Afridigest Week in Review: Silicon Valley sets its sights on the Sahara
+A survey for you +Egypt's continued ascent +Seed/Pre-seed rounds +Ghost orders & cash-on-delivery +Storytelling Superpowers +Market Sizes +Unit Economics +Metaverse +Internet affordability & more
The Afridigest Week in Review is a must-read weekly recap for Africa-focused founders, executives, and investors, as well as interested observers.
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Week 28 2021
📰 Deal of the week
EGYPT + EVENTS = EXIT
Eventtus, an Egyptian multichannel all-in-one platform for virtual event ticketing, management, analytics, networking & more was acquired for an undisclosed sum by Palo Alto’s Bevy, an event-focused enterprise SaaS platform.
Founded in 2012 by Mai Medhat and Nihal Fares, Eventtus raised over $4M in venture funding before the acquisition, whereas Bevy has raised upwards of $60M to date, with its most recent round, a $40M Series C in March, led by Accel.
Medhat will assume the VP of Innovation role at Bevy, while Fares will become Bevy’s Director of Product. Eventtus’ 20 engineers will also join the Bevy team.
💡 Why it’s the deal of the week: Egypt’s ascent is one of the key themes identified across Africa’s startup ecosystem in the first half of the year and Eventtus was one of the country’s rising stars. The acquisition by a well-funded Silicon Valley startup further validates the attractiveness of the Egyptian market and could accelerate its future growth.
⛏️ Go deeper:
While the financial details of the transaction weren’t disclosed, it was a “good deal for everyone involved,” according to the Eventtus team
The deal is the first exit for Cairo Angels, a global network of Egypt-focused angel investors
Eventtus’ other investors include Algebra Ventures, Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), Raed Ventures, 500 Startups, Daal, and Hala Ventures
Bevy previously made headlines for (solving) its diversity problem
Go back in time & watch CEO & Co-Founder Mai Medhat describe the company at the 2013 DEMO Africa conference:
🔦 Other deals
EGYPT’S CONTINUED ASCENT
Elmenus, an Egyptian food delivery platform, raised a $10M pre-Series C round — Egypt’s public unicorn Fawry led the round, with New York-based hedge fund Luxor Capital (investors in Gopuff, Glovo, and Zomato) & others participating
Yodawy, an Egyptian health & wellbeing marketplace, raised a $7.5 million Series B round — Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), Global Ventures, and Algebra Ventures led the round, with CVentures, P1 Ventures, and Athaal Angel Investors Group participating
Taager, an Egyptian social commerce platform, raised a $6.4M seed round — 4DX Ventures led the round, with Raed Ventures, Beco Capital, Breyer Capital, and others participating
Jeel, an Egyptian/Saudi children-focused edutainment startup, raised a $1.2M seed round
Brmaja, an Egyptian IT company Brmaja acquired a 50% stake in An-Nisa Taxi, a female-oriented ride-hailing app operating in Kenya
Akiba Digital, a South African alternative credit scoring platform, raised a $1.1M pre-seed round — Expert Dojo and Oui Capital led the round, with Basecamp Fund, Soma Capital, Hustle Fund, Future Africa, LoftyInc, and others participating
AIfluence, a Kenyan AI-enabled influencer marketing platform, raised a $1M seed round — Dubai-based EQ2 Ventures led the round, with Antler East Africa, Oui Capital, ArabyAds, and an unnamed European family office partipating
iNNOHEALTH, a South African AI-enabled healthtech, raised a ‘seven-figure’ seed round — an unnamed Hong Kong-based firm led the round
Strove, a South African employee wellness platform, raised a ~$275k seed round — Launch Africa led the round
GetEquity, a Nigerian alternative early-stage finance startup, raised a ‘six-figure pre-seed’ funding — GreenHouse Capital led the round
CribMD, a Nigerian health platform offering telemedicine, in-person health consultations, health insurance, and an online pharmacy, acquired Charisland Pharmaceuticals Group in order to leverage the chain’s cross-country pharmacy footprint — CEO Ifeanyi Ossai announced that this is the first in a series of acquisitions the company plans
MosaicLab, a Moroccan invoicing SaaS platform, raised $225k from WITAMAX, an investment company created by Southbridge A&I and Axxam Family Office
🌏 Asia Read of the Week
ON INCENTIVES & CASH-ON-DELIVERY-ENABLED FRAUD
A fascinating look at how merchants on Meesho, an Indian Softback-backed, social-commerce unicorn, exploit cash-on-delivery orders & reverse logistics loopholes to their benefit.
