“Silicon Valley Styled Entrepreneurship Might Not Work In Africa” – SilverTree Capital

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Africa-focused business builder, Silver Tree capital has made a whooping R20 million (USD1.5 million) investments so far in the first seven months of 2015. The business incubator through its internet subsidiary SilverTree Internet Holdings has divested over R16 million (USD1.2 million) on three first-time deals in the e-commerce, online travel, and IT development businesses. An extra R4 million (USD3 million) used as a follow-up investment for businesses already in the platform’s portfolio.

With investment in startups like KerodowneyAfrica, CyberCellar, Wineco, Click n Compare and others, the seed investor has gone on to witness a 10%- 40% increase in some business; a considerable bulge in its monthly revenue.

Who says money doesn’t beget money?

According to the trifecta behind organization, Manuel Koser, Peter Allerstorfer, Paul Cook:

“The biggest opportunities for tech investment in Africa are in working with businesses driven by strong teams that are executing simple, proven models.”

This coming at a time when many startups complain on the dearth of investment capital avenues could only mean that things can only get brighter for African business owners.

According to Paul Cook who associated the supposed scarcity of investment opportunities to African entrepreneurs’ imitation of Silicon Valley’s style of entrepreneurship, he said:

“We in Africa can be too quick to try to copy the surface activities of Silicon Valley, with its focus on ‘cool’ ideas and disruptive innovation, and sometimes forget that building a viable business requires finding customers and generating revenue. Smart potential investors are seeking businesses that have proven they will be able to make money – not just great ideas.”

When Enterprise54 reached out to SilverTree on their plan for other African countries not yet reached, Paul said:

In future, we’re definitely looking for deals in Nigeria, Kenya, etc. We’ve just done a small deal in Nigeria via one of our portfolio companies. Up until now, most deals have been in South Africa just because that’s where opportunities arose, but rest of Africa is very exciting.

We only look at businesses that are already operating, doing significant revenue, good team, market opportunity that makes sense.”

With a bit of a bias in consumer-focused technologies, Silver Tree continues to invest in top-tier, early and mid-stage businesses.

So dear entrepreneur quit the whining about scarcity of fund and prove you have something worth investing in!

Want a proof that lack of funding isn’t the bane of scaling as an entrepreneur? Go here


I'm interested in stories, news and opportunities for African entrepreneurs. Be it tech, fashion, SMEs; breaking entrepreneurship stories is the next best thing that can happen to me, after Jollof

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