Global VC Ecosystems Monthly Recap is a newsletter covering relevant stories on venture capital, startups, and technology from select emerging market startup ecosystems. If you’re into learning about the people solving problems and creating the future in developing economies, this newsletter is for you.
Welcome to July! I’m writing this from the Seedspace in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where I will be located for a couple of weeks. If you’ve got some people in the startup and VC ecosystem here in Tanzania that you think I should meet, please send them my way!
I’m about halfway through my Africa trip. I spent more time in Cape Town than I had originally intended as I was working on-site for a project for Seedstars, but now I will be moving through east and north Africa pretty swiftly. Looking forward to learning more about the different startup ecosystems here!.
But enough about me, let’s jump into the biggest VC and startup news from June.
Nigeria’s government, specifically The Nigerian Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, has announced that it and its agencies will begin to collaborate closely with Nigerian startups companies to purchase tech solutions.
Why it’s important: There are several things to point out here. Instead of directly funding startups, becoming a customer is another way to increase a startup’s traction. Also, by working with startups, the government can find new ways to promote the startup ecosystem and entrepreneurship. Lastly, by working with governments, startups can create solutions that will benefit the economically and create a better overall business environment ripe for entrepreneurship and funding. This could become a model to replicate by other African nations.
The big news out of Asia is from Sequoia Capital, who doubled down in the region by raising $2.9B in funds. $2B is dedicated to Sequoia India, while the remaining $850M will focus on Southeast Asia. Sequoia also announced an increase in investment size to its Surge program in the region.
Why it’s important: To date, the Asia region has provided Sequoia with $4B in realized and unrealized gains due to their investment activity there. As fears of a global market downturn continue, Sequoia isn’t slowing down their engagement in global emerging markets. Also, just released today, they’re investing $9B in China to further cement their status in Asia.
Google for Startups has increased its grant fund for Black tech founders in Europe from $2B to $4B in an effort to tackle racial inequality in the European tech industry. Google plans to invest the grants into 40 Black-led startups.
Why it’s important: Prior to Google launching this fund, less than .25% of VC funding went to Black-led startups in the U.K. (the largest startup ecosystem in Europe). Each startup will receive $100K in cash, $200K in partnership credits, mentoring, and connections to Google’s network.
Because Europe isn’t enough, Google also announced plans to invest $1.2B in LATAMto support digital transformation in the region. $300K will go to Google.org to women-led organizations and climate action in the Amazon region.
Why it’s important: LATAM was hit especially hard by Covid-19. Google believes these funds can help the region recover from some of the hardships over the last couple of years.
Abu Dhabi-based ADQ announced a $100M tech-focused VC fund in partnership with Jordan’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship. The fund will primarily invest in Jordanian high-growth technology companies and funds in Healthcare, Food & Agriculture, Mobility, and Logistics.
Why it’s important: 27% of tech entrepreneurs in MENA are of Jordanian nationality, as the country has a highly skilled population and is home to over 600 technology companies. This strategy further enhances UAE’s industrial partnership with Jordan and complements ADQ’s strategy to unlock mutually beneficial growth opportunities and deliver sustainable financial returns to the UAE.
See you again next month!