When Jeff Bezos announces his trip into space alongside a pioneering, 82 year-old female astronaut, at the same time as his announcement of a $100 million investment in Kenyan fintech startup Chipper Cash, you begin to wonder if his interest in African technology is some kind of moonshot.

But the reality is that more and more global investors are turning their attention to investing in African startups. And, when the number of unicorns in Africa seems to be increasing by the month, reaching six in the fintech sector alone, with Opay’s reported $400 milion round at a $1.5 billion valuation, the African startup sector is increasingly difficult to ignore.

Recent investments by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures in Kuda Bank, Tiger Global’s second Africa deal of the year, leading a $42 million round in Nigerian FairMoney, and SBI's giant $900 million VC joining in the fun, also investing in Kuda Bank, are reducing the perception of risk in African startup investing.

This only reinforces what we have known about Africa for quite some time, which is that it is a massive business opportunity driven by substantial demographics, seemingly unlimited demand, and a legacy of under-investment.

Africa’s economy reaches $4 Trillion in consumption, according to a recent McKinsey report, across an underserved 1.3 billion population. All of this demand, from food, to health care, to financial services can be most effectively delivered using digital technologies.

I have also written about how African startups are helping to ensure african economies are globally digitally competitive (link below).

It's time to massively ramp up our support of and investment in African startup ecosystems.

~ Tijan


Following its CapeTown event in 2020, AfricArena, which promotes startup investing across the continent of Africa hosted its latest, in person, event in Dakar, Senegal this June 2021.

Tijan spoke on a panel How to create more investable tech companies in the region - and how to fund them, along with Orange Digital Ventures' Gregoire de Padirac, Yobante Express’ Oumar Basse, TranscendanceVC's Lin DeJean Yun, and StartupBootCamp’s Zacharaia George.

We have released a new post on Tijan’s personal blog about the importance of ensuring global digital competitiveness for African economies. Please check it out!

News from Our Portfolio

  • Wuri Ventures portfolio company Carry1st closed its $6 million Series A. This investment led by gaming industry leaders including Riot Games and Konvoy Ventures, follows on a $4 million Seed led by CRE Ventures in which Wuri Ventures also participated.

  • Wuri Ventures, along with our capital Partner Capria invested $1.5 million in WhereIsMyTransport joining the $14.5 million Series A Extension round alongside leading global VCs Naspers Limited, AfricInvest, SBI Investment, and Samsung. This round builds upon the $7.5 million series A led by Google and Toyota Tsusho in which Wuri Ventures also participated.
  • WhereIsMyTransport is helping to bring more visibility to informal public transportation options, which account for up to 80% of movements in the majority world, providing public transportation data for the world's largest megacities to leading mapping services including Google Maps. Our participation in that round was also featured in africaglobalfunds, weetracker, TechCabal, quartz and more.

The Market

  • Tiger Global leads $42M Series B in Nigerian credit-led neobank FairMoney

  • YC CEO, Michael Seibel MD reflects on the success of African startups and getting more startups from Francophone Africa
  • Twitter choses Ghana as HQ for its African operations, while Nigeria forbids Twitter and threatens to ban other platforms

  • Fintech in Africa is fueled by the large number of mobile money accounts - about half of the 1.2 bn total are in Africa

  • African healthtech startups have raised 35% of total investments in health on the continent. A specific subsector of growth is logistics for health products. Wuri Ventures invested in Tambua Health and is looking at more opportunities in the sector.

  • And for a broader perspective on Africa tech ecosystem, its growth drivers, players, deals and liquidation events, misconceptions (a must read) and opportunities (we would of course add logistics!)

  • New CEO of IFC Maktar Diop announced, at the Summit on Financing African Economies in Paris, a $2 billion investment by IFC to support SMEs and trade in Africa, including $1 billion in new direct financing available to African SMEs, with a focus on the digital and agri-food sectors

In our pipeline

We are pleased to announce the Wuri Ventures Fellow Program. We have always had a lot of success advising startups. Since before we launched Wuri Ventures, we have been working with startups to help them with their startup strategy as well as investor outreach. We have found that our relationship with founders is stronger when we are on their side of the table prior to investing. The program culminates in an investor expo which we are planning in the coming months.

Here are some of the promising startups in our inaugural batch. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about any of them.

  • Afrikrea (Cote d'Ivoire). Afrikrea is a platform for the African artisan economy. With over 3000 creators, 200k listings and nearly $1m in monthly GMV they are emerging as the leading platform for exports of African creative goods to destinations around the world. By the way, 90% of both creators and customers on the platform are women. Afrikrea is co-founded by Moulaye Traore.

  • BRT Energy (Guinea, France). Batteries are becoming more important in the energy management stack, especially for renewables. Led by a dynamic founder, Marly Diallo, BRT Energy is a battery fleet management SAAS company helping companies manage, maintain and rehabilitate their batteries.

  • Cauri Money (Senegal, France). Led by Lamine Tall, Cauri Money is a digital bank for the 20 million Africans living in Europe. Cauri Money is positioned to be a seamless interface for remittances, investing and payments to the continent of Africa.

  • Muska (Cabo Verde, DRC). Music streaming services including Apple Music, Spotify and others have begun to target the continent of Africa which is a major consumer as well as producer of great music. Muska is a streaming service parnering with leading telecoms providers to deliver music bundles targeting some of the largest markets in Africa, with a Lusophone bent.

Announcing the Wuri Ventures Access Fund

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our new Wuri Ventures Access Fund which will be open to individual accredited investors. We will have more information about this in the coming weeks. Please let us know if you have people in your network who would like to get a piece of the tremendous opportunity from the implementation of technology in Africa's growing economy. The Wuri Ventures Access fund will invest alongside our main fund for institutional investors Wuri Ventures I.

Team and Other News

  • Welcome to Mbatang Acha, who after working at McKinsey and at Hyundai in their eVTOL team, is joining Wuri Ventures as a Senior Associate.

  • A great welcome to First Close Partners as an LP in our institutional fund. Betsy, Ed and their team bring with them a wealth of experience supporting diverse first time fund managers.

  • Finally, we would like to send a special thanks to our GP investors and advisors for their active support of Wuri Ventures in helping us to build out a world class venture firm.

Mbatang at our Wuri Ventures offsite in Cape Verde.

Thanks for being a part of our community,

~ Tijan Watt, Co-founder and General Partner, Wuri Ventures

Jerome Cretegny, Co-founder and General Partner, Wuri Ventures


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