Aug 11, 2022 • 36M

BIG5D Podcast Episode 30: 'Irrational exuberance' with Launch Africa Ventures MP Zachariah George (Free)

"If you're using tech to solve problems in education, healthcare, agriculture, food and water security or transportation, you're going to create an impact..."

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Charles Laughlin
In-depth conversations with the innovators and entrepreneurs building the tech ecosystems for small and local businesses in Africa & The Middle East.

This episode of the BIG5D Podcast is brought to you by Matchcraft

We’re super excited about today’s guest – Zachariah George is Managing Partner in Launch Africa Ventures – an African venture firm that invests in early-stage African tech companies across a variety of sectors.

Launch Africa has invested in fintechs, foodtechs, healthtechs, insuretechs, logistics and mobility techs, retailtechs, edtechs, and more. The common denominators are early stage, B2B, and using technology to solve problems.

Zach says he doesn’t focus specifically on impact. He implies that this is often a performative element in startup investing.

“I'm not the right person to be going off on a tangent about how important impact is. Because there's a lot of this concept called, what's the technical word for it? Impact washing,” Zach said.

“Honestly, if if you're using tech to solve problems in education, healthcare, agriculture, food and water security, or transportation, you're going to create an impact irrespective of you calling yourself an Impact Fund.”

Some of the firm’s more prominent portfolio companies include Kuda, WorkPay, Payhippo, MarketForce, Zindi, and others. 

As with any venture firm, they’ve had their misses as well. The most famous or infamous of these is Kune Food, a Kenyan food-tech startup that ceased operation earlier this year. Anyone who wants to understand the Kune story should read our article on the subject, which featured an interview with Zach.

We talk with Zach about everything from his background and path to venture capital to how he sees the global tech downturn impacting Africa’s startup scene.

We also include a bonus section for our BigFive Digital members and paid subscribers where we ask Zach to share his advice to founders, what he looks for in a founding team, and what are some of the biggest mistakes he sees made routinely in investor pitches. The bonus version of the podcast is also ad-free.

Become a paid subscriber to listen to the full-length version of this podcast

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