Investor-founder disconnect major threat to Africa’s tech startup funding

Over 70% of African tech investors will not invest follow-on funding in a startup failing to provide them with regular reporting updates according to a newly-released report from Wimbart, the PR agency specialising in tech and startup sectors across Africa and emerging markets.

Titled “Startup Performance Reporting in Africa: What do investors want to know?”, the report’s findings underscore the significant and timely need for founders across the ecosystem to reprioritise communication efforts with their existing investor base to support their long-term funding requirements.

According to the report, 29% of startup investors stated they did not receive periodic reports from their portfolio companies. These findings are made especially more pertinent for founders considering when asked whether the quality of startup reporting was a significant factor in shaping perceptions of leadership, the average rating provided was 8.5 out of 10. Consistency and reliability were also ranked as the most important features for investors during the reporting process.

Published as Wimbart’s inaugural investor relations report, “Startup Performance Reporting in Africa” explores the potential of consolidated investor reporting in boosting investor confidence and ongoing support in African technology startups. With over 90% of the report’s respondents comprising venture capitalists, angel investors, accelerators and incubators from across the continent, it is the first pan-African study to identify the pain points in investor relations communications and propose an optimised approach for African startups to adopt. Amidst a global downturn in investments whereby macro-economic conditions have forced a 50 percent year-on-year decline in fundraising success for startups per this report, Wimbart’s investor relations pan-African report is a timely resource for understanding investors expectations in startup performance reporting on the continent.

Speaking on the report, Jessica Hope, Founder and CEO at Wimbart says, “Over the last decade, we’ve worked alongside a wide variety of stakeholders from across Africa’s tech space, providing us with a unique and holistic insight into the gaps throughout the ecosystem. In recent years, we’ve become increasingly familiar with anecdotal intelligence on the lack of consistent investor communications and with our growing network of VCs, DFIs and early-stage investors, we strongly believed it was the ideal time to accurately capture the problem and contextualise the narrative.”

“The resounding conclusion from our research is that in light of the current funding climate, founders simply cannot afford to neglect consistent engagement with current & potential investors. Now more than ever, there is a huge need for clear, regular and standardised updates to investors so they can not only accurately assess the health of their portfolio companies during this critical period, but sustain the upward trend in funding we’ve experienced over the last 5 – 10 years.”

Launched in 2015, Wimbart has supported over 120 African-focused startups, scaleups and investors with high-profile names including Andela, TLcom, Wasoko, Piggyvest, Sparkle and Moove, producing hyper-targeted, relevant and meaningful media and communications campaigns. Based in London, the company was recently named Agency of the Year by BME PR Pros in the UK.

Commenting further, Kola Aina, the Founding Partner at Ventures Platform, says: “In venture capital, investing in transparency is paramount, and consistent reporting is a sign of accountability. When startups regularly share their progress, challenges, and achievements, they are demonstrating a genuine commitment to transparency with investors. This reporting is also critical to keeping investors engaged and excited to help the company navigate challenges. In Africa especially, this credibility can serve as a crucial differentiator for investors seeking the most promising companies.”

Despite a healthy appetite for entrepreneurship in Africa, there are still many challenges, and effective communication with investors is critical; founders therefore need to be intentionally accountable to existing investors by providing consistent and useful periodic investor updates, the report has revealed.

Anna Ekeledo, Executive Director, AfriLabs, adds: “Consistent reporting of a startup’s performance enhances investor confidence. Through this, the startup builds trust, shows accountability to their stakeholders, and gives investors the peace of mind. Investors can also support by analysing the data to spot potential pitfalls ahead of time, allowing them to step in with vital strategies to support the startup’s success.

Wimbart has supported over 120 African-focused startups, scaleups and investors for almost a decade to produce hyper-targeted, relevant & meaningful media and communications campaigns and has gained a unique understanding of the gaps in the African technology ecosystem in the process. Based in London, Wimbart is specialised in emerging markets and was recently named Agency of the Year by BME PR Pros in the UK.


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