The Flip

The Flip

The Flip is an editorial-style podcast exploring contextually relevant insights from entrepreneurs and investors changing the status quo in Africa. The name The Flip comes from the opportunity to flip the script – question some of the pervasive narratives on entrepreneurship, challenge the ubiquity of Silicon Valley thought leadership, and champion the entrepreneurs building a future inspired by Africa. Produced and hosted by Johannesburg-based entrepreneur and American expat Justin Norman. Sayo Folawiyo is the executive producer and b-mic.... Show More

Episodes

October 1, 2020 31 min

The very nature of a high-growth startup means that the company is always growing and hiring at a rapid rate. And for African startups, in particular, the talent question is even more acute, given the general challenges of sourcing for select roles, as well as the difficulty in competing for talent with other startups, multinationals, and companies elsewhere in the world. In this episode, we unpack the talent and recruiting situati...

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September 24, 2020 44 min

In this episode, we explore and unpack the relationship between the tech ecosystem and the media. We'll seek answers to questions such as - what roles do media publications play in the ecosystem? How does this differ between international and local publications? What are the key considerations for the media in doing this work, particularly from a talent and business model perspective? What about companies creating their own con...

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This season we've talked about the relationship between African tech and other emerging markets across the Global South, as well as with China. In this episode, we talk about the ecosystem's relationship Japan - and in particular, the interest Japanese investors and corporates have in innovations from the continent. 

1:33 - Satoshi Shinada and Rio Yamawaki on the macro situation in Japan, and why Japanese investors are inter...

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In this episode, we explore the evolution of mobile financial services and the opportunity to deepen financial inclusion in African markets. This opportunity exists for mobile network operators, as well fintechs like PalmPay, backed by hardware manufacturer Transsion, whose smartphone brands - Tecno, Itel, and Infinix - account for over 50% of smartphone devices on the continent.

1:55 - We explore the evolution from USSD-led Mobile ...

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September 3, 2020 31 min

This week, we explore a hypothesis - that the lessons and models from Chinese tech companies have merit in African markets, given certain similarities between China’s development and the current conditions on the continent. 

2:06 - DFS Lab's Stephen Deng on the experience of Chinese entrepreneurs and investors, and the lessons from leapfrogs in China that may have merit in Africa.
5:37 - We hear from Laura Li, VP of Investments o...

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Last episode, we went on a hypothetical startup journey from idea to exit. In this episode, we go on a real one.

In June of 2020, MFS Africa announced the acquisition of Beyonic. Together, the combined company of 95 employees now enables mobile money interoperability between markets and mobile network operators, and offers a suite of tools for SMEs, in 30-plus African markets. We go inside the acquisition - how it came together, why...

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This episode, we go on a hypothetical startup fundraising journey, from idea to exit. 

2:04 - At the earliest stage, angel and venture investing is quite subjective, says Zachariah George, angel investor and Managing Director of LaunchAfrica. 
3:46 - Because of the subjectivity, metrics and valuations don't matter as much at this stage. We hear from Chidinma Iwueke, Partner at pre-seed fund Microtraction, on their standard deal t...

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We dedicate this episode to Fahim Saleh, the Founder and CEO of Gokada, who was killed in New York City on July 13th. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and the entire Gokada team.

This year, Nigerian fintech companies Paga and Migo are expanding to Latin America, to Mexico and Brazil, respectively. Another Nigerian startup, Gokada, was launched by an entrepreneur who built a successful ride-hailing company in Bangladesh...

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We've had prior discussions on Africa's market size (S1E5) and on Africa-focused investors' pursuit of scale (S1E7). Both topics ultimately lead to the same place for startups: geographic expansion. What are the considerations and implications? 

2:05 - Keith Davies, former CFO of Zoona, shares cautions startups to be careful because expansion introduces a lot of the complexity for the business.
4:35 - Operational consider...

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In this episode, we explore high-touch venture investing models - in particular, venture development and talent investing, as well as peer-selected investment. 

