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

March 4, 2021 27 min

In this episode, we explore entertainment for mass-market consumers in Africa with Guy Kamgaing, the Founder and CEO of StarNews Mobile.

Throughout the series of episodes, we're exploring the entrepreneurs in start-ups digitizing informal and fragmented industries on the continent. And in the media space, that means building a product fit for the realities of mass-market consumers. In a world of abundant free content on YouTube,...

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In this episode, we talk about cryptocurrency with the Co-Founder and CEO of Bundle, and the Founding Partner of Microtraction, Yele Bademosi. Beyond trading and price volatility, what is it about crypto that excites Yele and so many others on the continent?

Throughout the series of episodes, we're exploring the entrepreneurs in start-ups digitizing informal and fragmented industries on the continent. And despite the technologic...

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In this episode, we talk about savings and credit cooperative societies, or SACCOs, and the outsize role these member-owned community banks  play in African and emerging markets. While millions of Africans belong to SACCOs, it's an industry that Kwara's Cynthia Wandia calls "as analog as it gets". Kwara is a Kenyan startup building software to digitize SACCOs, and in this episode, we talk to Cynthia about the role S...

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In this episode, we continue our exploration of the entrepreneurs digitizing informal and analog markets, with Nomanini's Vahid Monadjem. Nomanini is a fintech platform for informal retail merchants in cash-heavy economies, and Vahid, the company's Founder and CEO, believes the best "way to move beyond cash is for us to be really interoperable with it." In this episode, we talk about specialization and interoperabil...

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In this episode, we open the black box of last-mile retail distribution with MarketForce 360's Tesh Mbaabu. 90 percent of trade in Africa is informal, and MarketForce's software-as-a-service platform to better manage their field sales agents and distribution. We'll talk about product, the considerations in building products you use at the last mile and the needs of the multinational FMCG companies and financial service ...

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In this episode, we explore digital savings with PiggyVest's Odunayo Eweniyi. PiggyVest's competition is the wooden box that Nigerians were using to save cash. We'll talk about how the company designed the product to compel mass-market consumers to save digitally; how their use of social media and word of mouth built trust and engendered a savings culture, how Odun think about new products, like crypto and insurance, as...

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In this episode, we speak to Jihan Abass, the Founder and CEO of Lami, an insurance-as-a-service startup based in Nairobi, Kenya. Lami's platform enables insurers, banks, and other partners to offer  digital and flexible insurance to African consumers. 

4:12 – First question: formal insurance penetration in Africa is 3%. What's the problem and how is Lami trying to solve it?
6:45 – What does flexible, digital, B2B2C insurance...

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Our exploration of the entrepreneurs and startups digitizing analog and fragmented industries takes us to Nigeria, for a conversation with Helium Health's Co-founder and CEO Goke Olubusi. Helium's electronic medical records are providing the digital infrastructure for healthcare sectors across Africa, enabling a variety of stakeholders to make data-driven decisions.

4:26 - First question: what does the state of healthcare lo...

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On October 15, 2020, Paystack and Stripe announced the acquisition of the former by the latter, in a deal reported to be worth over $200 million. This marks Stripe's largest acquisition to date and is an incredibly meaningful exit for the African tech ecosystem. To unpack the deal, we spoke to Shola Akinlade, Paystack's Co-founder and CEO, and Matt Henderson, Stripe's Business Lead for Europe, the Middle East, and Afric...

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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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