Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

In this edition of Business Day Spotlight, the focus is on funding and finance for small technology ventures.  

Host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Christophe Viarnaud, CEO of AfricArena, a deal flow platform that seeks to increase investment for technology start-up businesses in Africa.

In this discussion, Viarnaud explains what AfricArena is, its origins and where they plan to go. He also talks about the AfricArena Tour currently happening in SA.

He says less than 1% of venture funding in the world makes its way to Africa,  but that Jumia Technologies’ listing on the New York Stock Exchange earlier in 2019 has done a lot to spur interest in African start-ups.

Jumia, a Nigeria-based e-commerce business supported by Africa’s largest mobile operator, MTN, is the first start-up to list from the continent at a valuation of $1bn (R14.5bn), making it a “unicorn” in the industry.

Cape Town is a hub of tech innovation, but the East Africa region has been on the rise in recent years, particularly countries such as Rwanda where the concept of e-government has become a norm, Viarnaud says. 

Having a presence in more than 50 countries through their partner network, and affecting thousands of start-ups, Viarnaud says their mission is to increase funding for technology businesses by working with corporate partners that assist financially, and through mentorship. The platform boasts such partners as Old Mutual, as part of its network.

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Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE Production.