2:16 - an introduction to accelerator programs and their objectives, with Catalyst Fund's Aaron Fu.
3:47 - a discussion with Adedana Ashebir on Village Capital's peer-selected investment model.
6:16 - Founders Factory Africa's Lwazi Wali and Sam Sturm on venture bu...

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July 23, 2020 3 min

Introducing The Flip Season Two - the podcast exploring contextually relevant insights from entrepreneurs changing the status quo in Africa. This season, we explore venture building, geographic expansion, valuations and exits, mobile money, emerging markets, China, and much more. 

Produced and hosted by Justin Norman. Sayo Folawiyo is the executive producer and b-mic.

https://www.theflip.africa

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May 21, 2020 20 min

They say never waste a good crisis. And while COVID-19 has had a horrible, crippling effect on individuals and economies alike, if there's one positive to the pandemic, perhaps it's that it's compelling and facilitating partnerships to serve the greater good; to bring people together to solve problems that have already existed, but that now have been brought even further to the fore. In this episode, we talk to entrepre...

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April 30, 2020 25 min

As we continue to weather the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, and its second order effects on the economy, hat lessons can we learn from those who have lived, survived or even thrived through somewhat similar circumstances in the past? In this episode, we hear stories from three entrepreneurs whose past experiences may be useful for the entrepreneurs of today.

2:07 - 'Tokunboh Ishmael, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Alithei...

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MicroEnsure’s origins date back in 2002 when its founder, Richard Leftley, started asking a simple question of traditional insurance companies – why is it that insurers only create products and services for the wealthy? He never got a good answer. Richard had seen the data on the impact that natural disasters had on human lives in emerging markets – there was clearly a mismatch between risk and access to insurance.

Years later, as m...

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February 21, 2020 50 min

Rebecca Enonchong (@africatechie) is widely known for her evangelism of the African tech ecosystem. But she's much more than merely an evangelist. Rebecca started the US-based enterprise software company in 1999, growing it into a global business, and along the way has co-founded the Africa Business Angels Network, AfriLabs, I/O Spaces, ActivSpaces and more. 

I was so fortunate to be paid a visit by Rebecca in Johannesburg, ...

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To solve problems on the continent, entrepreneurs are building sustainable, impact-driven, infrastructure-building, tech-enabled, for-profit companies - how should these companies be funded?

In this episode - our third and final episode of our three-part series on venture investing in Africa, and the final episode of Season One, as well, we take a first principles approach to fundraising in Africa, and dive deeper into the opportuni...

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Venture Capitalists, generally speaking, are looking to fund high-growth ventures that have the potential to scale and achieve virtually infinite returns. But achieving that scale is hard, even more so in Africa, where there are market size questions, fragmented markets, and regulatory considerations. As a result, venture investors are looking for a specific type of founder and entrepreneur - one who has demonstrated the potential ...

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We talk so often of venture capital that it's more or less assumed that raising VC funding is an inextricable part of the entrepreneur's journey. But should it be? What are the purposes for taking in VC money, and what are the considerations? 

1:24 - Keith Davies, ex-CFO and Partner at Zoona on the implications of taking VC money
3:19 - Integrateme Founder Luke Dominique Warner on their strategic decision to not do a traditio...

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One of the most exciting aspects of opportunities in Africa is a function of market size - over 1.2 billion people on the youngest and fastest-growing continent. But the conversation around total addressable market, and true market size opportunity is a lot more nuanced than Africa's topline population number.

2:25 - GreenTec Capital Partner's Maxime Bayen discusses GSMA research on mobile adoption and digital literacy
4:39 -...

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In nuanced and fragmented environments, how are startups in African markets getting their products and services in the hands of their customers at the last mile?

1:55 Maxime Bayen, of GreenTec Capital partners and formerly of GSMA, on mobile technology
4:00 Keith Davies, formerly of Zoona, on agent networks
5:24 Katlego Maphai, CEO of Yoco, on building trust offline
6:36 Abolore Salami, CEO of Riby, on B2B2C business models
8:11 Antonio...

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