- Tech Safari
- Tech Safari’s First Birthday 🎉
Tech Safari’s First Birthday 🎉
Bring some cake for our 2023 recap 🍰
Welcome to Tech Safari!
Your tour guide on African Tech 🧭
Hello to the new folks who have joined the Safari since the last edition.
If you haven't subscribed, join 17,526 smart folks curious about Tech in Africa.
Happy New Year, Safari Crew! It’s good to be back.
By the time I sent the last newsletter of the year, I was all out of words for 2023.
And because I'd written myself dry, I couldn't describe how the year panned out.
So we’re doing the recap today: on our first Tech Safari birthday! 🎂
The whole world was on holiday this time last year.
I had to dig deep to find this story on Nelly Cheboi, who became CNN’s Hero of the Year in 2022 after giving computers to communities across Kenya.
I still remember the excitement and terror when I hit send.
A year later and 89 editions later, Tech Safari is read by thousands of impressive people across the world.
While Tech Safari is one today, it really started in September 2022 on a humid night in Singapore. Right after…
Our very first Tech Safari meetup
I was passing through Singapore when I tried to host an African Tech meetup.
I had no idea who would come. I just wanted to meet others interested in startups in Africa.
But we didn’t just get to startups.
Instead, I was answering questions like ‘What religions are in Africa?’ ‘What’s corruption like?’ and ‘Where’s the best place to go on Safari?’
The folks who came were curious. They were interested in Africa. But they had zero reference points.
The exception to this was Draper Startup House, who invest in African startups and hosted us in Singapore.
That’s when it hit me.
Outside of our tech bubble, most people (global decision-makers, tech workers, and the general public) don’t know much about Africa - let alone its tech ecosystem.
But tech has tremendous potential to change the continent.
Tech is the most game-changing space to be in.
Africa is the most exciting continent in the world.
And when you put them together, you get the most potential for large-scale impact.
It’s why Tech Safari Exists
To tell the incredible stories of people and companies using tech to change Africa for the better.
After traveling across Africa looking for a new country to call home, I saw an abundance of these stories.
And I wanted to tell them.
I left the startup I’d been building for two years, moved in with my parents, and started writing every day.
I had no idea what would happen.
But the world read.
In the last year, posts have had 15 million impressions and Tech Safari is read by 17,500 people who want to tune into African tech.
Reading wasn’t enough, though.
Tech Safari needed to be a living, breathing community.
We needed the world to engage in person - and they did.
We hosted 10 events in six countries, with over 2,500 people showing up for us.
Then it was ‘how do we get our community to back the best African startups?
So we started the Tech Safari Syndicate, investing $200k+ into African startups, and facilitating dozens of introductions between founders, helpful investors, and operators.
Leoul (Hulugram) and Peter (Tripitaca) - Tech Safari Portcos
And while more people are getting behind African Tech…
It’s been a hard year for tech in Africa
Funding slowed down and many companies entered the startup graveyard 🪦.
And with the downturn hitting hard in 2023, they really felt it.
We saw down rounds everywhere.
Africa’s most exciting and promising companies faded away - some in controversy, and some with grace.
And while some startups are still standing (online, at least), they are shells of what they once were.
But this is a normal, healthy process as startup ecosystems mature..
Founders learn how to build and run startups.
They pass on their lessons to the next generation.
The best rise above the rest.
And our ecosystem matured
The real ones stuck around - and they doubled down. Like African Growth funds
Africa’s biggest growth stage funds came back with even more money - to double down on Africa’s best startups, like:
Companies decided to team up
Like we called earlier last year, it was the year of mergers and acquisitions in Africa.
Startups have higher odds of succeeding when more talented people work together on Africa’s hardest problems (rather than compete).
Belal El-Megharbel (CEO of MaxAB) and Daniel Yu (CEO of Wasoko)
These startups merging and teaming up is a sign of maturity in our ecosystem.
The players that will win are the ones in it for the long haul.
And Tech Safari is in it for the long haul
It’s only been a year at Tech Safari, but we’ve covered a lot of ground.
Thanks for being on the Safari over the last year.
We will keep asking the smarter questions, amplifying African tech, and helping the best startups have the most impact they can on the continent.
And we can’t wait to show you what we have in store for 2024!
But first, some cake! 🍰
And that's a wrap!
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What did you think of today's edition?
Catch you soon!