup in Ethiopia. As we’ve seen across growing ecosystems, attracting revenue (among other things) is critical for growth; as Bernard shares, revenue and talent are the two missing pieces for Ethiopia’s startup ecosystem to truly take off. Top 5 insights unpacked in the episode: 1. How Bernard first involved himself with Arifpay and how he later became its CEO [0:17]2. An exploration of Ethiopia’s macroeconomic picture, and what is happening below the surface that external observers may miss from afar [2:30]3. How Arifpay envisages itself and its role within the Ethiopian fintech system. [05:35]4. Bernard's view on Ethiopia’s tech ecosystem, which areas interest him the most, and why [8:00]5. The difference between bank-led digital payments and mobile money in an Ethiopian context [11:18] CONNECT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA: Connect with Bernard Laurendeau on Linkedin. Are you a Founder learning the ropes of the fintech industry? Please share what you're learning from some of your successes and setbacks on social via the #APSVibecheck #AfricanPreseedPodcast hashtags, or email us via email@example.com USEFUL RESOURCES: ARTICLE: Bernard Laurendeau: A Man Of Execution And Practice by LONLINE MAG. ARTICLE: Ethiopian Fintech Scene Shows Great Promise as Africa’s Next Fintech Hub by Fintechnews Africa. VIDEO: "What does collaborative banking look like? What is the outlook for Fintech in Ethiopia?" by DigitalEthiopia WebinarSeries. Click here to subscribe to the podcast wherever you listen.
52 minutes | Feb 9, 2023
African Pre-seed Podcast Episode #09: Women-led Entrepreneurship in Africa with Desiree Joule-Adam
Desiree is passionate about breaking boundaries and inspiring women founders to re-discover and write a new narrative for Africa. Her work is synonymous with advocating for innovation, emerging technologies, and start-up ecosystems that foster collaboration and sustainable relationships among women in the tech sector. In this episode, we look deeper into the state of women-led entrepreneurship in Africa with Desiree Joule-Adam, Director of External Affairs at the African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative. What to look forward to in this episode: Why are you passionate about women-led entrepreneurship in Africa? What about your background and history influenced your career trajectory to reach this point? [3:40] You’ve worked in various sectors, ranging from media and telco to education and industry. Which experiences have proven to be the most valuable to you in your work today? [8:04] What are the typical challenges women entrepreneurs face when trying to build businesses on the African continent? [11:50] Do you think the continent has moved the needle to address the challenges women face in the startup ecosystem? [17:07] What role does activism play in creating an enabling environment for women-led startups? [19:20] What are the differences in what women-led entrepreneurs are building across the African continent? [23:45] What is your opinion on bridging the gap between the economic necessity for women-led entrepreneurship and “self-actualization/social status/hierarchy?" [28:55] How important is mental health and well-being support for women founders? [33:32] What is some of the best advice you've received from a woman industry peer in your entrepreneurial journey? [41:00] What makes you optimistic about women-led entrepreneurship on the African continent? [49:53] CONNECT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA: Connect with Desiree Joule-Adam on Twitter and Linkedin. Connect with Hope Dithlakanyane on Twitter and Linkedin. Tell us... What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? What topic would you like us to feature on a future podcast? Let us know via the hashtag: #AfricanPreseed USEFUL RESOURCES: ARTICLE: Ten women running multimillion-dollar businesses in Nigeria by Ishioma Emi (Ventures Africa). ARTICLE: A peek into the future of African VC by Tayo Akinyemi (The Trajectory: Africa). ARTICLE: A $3.2 Trillion Market Opportunity for Women-focused Fintechs by Aishwarya Patka (Medium).
