Emerging Markets Monthly - 🌍 Nigeria's Startup Act
October 2022 Emerging Markets Recap
Once a month, one big headline and a news recap from emerging market VC ecosystems.
One big thing
Nigeria has officially signed into law its national "Nigeria Start-up Act, 2022" bill that was originally launched in May 2021 and has been in several stages of development since. Many emerging market countries have introduced similar bills in recent years to help separate startups from other types of businesses and influence innovation and investment into their countries. In Africa, we've seen similar bills in Tunisia, Kenya, Senegal, and Ethiopia.
The bill has three distinct goals:
Create an enabling environment for establishing and operating a startup
Foster tech-related talent development
Position Nigeria as a leading tech hub on the continent
It will accomplish these through several different initiatives, including preparing for and incentivizing foreign investments, creating more jobs, and access to funding opportunities. The bill also gives startups tax breaks, government loans, and credit guarantee programs.
There's always a push and pull relationship between the public and private sector and what is considered government overreach. That said, there's no doubt that local government policies play a crucial role in developing emerging startup ecosystems. Nigeria is already one of the "Big Four" startup hubs in Africa, typically moving ranks between 1-3. With this new law its very unlikely they'll be replaced anytime soon.
Feel free to read about the act in detail here.
Africa is projected to receive $7B in VC funding by the end of 2022, an increase of +35% over 2021's record-breaking $5.2B. So far this year, Africa has been the sole outlier in a global venture capital investment slowdown, but there are some signs that the back half of this year might not be so optimistic.
Get perspective: Even though last year brought record-breaking funding to the region, it only accounted for 1% of VC funding globally.
Why it matters: India has been one of Asia's most important VC ecosystems in recent years due to its large market (like China) and open business system (unlike China), drawing in prominent investors such as Softbank, Lightspeed, and Sequoia. The slowdown marks a worrying trend that can affect the entire region.
There was a bit of concern in Colombia recently as the country has been considering a tax reform that would affect wealth tax calculations on private companies (aka startups).
A positive outcome: As of now, it looks like entrepreneurs will not be subject to tax on the current valuations of their companies, which are based on future projections. This matter hasn't been completely settled as the law hasn't passed through Congress yet, but it's moving in a positive direction.
Why it matters: Egypt's position in the region makes it unique in its contribution to both Africa and the Middle East. The fact that a fund in an emerging market can close this large of an amount of capital in an increasingly difficult economic environment shows that there is strong potential for these regions to weather a startup funding downturn that has already started.
See you again next month!
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