The growth of the African technology ecosystem has by no means been an easy feat. The ecosystem’s growth is as a result of the hard work and contributions of key individuals and companies that have, and continue to work tirelessly to ensure the growth of the African economy through innovation and technology.
Africa is indeed one of the most unique places in the world to do business therefore any kind of growth whatsoever needs to be celebrated. Political unrest, lack of adequate infrastructure, and lack of access to affordable internet, are just some of the challenges of doing business on the continent. Somewhat excitingly, these same challenges are inspiring African innovators to create solutions that stand to not just change Africa but possibly the world.
Without a doubt, there is a huge potential for growth in Africa, especially in the ever vibrant technology ecosystem. But without funding, it is virtually impossible for this growth to be realised. It is for this reason that we have seen an influx of investment being poured into numerous technology startups solving problems on the continent.
Today we would like to spotlight a truly stellar member of the African tech community, who has contributed immensely to the growth of the ecosystem through investment - Samuel Eyob. A self-described ‘third culture kid’, he is the Principal Investor at Lendable, a tech-enabled venture lender leveraging alternative data to build data-driven, highly structured venture debt partnerships in emerging and frontier markets.
Originally from Ethiopia, Samuel’s family settled in the US. He then moved to the UK followed by Kenya, where he saw firsthand the sheer inequality within investment communities and how it impacted access to capital for those not born into wealth. Samuel built up a significant depth of experience in traditional and non-traditional finance vehicles before joining Lendable as their Principal Investor.
Lendable launched in 2015 with the goal of giving 100,000,000 people access to crucial financial services. They believe that financial services are a necessary stepping stone for individuals trying to build wealth, and support startups in emerging markets with the capital they need to scale exponentially.
Samuel is passionate about the intersection of technology enabled ventures and alternative investment strategies. In recent years, he has helped support teams of innovators across the global south in democratizing access credit in emerging markets. Samuel has seen the importance of utilizing alternative data to drive financial inclusion and provide better public services. Lendable recently invested $10m in South African startup Planet 42, a rent-to-buy car service striving to combat transport poverty and social exclusion.
Living on three different continents over the years, Samuel has found that access to education, networks and funds are key tools that founders need in order to build their ventures. The African tech ecosystem thrives because of financial inclusion champions and investors, who strive to enable equal access and to equip innovators with the necessary tools to implement and scale their solutions for a better Africa.
You can connect with Sam on LinkedIn and Twitter.