Viktoria Ventures: Angel investing in Silicon Savannah

A recent study by Viktoria Ventures and UK – Kenya Tech Hub reveals the realities of the investment ecosystem within the Silicon Savannah and beyond.

Vibrant startup ecosystems are characterized by a vibrant crop of angel investors. This is true of all the major startup ecosystems globally. Kenya’s startup ecosystem, the Silicon Savannah, has been in existence for some time now and finally seems to be gathering steam as far as the spawning of new startups and their funding. There’s a lot more capital flowing into the ecosystem, especially from international investors. Kenyan startups raised $482 million in the first quarter of 2022, an increase of 3.7x year on year, out of a total of $1.8 billion raised by African startups in that period. The only other market to beat
this number is Nigeria at $600 million. In that quarter, Wasoko (formerly SokoWatch) raised $125 million at Series B and Apollo Agriculture raised $40 million at Series B. At the seed stage, we’ve had OkHi raising $1.5 million, ImaliPay – $3 million and Churpy $1 million among others. All this highlights the availability of investable startups in the ecosystem and the potential for angels to exit their investments in subsequent funding rounds.

However, angel investing is yet to catch on. Initiatives such as Viktoria Ventures’ Viktoria Business Angels Network (VBAN) and the Nairobi Business Angels Network (NaiBAN) are spearheading angel investing but still it’s only a trickle and not a widely recognized form of investing in the country. The question of how to increase the participation of local capital, particularly through angel investing, has been a thorny one. But angel investing is taking place, many times without much fanfare or publicity. Due to its nature, most angels may not want to shout about their investments for a variety of reasons. However, if these
stories aren’t told, angel investing could remain shrouded in mystery. As such, we endeavoured to tell the stories of startups that have raised capital from angels and angels that have invested in local startups. The hope is that this will not only inspire more angel investing activities but also shed light on the what and how of angel investing for those that may be curious, by highlighting real-life experiences.

Read the full study here.

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