“Impact” versus “returns-driven” investing in Africa
By Tom Jackson
2017 was the best year on record for African tech startups in funding terms, with 159 companies from across the continent securing a combined total of US$195 million.
This is according to the latest Disrupt Africa African Tech Startups Funding Report, which tells a very positive story of the continent’s increasing appeal to investors.
But who are these investors? They are, in fact, a diverse bunch. But what is clear is that the traditional boundaries between “impact” and “returns-focused” are becoming more and more blurred, with the argument that all investments in Africa are “impact investments” gaining traction and impact firms increasingly as returns-driven as traditional VCs.
“The impact investing landscape has broadened in recent years to include funds with a range of definitions of impact and financial returns,” Amee Parbhoo, director of investments at impact firm Accion, told Disrupt Africa.