37 minutes | Jan 30, 2023
African Pre-seed Podcast Episode #10: The role of media coverage for the African VC and startup ecosystem
Tomiwa Aladekomo leads the team at Big Cabal Media, which publishes the tech and youth publications, TechCabal and Zikoko. Big Cabal is building the next generation of African media brands and creating some of the continent's most interesting and exciting original content. What to look forward to in this episode: What’s your favorite African tech success story of 2022? [4:10] What ecosystem issue do you think should have got more coverage last year and why? [5:34] Coming into 2022, the sense was, can Africa buck the VC funding downturn that was sweeping other markets… And indeed, it seems we have. Does that surprise you? [8:01] Despite challenges in the tech this industry, what led you to found Big Cabal Media? What was the opportunity, and what interested you about it? [9:30] Tell us about your media diet… What are you reading, what are you watching, and what are you listening to right now? [12:46] What are your thoughts on how the relationship between African tech ecosystem media and African Founders is evolving? [15:24] What do you wish Founders knew about dealing with the media? [18:52] What’s the story you sold your investors to land TechCabal’s $2.3 million seed round? [23:56] What top three tips would you give media entrepreneurs looking to emulate TechCabal’s success? [24:52] Based on the collaboration with CNBC Africa to launch “The Next Wave”, is traditional media still a thing? What’s the big idea behind TechCabal’s foray into television via CNBC Africa? [27:36] The experienced Tomi Davies recently published a Medium article outlining the rollercoaster history of TechCabal from his perspective as an investor… He was pretty candid. What was the hardest thing to read? [30:25] TechCabal has spawned the PayPal Mafia of African Media… How did you guys manage that? [33:00] CONNECT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA: Connect with Tomiwa Aladekomo on Twitter and Linkedin. Connect with Hope Dithlakanyane on Twitter and Linkedin. Connect with Adam Wakefield on Linkedin. Tell us... What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? What topic would you like for us to feature on a future podcast? Let us know via the hashtag: #AfricanPreseed USEFUL RESOURCES: ARTICLE: Big Cabal Media — roller-coaster beginning! by Tomi Dee (Medium). YOUTUBE: Why infrastructure is the key to Africa's digital future - The Next Wave Show S1 Ep8 by TechCabal.
31 minutes | Nov 30, 2022
African Pre-seed Podcast Episode #08: Africa's Mobile & Internet Revolution with Russell Southwood
Russell is the author of a book recently published by the Manchester University Press titled Africa. 2.0: Inside a continent’s communications revolution. Russell’s book critically examines the impact these technologies have had on development practices and the role development actors have played in accelerating regulatory reform, fibre roll-out, and mobile money. What to look forward to in this episode: What has been most surprising about growth or lack of growth in the African startup landscape/sector? [04:25] What are some of the data points or anecdotes that founders could look into when trying to introduce innovation from a behavioral perspective regarding adoption? [08:10] Do you think enough people are working on the enabling infrastructure, or do more people need to think about that and not the sexy user interface or app? Do you think the incumbents need to be more proactive in opening up distribution channels? [10:03] The lines are often blurred between ambition and reality, especially in SSA. At what point does successful storytelling become counterproductive? [13:07] How do you think about the distinction between small businesses / SMEs and tech start-ups, and what should we be doing more (or less) to articulate the difference better? [15:03] Do you think we need to see more consolidation or inorganic growth, or should we be creating platforms for more people to challenge the status quo in a decentralized way? [17:13] What role has Consumer behavior and Culture shift played in driving or influencing that change? [25:42] CONNECT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA: Connect with Russell Southwood on Twitter and Linkedin. Connect with Hope Dithlakanyane on Twitter and Linkedin. Connect with Rajiv Daya on Twitter and Linkedin. Tell us... What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? What topic would you like for us to feature on a future podcast? Let us know via the hashtag: #AfricanPreseed USEFUL RESOURCES: ARTICLE: Africa's growth in the digital economy and VC investment landscape by Tage Kene-Okafor (TechCrunch). BOOK: Africa 2.0: Inside a continent’s communications revolution by Russell Southwood. REPORT: Venture Capital in Africa by African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association.
15 minutes | Nov 3, 2022
African Pre-seed Podcast Episode #07: Logistics Vibe Check + Lessons from Thumeza with Gugulethu Siso
Tech entrepreneur, Gugulethu Siso, joins us on this logistics-themed #APSVibecheck instalment of the African Pre-seed Podcast. Gugulethu has co-founded two startups, namely Ninety Nine Investments, a B2B trolley management startup in Namibia, and Thumeza, a supply chain fintech startup in South Africa. Thumeza provides data-powered financing to the African logistics sector, supporting clients in East and Southern Africa, such as the United Nations Development Programme, Lori Systems, and KTU Express. Upon Gugulethu's exit from Ninety Nine Investments in 2017, the startup had over 50 employees, netted VC investment for growth, and had an impressive client list ranging from Shoprite Checkers, Food Lovers Market and Woolworths. Thumeza, on the other hand, nearly went under, except for a clever pivot. Top 5 Insights unpacked in this episode: What informed Gugulethu's decision to pivot into the logistics finance sector? What are some of the oversimplifications made and assumed regarding the logistics industry and its relationship with technology? Is the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) worth getting excited about? What's the profile of the everyday African individual or company that wants to participate in the continent's growing logistics industry? Should logtech Founders go B2B or B2C? CONNECT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA: Connect with Gugulethu Siso on Linkedin. Connect with Hope Dithlakanyane on Twitter and Linkedin. Connect with Rajiv Daya on Twitter and Linkedin. Are you a Founder learning the ropes of the logistics tech industry? Please share what you're learning from some of your successes and setbacks on social via the #APSVibecheck #AfricanPreseed hashtags, or email us via firstname.lastname@example.org USEFUL RESOURCES: ARTICLE: Zimbabwe's Thumeza plots SADC expansion by providing transporters with access to working capital by Tom Jackson (Disrupt Africa) ARTICLE: What does the future hold for Africa's transport and logistics tech sector? by Aanu Adewoye (Techcabal) ARTICLE: Logistics Challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa and Opportunities for Digitalization by Damilola Kuteyi and Herwig Winkler (MDPI) VIDEO: "We are solving the problem that nearly put us under" - Gugulethu Siso Thumeza by Story Untold ZW Click here to subscribe to the podcast wherever you listen.
