“An exit is an exit”: Three issues we discovered from the State of Tech in Africa report launch

“An exit is an exit”: Three issues we discovered from the State of Tech in Africa report launch

On Friday, January 26, TechCabal Insights launched its a lot anticipated State of Tech in Africa Report for Q4, 2023. The report make clear the realities of funding in 2023 with insights on how buyers and gamers within the tech ecosystem can navigate by the funding winter and are available out thriving.

To launch the report, TechCabal Insights had its first TC Dwell occasion of the yr hosted by Timi Odueso, TechCabal’s Senior Editor, Newsletters, and that includes Mobolaji Adebayo, analyst at TechCabal Insights; Moses Kemibaro, a digital media strategist; Nadayar Enegesi, co-founder and CEO of Eden Life, and Ory Okolloh, companion at Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures.

The occasion was filled with highlights and motion factors that function a useful useful resource for contributors. Listed below are three that stood out for us:
2023 was a actuality test—go away your entitlement on the door
For Nadayar, the silver lining behind the 2023 funding cloud was that it served as a actuality test for buyers. Whereas acknowledging that the majority info is non-public and inside firms, he famous the challenges startups face, together with regulatory threats, macroeconomic headwinds, and funding cuts.

He counseled the resilience of African founders regardless of restricted world funding. As difficult as issues had been, he insisted that “it may have been an even bigger massacre.” Nadiyar suggested on the necessity for firms to reinvent themselves, a sentiment that Moses shared when he famous that firms are pivoting, with a stronger emphasis on extra B2B and fewer B2C fashions. “We needs to be pondering of the way to prioritise profitability and sustainability and transfer away from an entitlement mentality in the direction of funding.”

Debt funding is nice for African tech—however it needs to be localised

Final yr, there have been 45 recorded debt offers in Africa, and for Ory, it’s factor noting, “Whereas debt funding is sector agnostic, I believe it’s a fantastic growth. Nevertheless, there are challenges in the way it’s at present structured.” Ory believes there’s a mismatch of devices since a lot of the fairness funding may very well be structured as debt as an alternative, notably working capital and belongings, as a result of it in any other case creates a untimely dilution for founders who don’t have any pores and skin left within the sport by the point they get to Sequence A or B.

One other problem she notes is that the debt coming in is in US {dollars}, which is hard in mild of a number of devaluations affecting native currencies. She maintained that rethinking round exploring native forex debt will assist develop startups whereas defending them.

An exit is an exit—take no matter wins you possibly can

As a lot because it’s nice to listen to information about rising tech unicorns, present realities require a unique focus. Traders contemplate mergers and acquisitions a lifeline, with exits turning into rarer. This level was expanded on by Ory, who stated, “It doesn’t matter how huge an exit is, an exit is an exit. It may not be the 10x you hoped for, and it may even be a down spherical, which constitutes a problem. However you need to keep in mind that this can be a robust setting. So, if this merger and acquisition choice offers a founder time to breathe, go for it.”

She added that for earlier buyers, this feature creates liquidity. “In just a few years, individuals will say VC doesn’t work in Africa as a result of we have now not had sufficient liquidity. Keep in mind, these are people who find themselves placing in cash anticipating a return. Perhaps what’s going to change is that the return expectations shift, however we don’t need to be in a spot the place you place your cash in and get nothing out.” 

Ory additionally tasked us with constructing transparency and what she calls an “M&A muscle” to make it extra viable. She steered that TC Insights construct an index of M&As and secondary markets that may very well be a useful useful resource for buyers.

Different fascinating topics had been mentioned round growth methods, information safety, synthetic intelligence, regulation and compliance, shopper behaviour, and switching prices. You can catch up on the full event by clicking this link.

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