(Reporting Live From Africa)
In the past few years, most African countries have implemented more internet infrastructure than any other part of the world. With the growing youth population, more and more people are using smartphones with access to the Internet. As expected, with more Africans getting access to the Internet, start-up companies have become more frequent.
In 2021 alone, start-up companies in Africa have raised more than $4 billion from investors. This shows the continent’s potential and why many major technology giants like Microsoft, Google, and Huawei, year after year, invest in Africa.
Investments From Major Technology Companies
For the past 10 years, major tech companies have been investing millions, backing African entrepreneurs, and giving them education, mentorship, and training.
In 2013, Microsoft was one of the first tech companies to invest in Africa, launching an initiative with a budget of $75 million, which went to training the youth. They delivered access to the Internet and not only developed a workforce but also invested in local tech solutions.
Cisco Systems is another US-based tech company that has invested in Africa in the past. They supported local start-ups which were focused on the acceleration and financing spaces. Their program assisted small start-up companies in investing in next-gen technologies.
Investments in the Online Gaming Industry
The online gaming industry in Africa is still in its infancy; however, in the past couple of years, due to the widespread technological implementation, more Africans have access to smartphones, laptops, computers, and, most importantly, high-speed Internet. Moreover, the global pandemic also increased the number of online players, with online casinos seeing a massive increase in members.
As we mentioned, there is still work to be done because only a few countries have set regulations on online gambling sites. With the likes of South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Kenya leading the way, more countries will undoubtedly follow. South Africa is by far the leader in online gaming on the continent.
In 2021, reports showed that players had spent more than $280 million. This comes as no surprise because of the massive technological improvements that have been made in the country. Besides Kenya, South Africa is the other country that has 5G networks established.
In recent years, African game publisher Carry1st made some significant strides to invest in in-game publishing. The company received an investment of close to $20 million from Andreessen Horowitz, a company from Silicon Valley.
Veli Services Partnerships with Local African Companies
Gia Janashvili, who is a co-founder of Veli Services, saw the potential of the African market and wanted to bring his years of experience and knowledge, helping out local companies. With expertise in the Indian market, Janashvili wanted to incorporate his B2B2C partnerships experiences, guide companies, and help with gaming industry challenges.
As it’s known, the gaming market is competitive, and local companies continuously look for advantages from which they can improve. Veli Services has already partnered with various local companies showing them the ropes to the industry.
One example is the partnership with Paridirect, which as a company provides players with casino gaming and sports betting. Janashvili and his company help Paridirect with iGaming services, technology engagement, and customer retention.
Janashvili predicts that the African market will continue to grow rapidly and is no more than five years away from competing with the larger international markets.
Advantages and Challenges of Investing in Africa
In the past couple of years, the technology industry in Africa has been booming because of the widespread implementation of the Internet. And together with the Internet came the rapid increase in mobile device usage.
One of the most significant advantages for investors is that there are endless start-up companies in Africa looking for someone to back up and improve their work. As mentioned before, more than $4 billion have been raised by start-ups in 2021, which is more than 2019 and 2020 combined.
Most entrepreneurs that are establishing their start-ups will need time to adapt, and investors need to be patient. While many go for already established companies, some investors do believe in beginners.
The potential is there; however, the challenge will be giving advice, mentoring, and teaching the ways of the current market.