42 minutes | Sep 30, 2022
African Pre-seed Podcast Episode #06: Fintech Vibe Check + Lessons From Jumia with Duncan Muchangi
Tech entrepreneur, operator and investor Duncan Muchangi joins us for this fintech-themed #APSVibeCheck instalment of the African Pre-seed Podcast. Duncan has operated, invested in, and advised various leading tech platforms that have scaled globally. Quite notably, he was part of the team at Jumia that helped set the company up for its much-publicised New York Stock Exchange listing in 2019. He is currently Principal at Unicorn Growth Capital, a private investments platform investing at the intersection of TradFi & DeFi in high-growth Web3 companies. Top 5 insights unpacked in the episode: 1. What lessons has Duncan learnt from failing early startup attempts? 2. Highlights of being part of the early team at one of Africa’s most publicised unicorn stories. 3. Tips for going from operator to early-stage investor. 4. Why is Duncan bullish on African fintech and his investment thesis for backing startups in the space? 5. Is backing Web3 startups a crazy gamble or a smart, calculated investment opportunity? CONNECT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA: Connect with Duncan Muchangi on Twitter and Linkedin. Connect with Hope Dithlakanyane on Twitter and Linkedin. Connect with Rajiv Daya on Twitter and Linkedin. Are you a Founder or operator looking to become a venture capitalist? Tell us why or why not on social via the #APSVibecheck #AfricanPreseed hashtag. USEFUL RESOURCES: ARTICLE: Africa’s growth in the digital economy and VC investment landscape by Tage Kene-Okafor (TechCrunch) OP-ED: The Future of Fintech Is Unfolding in Africa by Tapfuma Musewe and Kyle Hiebert (Centre for International Governance Innovation) PODCAST SERIES: What is Web3? feat. Michael Kimani (African Tech Roundup) REPORT: State of the Crypto Industry Report 2021 by Nansen ARTICLE: The outlook for crypto and blockchain in Africa by Dr Desné Masie (African Business) ARTICLE: The role of cryptocurrencies in sub-Saharan Africa by Bitange Ndemo (Brookings) Click here to subscribe to the podcast wherever you listen.
46 minutes | Aug 30, 2022
African Pre-seed Podcast Episode #5: How critical is cybersecurity for early-stage ventures? - with Ovamba Solutions & Cyber Alliance
Viola Llewellyn, Kendrall Felder and Larry Yon talk about cybersecurity risks and unpack what early-stage fintech Founders on the continent need to be doing to build safe and robust digital infrastructure. What to look forward to in this episode: What does financial and cyber inclusion in Africa look like? [6:54] How early should tech founders invest in cybersecurity? [11:09] How much time should Founders spend on building their product versus securing it? [14:35] How does regulation around fintech cybersecurity vary in African markets? [20:00] What are some of the commercial incentives of attending to cybersecurity risks? [23:21] Ahead of all existing cyber threats, what is the number one cybersecurity threat Founders should look to mitigate? [26:43] What are some cybersecurity threats Viola, Kendrall and Larry have dealt with in their businesses? [34:30] What do you have to say to the founder that thinks they simply can't afford to pay attention to cybersecurity in their startup? [40:38] CONNECT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA: Connect with Viola Llewellyn on Twitter and Linkedin. Connect with Larry Yon on Linkedin. Connect with Kendrall Felder on Linkedin. Connect with Philani Mzila on Linkedin. Are you a tech Founder or investor looking to gain more insight into cybersecurity for your business? Tell us why or why not. Let us know on the socials using the #AfricanPreseed hashtag. USEFUL RESOURCES: ARTICLE: How early-stage startups can enlist the right amount of security as they grow by First Round Review. ARTICLE: Cybersecurity in Africa: What Should African Leaders Do to Strengthen the Digital Economy? By Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. REPORT: The rise of global cybersecurity venture funding by Crunchbase. YOUTUBE: The Cybersecurity guide for startups by Slush. Click here to subscribe to the podcast wherever you listen.
