Disrupt Africa To Open-Source Annual Funding Report

Disrupt Africa will, starting January 2021, make its flagship annual funding report free to all in an open-sourcing initiative through a partnership with Quona Capital, 4Di Capital, Accelerator, and Philanthropic Catalyst Fund.

Disrupt has annually since January 2016, released the African Tech Startups Funding Report, which quantifies investment into the African tech space over the course of the previous 12 months and analyses key trends and themes.

“Our flagship funding report, which was the first of its kind when the inaugural edition was released in January 2016, has become an industry benchmark,” said Tom Jackson, co-founder of Disrupt Africa. Adding, “We are proud of the customer base we have built, which is hundreds-strong and includes the great and the good of the global tech, innovation, and investment industry as we continue to empower African entrepreneurs through access to information as was not happening under the previous model.”

The report has tracked the extraordinary progress made by the continent’s startup ecosystems from an investment perspective since 2015, with the amount of total funding having increased by more than 160 per cent and the number of startups raising that funding growing by almost 150 per cent over those five years.

Aside from providing a full list of the funded startups, who invested in them, and where possible, the amount raised from the previous year, the annual reports also provide deep-dives into investment trends within key startup geographies and verticals, as well as data on African startup acquisitions.

Previously available for sale, the report has been purchased each year by leading tech companies from Africa and the rest of the world, Big Four consulting firms, banking and fintech leaders, venture capital firms, supranational investors, and international trade bodies. In January 2021, however, Disrupt Africa will make the next edition open source for the first time, to make it accessible to those for whom the information is most valuable – African entrepreneurs.

It is doing this with the help of partners Catalyst Fund, an accelerator for inclusive fintech startups in emerging markets managed by BFA Global; Quona Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in fintech innovations advancing inclusion in emerging markets; and 4Di Capital, an independent seed and early-stage technology venture capital firm.

Gabriella Mulligan, Disrupt Africa co-founder, said the company was delighted to partner with major ecosystem support players such as Catalyst Fund, Quona Capital, and 4Di Capital to make the African Tech Startups Funding Report 2020 available to everyone, anywhere, for free.

“Our partners understand the challenges African founders face in accessing not only capital, but vital information about who is providing that capital, to whom, and why,” she said. “We are grateful for their support in this initiative and looking forward to working with our partners across the ecosystem to ensure the next edition of the report lands in as many entrepreneurs’ inboxes as possible next January.”

Disrupt Africa’s investor partners also expressed their excitement at playing such a key role in this open-sourcing project.

“Working closely with early-stage fintech funders across emerging markets, we are constantly reminded that access to the right funding at the right time is crucial for early-stage fintech startups in their journey toward product-market fit and scale. Catalyst Fund is excited to partner with Disrupt Africa on this annual funding report, to provide access to valuable data that can highlight opportunities for startups, as well as critical gaps in the market, and better support the innovation ecosystem in Africa,” said Maelis Carraro, Director, Catalyst Fund, at BFA Global.

Johan Bosini, a partner at Quona Capital noted their excitement about the partnership with the team at Disrupt Africa, which he said will go a long way to ensure that vital data on where investment in tech startups in Africa is coming from and going to will be available to all.

“As the African tech ecosystem continues to grow, the availability of reliable data is crucial – and this initiative means better information is accessible to all entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, regardless of their location or means,” Bosini intimated.

“We are excited to partner with Disrupt Africa on this initiative. For us, the report is an important snapshot illustrating key trends and metrics with regards to the African startup ecosystem. Tom, Gabriella, and the team are at the forefront and hence perfectly positioned to publish a true and accurate reflection as to where we are headed as an industry,” said Anton Van Vlaanderen, partner at 4Di Capital.

Disrupt Africa continues to seek partners to help it increase the scale of this open-sourcing initiative.

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Molly Wasonga

Words are magical - said or written. I choose the latter. Reach out to me on molly.wasonga@cio.co.ke to tell your story.

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