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WELCOME AFRICA TO THE UNICORN CLUB.


Emmanuel, Founder of Capgrove Group shares his thoughts.


In the world of business and entrepreneurship, a unicorn is a startup company with a $1 billion valuation (without being listed on the stock exchange). This is an exceptional accomplishment and a challenging label to attain. Experts estimate that a new business has a .00006 percent chance of becoming a unicorn, with the 'decacorn' ($10 billion) and 'hectocorn' ($100 billion) statuses being even more unique and difficult to reach. Bytedance, SpaceX, SHEIN, Stripe, Klarna, Instacart and the likes of Airbnb, Facebook and Google are among well-known unicorns that have reached and exceeded these statuses.

 

A question: When you close your eyes and visualize a unicorn, what do you see? White, Chinese? Can Africans build and own unicorns? I wondered aloud as I wrote this piece. Some African entrepreneurs are establishing and have produced unicorns, but whether we as Africans control our unicorns is a topic for another day and this is due to a lack of access to 'African financing.'

 

In recent years, some African firms have grown into unicorns. Some African entrepreneurs have achieved this level of success such as the founders of Chipper Cash, Andela, Interswitch, Esusu, among others. However, being a PROFITABLE unicorn company is more fundamental than attaining unicorn STATUS. The likes of these Africans who founded, built and scaled their firms to such heights give me the utmost confidence that Africa will continue to produce multibillion-dollar and even trillion-dollar businesses. Jumia, a pan-African tech company, has risen to a height where it now trades on the New York Stock Exchange.

 

Governments and grants will not build the future for Africans. Rather, people who dare to do things that grow and scale will. Building this future, this possibility, necessitates more African money, capital with purpose - your funds. Anyone who invested in IROKO TV when it first raised funding, would have made 3,000+ percent gain today. So, we have the ability to alter the narrative. We have the ability to change preconceived opinions about us. We can build more unicorns founded by Blacks and Africans with afro punk hairstyles and braids (laughs). We have the ability to build new markets, develop existing markets, dare to produce more unicorns, and now is the moment to get involved.

 

My name is Emmanuel and I am on a mission to reach the heights of companies like Bain Capital, Blackrock and Tiger Global, to name a few. Enterprises that impact and improve communities and cultures, empower infrastructure, economies and sectors are the businesses of the future. We need to foster a sense of discovery and decisiveness in ourselves because these are the qualities that have inspired numerous founders to solve problems and bridge gaps, giving rise to unicorn companies.


I am not blind to the fact that the region suffers poor media/PR, neither am I unaware that we have merely a handful of such success stories but I would like to urge us to put those facts and all the other obvious reasons aside for a moment and envision a better future. Together, you and I can create a better tomorrow - a future in which you and I can hedge our bets and pool our resources.

 

Join us as we harness our full potential and push the boundaries at Capgrove Group; a business services, investment and asset management firm I founded, with activities in both private and public markets. Please visit our website at www.capgrove.com to learn more about our vision and mission, as well as what we have been up to. When something piques

your curiosity, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

We must continue to “Build the Next Profitable Unicorn Corporations”.

 

Until the next article, best wishes.



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