19 minutes | Jul 31, 2022
African Pre-seed Podcast Episode #04: The Trajectory Africa Podcast Vibe Check with Tayo Akinyemi
African Pre-Seed #04 - Vibe Check with Tayo Akinyemi The Trajectory Africa explores the trajectory or pathway of venture capital and startup formation in Africa. It aims to identify a destination for African tech and the signposts that signal the direction of travel. The series came in the wake of Tayo co-publishing a report called Chasing Outliers, Why Context Matters for Early Stage Investing in Africa, distilling conversations she had with over 100 founders, investors and LPs about how VC works in Africa, given the numerous contextual differences in market size, market conditions, and consumer preferences— relative to, say, VC in Silicon Valley. Top Founder insights trending in this episode: Be clear about the true size of your market, especially if you're building a B2C business. The share of disposable income you're trying to capture is probably being split across several alternative solutions. [0:25] Know a secret about your chosen industry to tap unmet demand— knowledge that gives you an edge. [5:17] Put money in your customers' pockets if you can. People spend more with you when you help them earn more. [8:52] Be very clear about what type of business YOU want to build. Very few businesses are VC-backable. [11:58] Manage your fundraising expectations by getting to grips with how VC works. [15:27] Knowing your numbers, especially how your venture makes money, will help you better understand how VCs make investment decisions. [18:20] CONNECT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA: Connect with Tayo on Twitter and Linkedin. Are you a tech Founder or investor looking to gain more insight into VC investing in Africa? Tell us why or why not. Let us know on social via the #APSVibecheck #AfricanPreseed hashtag. USEFUL RESOURCES: ARTICLE: One size fits all view on Africa and other mistakes VCs make by Stephen Timm (Ventureburn). ARTICLE: Africa's growth in the digital economy and VC investment landscape by Tage Kene-Okafor (TechCrunch). ARTICLE: A peek into the future of African VC by Tayo Akinyemi (The Trajectory: Africa). REPORT: Venture Capital in Africa by African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association. Click here to subscribe to the podcast wherever you listen.
26 minutes | Jul 1, 2022
African Pre-Seed Podcast Episode #03 Part 1: Can healthtech startups cover the gaps in Africa’s healthcare systems?
Joining co-hosts Hope and Rajiv for this pertinent two-part healthtech-themed edition of The African Pre-seed Podcast is the Co-founder and CEO of Nigerian HealthTech startup Reliance Health, Femi Kuti. Reliance Health's recent $40 million in Series B funding (the largest of its kind in Africa's healthtech scene) underscored a growing investor appetite for African startups addressing gaps in the continent's healthcare industry. In this insight-rich episode, Femi factors in on the extent to which HealthTech plays can move the needle on covering the gaps in Africa's healthcare systems and how founders in the sector should consider servicing key market drivers. What to look forward to in this podcast: What are (the most problematic) oversimplifications typically made about African healthcare systems, i.e. a) by Founders keen to enter the space and b) by investors looking to back it? [3:15] What are the most commonly misunderstood dynamics of running a successful healthtech startup in Africa? [5:53] What commercial growth story did Femi sell General Atlantic and the other investors who participated in Reliance Health’s Series B? [6:55] What are some of the most challenging business problems Reliance Health has had to solve so far, i.e. issues that might have sunk the business if they hadn’t figured things out? [21:07] CONNECT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA: Connect with Femi Kuti on Twitter and Linkedin. Connect with Hope Dithlakanyane on Twitter and Linkedin. Connect with Rajiv Daya on Twitter and Linkedin. Did you learn something new? We want to know what part of this discussion stood out for you. Let us know by dropping a note at email@example.com. USEFUL RESOURCES: BLOG: Closing the gap in African Healthcare? by Shilifa Gupta (VestedWorld) OP-ED: The Necessary rise of Africa’s Health Tech by Stephen Ogweno (Project Syndicate) ARTICLE: Can healthcare startups solve Nigeria’s health problems by Aisha Salaudeen (Stears Business) REPORT: Strategies for effective healthcare for Africa in the Fourth Industrial Revolution by Landry Signé (Africa Growth Initiative) VIDEO: How technology is transforming Africa’s healthcare sector by CNBC Africa Click here to subscribe to the podcast wherever you listen.
