Disrupt Africa Partners with SA SME Fund & Nedbank CIB

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Disrupt Africa, a startup-focused research company, has partnered with SA SME Fund and Nedbank CIB to launch a research publication on the South African startup ecosystem.

Since launching its research arm in 2016, Disrupt Africa has built up a significant portfolio of publications, most notably the African Tech Startups Funding Report and Finnovating for Africa, previously available for sale but now made available free for all via open-sourcing initiatives with various partners across the continent’s tech ecosystem.

Now, Disrupt Africa is preparing to release the South African Startup Ecosystem Report 2022, its second country-focused publication after the Egyptian Startup Ecosystem Report 2021 released late last year. To do so, it has teamed up with the SA SME Fund, a partnership between the South African government and CEOs to stimulate the economy and create jobs by investing in funds that support and develop entrepreneurs, and Nedbank CIB, the corporate and investment banking division of leading African bank Nedbank.

The other partners are Newtown Partners, the family office of successful startup entrepreneurs Llew Claasen and Vinny Lingham; the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi), a non-profit company with a mission to build a future-proof, inclusive society through technology and innovation; and Quona Capital, a venture firm focused on fintech that can expand access for underserved customers and small businesses in emerging markets.

The report will be a deep dive into the South African startup scene, utilising Disrupt Africa’s datasets, expertise and networks to document what startups are doing in the country, who is making investments, and who is providing ecosystem support. It also includes the full list of startups tracked for the purposes of the report.

“South Africa is well-established as one of Africa’s foremost startup ecosystems, leading the way when it comes to M&A activity and the development of local support networks. This report tells that story, providing an ideal jumping-off point for any entrepreneur or investor – or anyone else! – looking to get involved in the local startup scene,” said Gabriella Mulligan, co-founder of Disrupt Africa.

“We are proud to partner with Disrupt Africa to facilitate the release of the South African Startup Ecosystem Report 2022, which will shine a light on the exciting South African startup ecosystem and provide valuable quantitative and qualitative data to founders, investors, and anyone else that wants to get involved,” said Ketso Gordhan, chief executive officer at the SA SME Fund.

“This fits with our mission of supporting the early-stage startup sector. We thank Disrupt Africa for undertaking the important work, and we hope the result is of value to anyone that reads it,” Gordhan said.

“As a corporate venture capital investor, we are proud to partner with Disrupt Africa in their mission to track the progress and development of the South African startup ecosystem, as it is crucial to provide accurate data points to inform and attract key ecosystem players to the developing sector,” said Johann Van Zyl, head of principal and alternative investment at Nedbank.

The South African Startup Ecosystem Report 2022 will be available to all for free, making the data and analysis contained in its pages accessible to those for whom the information is most valuable – entrepreneurs.

The publication, which will be the 17th released by Disrupt Research, will be approximately 60 pages in length and provide a detailed overview of the South African startup ecosystem and its development over the last 5-10 years. It will involve an analysis of what areas startups are active in, a detailed look at funding and M&A trends, and detail the range of startup support services available to South African entrepreneurs, including hubs, incubators, accelerators, and government, corporate, and university initiatives.


Edited by Zintle Nkohla 

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