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Kenya Tech Startups More Attractive to Foreign Than Local Investors – Report

A report dubbed the Inflection Point indicated that Kenya is among the top four countries on the continent with the highest digital literate population.

The growth in the technological sector has attracted several global tech giant investors into the country including Google, Microsoft, Visa, and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Kenya christened East Africa’s Silicon Savannah also received a major boost when President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the International Financial Center in June. The financial hub attracts more foreign investors to the country thus growing tech startups among other startups.

A graph showing Africa's leading cities for startups in Africa.

A graph showing Africa’s leading cities for startups in Africa.


However, despite the advancements,  Kenyan investors feel it is riskier to invest in local tech startups due to fear of the global giants overtaking and poaching talent from startups.

Kenyan investors lamented that the surge in international firms in the country heightens the competition. Further, international firms have the edge because of their financial capacity, that lures local talents.

“Every business idea needs support, especially in the early stages. However, local investors, who matter, especially at those stages, show little interest in supporting startups,” stated Abdul Varvany CEO of local online marketplace Airduka.

He went on to urge Kenyan investors to make a change in tech startups as some close down due to lack of funding and that not all startups get investment from international firms.

South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, and Kenya were noted to contribute 50% of Africa’s key digital indicators like mobile cellular subscriptions.

“ The digital opportunity is concentrated in four countries and driven by the interplay of three factors – growing economies, young digitally savvy population, and increasing digital penetration,” read the report.

The fast-paced development in the tech industry is continuously attracting the attention of global investors who believe in the future of the digital space. Also, reputable entrepreneurs keep a keen eye on African tech startups.

According to the annual African Tech Startup Funding report published by Disrupt Africa in early January, Kenya’s 45 startups raised Ksh53.2 Billion from global investors. Kenya came in third after Egypt raised Ksh61.9 Billion.

Nigeria was leading with 98 startups raising Ksh82.1 Billion and South Africa came in fourth with 30 firms raising Ksh31.3 Billion. South Africa registered a drop from the previous year.

Google Headquarters in California.

Google Headquarters in California.



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