Frankfurt (Germany), July, 2021. GreenTec is very pleased to share that Co-Founders, Erick Yong and Thomas Festerling, were featured in the June issue of Wir, a German magazine focused on entrepreneurial families. The article presents Thomas’ and Erick’s views on Africa’s start-up scene in an article written by Johannes Sell.
The following are some (translated) excerpts: The two investors and their team are certain that the time is ripe for the continent to become a landing pad for investors of all kinds. Because the founding spirit in Africa is coming of age: the professionalism of the start-ups is increasing. Many African founders who have already studied successfully in the USA or in Europe, and some of whom have also founded companies, are returning to their home countries and, as business angels, are driving developments forward with their accumulated knowledge and equity capital. In addition, technological solutions and business models have reached a new level.
Until a few years ago, business ideas were always heading in the same direction. Most founders relied on similar principles, business models and locally available technical solutions. Now, the continent’s young companies are on the same level as their counterparts from the developed industrialised countries in many respects. The founders from Africa can definitely compete on the global market with their solutions, or are even superior in the area of mobile payments, Yong claims. “In Africa, the founders have more drive to want to change something and to help. They tackle problems that are real and can be put into practice immediately.”
For Festerling, the numbers man and CFO at GreenTec, the 17 sustainable development goals that many investors in this country have taken up make targets in Africa all the more appealing: “In developed markets, impact is difficult to measure, but in Africa, meaningful investing is really visible and increasingly easy. If you want to build a diversified portfolio, you have to have Africa in it.”
GreenTec’s model is actively and operationally tailored, and for investors ranges from a large fund to offers of co-investment. “And for portfolio companies, we bring day-to-day support, whether that’s with the performance of the start-up, setting up governance structures or being a general sparring partner on entrepreneurial issues,” says Yong.