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Acquisitions, more than IPOs, will create Africa’s early startup successes

Africa has made its international IPO debut. Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia—a $1 billion-valued company—began trading live on the NYSE last week.

The stock benefaction made Jumia the first upstart operating in Africa to list on a major international exchange.

This raises expectations for unicorns and IPOs to create the mainland’s first wave of startup moguls. But unlike other markets, large public listings and nine-figure valuations could remain rare in Africa.

The rise of quest arms and startup acquisitions will factor more prominently than IPOs in creating Africa’s early startup successes.

I’ll break down why. First, a quick briefer.

Primer on African tech

Not everyone may be aware, but yes, Africa has a booming tech scene. When measured by monetary values, it’s minuscule by Shenzen or Silicon Valley standards.


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