“These ghost orders are harassment, breach of privacy, and potentially encouraging scamsters… This comes in the backdrop of Meesho claiming impressively high monthly order numbers, going up more than six times from 3.1 million in March 2020 to almost 20 million in March 2021. While this sudden rise in volumes is potentially a result of more people buying online due to the pandemic, it has left industry experts surprised since no other e-commerce company in the country has witnessed such a surge in volumes during the 12 months period.”
💡 “The mystery of Meesho’s ghost orders” by Jai Vardhan & Harsh Upadhyay
📚 Reads of the Week
STORYTELLING IS STILL A SUPERPOWER
Another gem from NFX — this time on storytelling primarily in the context of investor pitches, but relevant to influence & the art of persuasion in general.
“Investors, employees, journalists, and anybody who is listening to your narrative wants excitement. They want to believe. They want to be part of something that matters. And whether you build something small or something big, it will take 100% of your time. So go for something big. Tell that big story.”
🥇 “The 23 Rules of Storytelling For Fundraising” by James Currier
YOUR ADDRESSABLE MARKET IS NOT VC INVESTABLE
An interesting critique of Geoffrey Moore’s seminal book, Crossing the Chasm, that offers one explanation for why market sizes are repeatedly underestimated.
“Recently, I have been reflecting on why it is that we venture capitalists and founders keep making the same mistake over and over again — a mistake that has become even more glaring in recent years. Despite our exuberant optimism, we keep getting the potential market size wrong. Market sizes have proven to be much, much larger than any of us had ever dreamed. The reason? Today, everyone aspires to be an early adopter. Peter Drucker’s mantra, innovate or die, has finally come to pass.”
🥈 “Why Markets Are Larger Than They Appear” by Jeff Bussgang
ON CACs, LTVs, RETENTION, & MORE 🤓
A detailed (& perhaps technical) deep dive from Tribe Capital into everyone’s favorite subject, unit economics — with illustrative examples from Slack, Uber & more. Useful to think about both for investors and management/ops teams.
“From an operating viewpoint, at some level, it is often useful to think of projects as specifically focusing on some facet of the unit economics equation. For example, Uber might have a driver retention team that is focusing on the LTV of drivers. Or perhaps they have a partnerships team which is fundamentally trying to lower CAC, etc. For teams that work on consumer social products where monetization is left for the future (e.g. early Facebook) one can often still interpret projects through this lens as, for example, retention/engagement projects are fundamentally affecting usage LTV which is related to monetizable LTV in some concrete manner.”
🥉 “Unit Economics & the Pursuit of Scale Invariance” by Arjun Sethi & Jonathan Hsu
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📚 Quick Hits
FOR YOUR READING PLEASURE
Podcast of the Week
LISTEN TO THIS
Capria Ventures Partner & Co-Founder Jack Knellinger and Atlantica Ventures Founding Partner Ik Kanu talk growth strategy, sector insights, and new opportunities in Africa on Private Equity Wire’s podcast
Job Opportunity of the Week
VC firm Partech Partners is hiring an Investment Officer. 👀
To submit a job opportunity to be featured here, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visual of the week
NOT JUST INTERNET ACCESS BUT INTERNET AFFORDABILITY TOO
Price per GB of mobile data in 2020 (US dollars) via The Africa Report
🕵️♀️ In case you missed it
NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
[Correction] Last week’s Week in Review stated that Co-Founder Ercin Eksin left lending platform Lidya. This is apparently inaccurate. We reached out to Ercin who responded that “the case is currently in litigation therefore I can't comment on the specifics at the moment” and referred us to the statement he gave to TechCrunch:
“I didn’t leave Lidya to pursue other projects. The existing investors took control of the company in an unjust manner. Therefore, I’m currently litigating them in the U.S.”
Babajide Duroshola, who successfully led Safeboda’s expansion to Nigeria, joined pay-as-you-go energy provider M-KOPA as General Manager to lead its expansion into Nigeria
Andile Masuku, of media publication African Tech Roundup, joined venture builder Founders Factory Africa as Head of Community
Oluwabankole Falade joined Flutterwave as Chief Regulatory and Government Relations Officer from a similar role at IHS Towers
Journalist Abubakar Idris explores the contours of explosive growth in agent banking in Nigeria in ‘Agency banking is transforming Nigerian business’ (Rest of World)
Journalist Grace Akinosun sheds light on ride-hailing: ‘Nigeria’s ride-hailing startups are trying to survive their worst days’ (Quartz)
Lucy Hoffman, Co-Founder and COO of Carry1st, writes that ‘Africa, an overlooked continent for global investment is becoming a burgeoning fintech leader’ (CityAM)
🗣️ A final word
WHAT I’M THINKING ABOUT
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