Founders Unite to Connect African Tech Community, Plug Funding Gap

Pando DAO, technology, Africa, DAO, startups

Although African startups secured close to $5 billion in venture capital (VC) funding in 2021, double of what was raised year-on-year (YoY), it still pales in comparison to the $621 billion raised globally last year.

While entrepreneurs are not lacking on the continent, the challenge African founders face is that so much international investment activity is concentrated in a handful of financial centers.

In fact, the distribution of global capital investment is unevenly skewed in favor of businesses that have connections to London, New York and other financial powerhouses. As a result, Africa performs poorly when ranking countries by VC funding per capita. In fact, no African country made the top ten in Pitchbook’s 2022 assessment of the global investment landscape.

Read more: Global Startup Uncertainty Drives Mega Investments in Africa’s Burgeoning Tech Scene

While foreign investors are slowly waking up to the potential of Africa’s startups, a generation of homegrown VC firms has arisen to fill some of the continent’s significant funding gap.

The likes of Ingressive Capital and Launch Africa have made a name for themselves by backing early-stage tech startups and supporting entrepreneurs up and down the continent as they look to launch and grow their businesses.

And as the ecosystem has matured, successful founders are increasingly in a position to become investors themselves.

See also: 3 Dozen Tech Firm Founders Launch VC Fund To Grow Africa’s Next Unicorns

Pando DAO Launches to Fuel Startup Success

While their contribution is surely a boost to Africa’s startup scene, growing unicorns takes more than a few lone angels. That’s why a network of successful African founders have recently come together to create a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) aimed at fostering tech innovation through investment and support.

Pando DAO, which officially launched last month, is a collective of over 50 founders who represent companies that have raised over $500 million and are valued at over $2 billion.

Members of the community include the brains behind African success stories such as mPharma, Pariti, Wasoko, VertoFX, Jetstream and Turaco.

The DAO’s vision is to build a more connected African tech community and assist members in supporting each other through investment and collaboration. It will also work with other stakeholders, including governments and development partners, to help the continent’s startups thrive.

In a boost for the semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar, PandoDAO has joined the government initiative Silicon Zanzibar, which launched earlier this year with the goal of turning the island into a global hub for digital innovation.

Read more: Watch out Lagos, African Tech Firms May Soon Be Flocking to Silicon Zanzibar

Following Wasoko, which is one of Silicon Zanzibar’s initial partners, other companies associated with Pando DAO are expected to relocate staff and operations to the island.

The organization will also advise the Zanzibari government in developing a regulatory framework that will support the digital economy and will support the development of a strategy for fostering local tech talent.

“Through this partnership, we will be able to drive the tech ecosystem in Africa forward, with Zanzibar serving as a key part of that story by attracting tech companies and talent, and also developing homegrown companies and talent as well,” Yacob Berhane, CEO and co-founder at Pariti, said in a press release.

Other initiatives the DAO has planned include an innovation hub open to members, a Pando CEO summit and a dedicated Pando VC fund.

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