14 minutes | May 31, 2022
African Pre-seed Podcast Episode #02: Lagos Vibe Check with Adegoke Oyeniyi
Adegoke Oyeniyi lets us in on what the streets of Lagos are saying about #Fluttergate and toxic workplaces in Nigeria, the rise of Web 3.0, and MTN’s mobile money moves. Also, do listen in to hear if Adegoke has plans to ‘japa’ (leave Nigeria for greener pastures) and whether he thinks there are any good reasons for Founders building in Nigeria to stay put. Adegoke has spent the last decade covering the African startup scene and is currently Co-Founder of Hankara Inc., a talent-placing startup connecting African content marketers to remote jobs with overseas technology companies. #APSVibeCheck topics trending in this episode: What effects are toxic leaders having in Nigerian workplaces? [0:21] Can we trust media coverage of the #Fluttergate scandal? [2:52] Web 3.0 in Nigeria, Hit or Hype? [08:07] Will MTN dominate mobile money in Nigeria like Safaricom (and M-Pesa) has done in East Africa? [08:08] Why are so many Nigerians in the country’s tech scene trying to “japa”? [09:27] CONNECT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA: Connect with Adegoke Oyeniyi on Twitter and Linkedin. Connect with Hope Dithlakanyane on Twitter and Linkedin. Connect with Rajiv Daya on Twitter and Linkedin. Are you a Nigerian tech Founder about to “japa”? Tell us why or why not? Let us know on social via the #APSVibecheck #AfricanPreseed hashtag. USEFUL RESOURCES: ARTICLE: Flutterwave: The African Unicorn Built On Quicksand by David Hundayin (West Africa Weekly)TWITTER POST: How TechCabal navigates Flutterwave scandal by TechCabal ARTICLE: What MTN’s MOMO PSB licence means for financial services by Ubah Jeremiah Ifeanyi (Nairametrics)PODCAST SERIES: What is Web3? feat Michael Kimani by Michael Kimani (African Tech Roundup)TWITTER POST: The Growth Handbook - Scaling Fintech in Nigeria by Olabinjo Adeniran ARTICLE: Nigerian Youths and the “Japa” Syndrome by Frederick Nwabufo (The Cable) Click here to subscribe to the podcast wherever you listen. Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed by Vibe Check guest, Adegoke Oyeniyi, do not necessarily reflect the views of The African Pre-seed Team.
23 minutes | Mar 30, 2022
African Pre-seed Podcast Episode #01: Why is agritech so hard, though?
Welcome to the very first episode of the African Pre-seed Podcast! This show is for you if you are an Africa-focused founder or investor looking to learn more about Africa's tech ecosystem. To kick things off, we ask the question: "Why is agritech so hard, though?" Joining co-hosts Hope Ditlhakanyane and Rajiv Daya for this pertinent discussion is Kenyan agritech founder, Taita Ngetich, whose startup, Synnefa, is helping farmers raise productivity, increase yield and manage risk by providing farming software integrated with hardware (AI-powered IoT devices). Taita is a trained mechanical engineer (University of Nairobi) who's studying for an MBA part-time at Warwick Business School while serving as CEO at Synnefa. On this podcast, Taita shares live in-trench insights about his entrepreneurial experience and the agtech scene in Kenya, the rest of Africa and other parts of the world. He also factors in on how African agritech ventures might play a key role in growing economies on the continent— by safeguarding livelihoods and delivering on food security. Themes covered in this episode include: Why is agritech such a daunting space to launch a startup in? What will it take to scale some of the more promising agtech ventures in Africa? Can agritech founders borrow anything from the playbooks of successful fintech founders? Do African farmers actually care about the long-term economic progress agritech might unlock? What are some of the unique challenges agritech founders face in landing investment to back their ventures? Enjoy! CONNECT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA: Connect with Taita Ngetich on Twitter and Linkedin. Connect with Hope Dithlakanyane on Twitter and Linkedin. Connect with Rajiv Daya on Twitter and Linkedin. Tell us... What was your favourite quote or lesson from this episode? What topic would you like for us to feature on a future podcast? Let us know via the hashtag: #AfricanPreseed USEFUL RESOURCES: REPORT: Innovating Food Systems in East Africa by Briter Bridges, World Food Programme & USAID ARTICLE: Is data the new soil in agri? by Lindi Botha (Farmer's Weekly) ARTICLE: Why VC Investors Are Plowing Record Sums Into Agtech by Chris Metinko (Crunchbase News) REPORT: Aceli Year 1 Learning Report: Unlocking Private Capital for African Agriculture by Aceli Africa PODCAST: UNAJUA S4 EP3: Can Africa's agri-supply chain be fixed? feat. Karidas Tshintsholo by African Tech Roundup