Investing in Africa: a guide to off-road venture capital in Africa

Investing in Africa is unlike investing anywhere else. Incredible opportunities exist amongst, and in many cases because of, the continent’s distinct challenges. For family offices looking to invest in the region, we start with an exploration of venture investing in Africa.
family offices investing africa

What you need to know

  • For family offices searching for growth investment opportunities, Africa could present itself as an attractive destination. It is one of the fastest-growing regions in the world and, with its young and rapidly urbanizing population, holds the promise of a multi-decade boom.
  • However, the continent lacks much that is commonplace elsewhere, creating a unique set of challenges for operators and investors alike. Seeing the opportunity in these challenges simply requires a different perspective.
Venture Capital Updated on October 21, 2022

Why should family offices look at investing in Africa?

In short, venture capital in Africa is booming. As Partech points out in its latest report on African Tech VC, disclosed equity rounds over $200k on the continent are up ~6.5x over the last 5 years. And while the total amount of funds deployed decreased to $1.43B in 2020 (as the COVID-19 pandemic made on-the-ground due diligence more difficult for international investors), the number of equity funding rounds increased by 44% implying a growing and healthy venture ecosystem with more investors, investing more often. Yet, many investors struggle to put money to work in Africa because they see the world through a Western lens.

To many, Venture capital is like Formula 1 racing. Venture capitalists provide high octane fuel in the form of cash as well as technical assistance and other resources.

All of which enable daring founders – who we worship like the F1 drivers of the 80s – to scale businesses at frightening speeds and win the races for market dominance. VCs like to back drivers that have been around the circuit before, and they themselves have fine-tuned their race strategies through previous market cycles.

About the Authors

Brendan Murphy

Brendan Murphy

Asset allocation & private markets

Connect with Brendan Murphy

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