“Impact” versus “returns-driven” investing in Africa
Friday, March 9, 2018
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.