Venture capital, global expansion, blockchain and drones characterize African tech in 2018

Trends

2018 saw Africa’s tech sector become more dynamic and international. VC firms on the continent multiplied. There were numerous investment rounds. And startups pursued acquisitions and global expansion. Here’s a snapshot of the news that shaped African tech over the last year.  

Surge in VC funds

A notable 2018 trend was Africa’s VC landscape becoming more African, with an increasing number of investment funds headquartered on the continent and run by locals, according to Crunchbase data released in this TechCrunch exclusive.

Drawing on its database and primary source research, Crunchbase identified 51 viable Africa-focused VC funds globally with at least 7-10 investments in African startups from seed to series stage.

Of the 51 funds, 22 (or 43 percent) were headquartered in Africa and managed by Africans. Of those 22, nine (or 41 percent) were formed since 2016 and nine were Nigerian.

Four of the nine Nigeria-based funds were formed within the last year: Microtraction, Neon Ventures, Beta.Ventures and CcHub’s Growth Capital fund.

The Crunchbase study also tracked more Africans in top positions at outside funds and the rise of homegrown corporate venture arms.

One of those entities with a corporate venture arm, Naspers, announced a $100 million fund named Naspers Foundry to invest in South African tech startups. This was part of a $300 million (4.6 billion Rand) commitment by the South African media and investment company to support South Africa’s tech sector overall, as reportedhere at TechCrunch.

Another DFI came on the scene when France announced a $76 million African startup fund administered by the French Development Agency, AFD. TechCrunch got the skinny on how it will work here. Continue reading

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