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May 2022 Global VC Ecosystems Recap

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 June! I’m writing this on a Saturday and scheduling it to deliver this week because I’ll be out of the office on a hiking trip in Namibia. I’m hoping no major headlines drop while I’m out!

If you haven’t yet, check out my interview with Clive Butkow of Kalon Venture Partners, where we talk about the South African startup ecosystem. I’ve got a couple more episodes in the pipeline that I’ll be releasing in June. Soon I’ll be heading to Tanzania to cover that ecosystem, so please send any contacts there my way!

Let’s jump into the biggest VC and startup news from May.

Newsworthy: Likely the biggest global news this month is everyone’s fears of an impending global recession and how that will affect startups. To be clear, we’ve seen a decrease in funding in most of world the entirety of 2022 to date. It seems like the trend has been long enough for those in the VC industry to start warning startups of a prolonged recession.

  • Why it’s important: Over the last decade cash has been cheap. As investors have looked for yield, many of them entered into the private markets and created record-setting VC funding. For startups, it’s been raining money. If funding is going to slow down, startups will need to pivot from the “grow at all costs” method of running their businesses to focus on cash and unit economics.

I, for one, think a “correction” in the markets is a good thing. Too many bad businesses have received funding and this should be a return to normal.

Africa

Pangea Trust, an East African accelerator and investment platform, will begin allowing diaspora remittance inflows as a funding source for startups in Africa through its equity crowdfunding platform Connect.

  • Why it’s important: Even though African startups raised a record $5B in 2021, the amount is still nowhere near funding in other regions. Allowing access to startup funding through remittances is just another source of capital that African startups can utilize. Remittances to sub-Saharan Africa reached $45B last year, primarily through Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal and Zimbabwe.

Asia-Pacific

Singapore-based, Jungle Ventures, announced the close of its $600M Fund IV to continue investing throughout Southeast Asia and India.

  • Why it’s important: Founded in 2012, Jungle Ventures is the first firm in the region to hit $1B in AUM. They will continue to use their “concentrated portfolio” approach, only investing in 15-18 companies while providing heavy follow-on investments.

Europe

In my last newsletter, I talked about how Europe’s startup funding in 2022 was the complete opposite of global trends. Turns out, they’re actually seeing slowdowns as well as investments across March & April were down -39%.

  • Why it’s important: This shouldn’t be surprising as it’s just another example of the global slowdown. Let’s not forget that there is a war going on in the continent, and they have been hit especially hard by supply chain disruptions and increased energy prices.

Latin America

German VC firm Picus Capital has announced it will open offices in São Paulo, Brazil, indicating the firm’s increased focus in the region.

  • Why it’s important: The firm has already invested in 20 LATAM companies, including Mexico’s Clara, Chile’s Xepelin, and Brazil’s Kamino. Their further commitment to the region means we will likely see more funding in the areas they already focus on: Early-stage startups in the finance, HR, renewable energy, real estate, insurance, mobility, e-commerce, and healthcare sectors.

Middle East

Saudi Arabia-based 8020 Capital has launched a $10M accelerator and startup studio fund to invest in and develop emerging tech-driven startups.

  • Why it’s important: 8020 Capital is the only Accelerator and Startup Studio in the region that has graduated from the VC Lab program, which is basically an accelerator for emerging fund managers. We’ve seen a few of these programs launch in the last few years, and this example can be used as a test case for their success in global markets.

See you again next month!

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