A few years ago, we at White Lake wrote a thought piece on African private equity (Patterns Predictions and Profit –A powerful case for African Private Equity. At the time, we surprised many people when we suggested that technology innovation was a sector that investors should pay heed to. I think that our prediction is bearing out. The Economist this week has a great article on African innovation.
So how does London play a role?
London has an amazing Fintec scene. Last fall at Startup Bootcamp’s fintec demo day, two (out of 10 !) companies were African firms creating financial technology solutions for the African marketplace. So African companies are being incubated, growing and raising capital in London, the world’s financial capital.
Secondly, given the UK’s regulatory framework, crowdfunding has become a huge phenomenon. To that end, sites like Homestrings and Emerging Crowd have sprung up in London. These platforms are specifically designed to raise capital for companies in the frontier markets of Africa. So London is helping fund the next stage of the African technology revolution.
By Ashok Parekh, Director of Investment Services