The Angolan startup ecosystem is still in its early stages of development, but it is growing rapidly with the support of various government and private initiatives. Angola is a country located in southern Africa with a population of over 31 million people. It has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and is home to a large population of young, tech-savvy entrepreneurs who are driving innovation in the country.
Despite the significant potential of the Angolan startup ecosystem, it is often overlooked in discussions of African startup ecosystems. This is largely due to the fact that Angola is a Lusophone country, meaning that it is a country where Portuguese is the official language. Lusophone countries are often overlooked in discussions of African startups because they are less well-known and less frequently studied than other countries on the continent. This is despite the fact that Lusophone countries have a combined population of over 270 million people and represent a significant portion of the African economy.
Despite these challenges, the Angolan startup ecosystem is making significant progress. The government has launched various initiatives to support entrepreneurship and innovation, such as the creation of the Angola Investe Fund and the National Agency for Private Investment (ANIP), which aim to attract foreign investment and foster economic growth. Additionally, there are several sources of funding available for startups in Angola, including venture capital funds, angel investors, and crowdfunding platforms.
Co-working spaces are also playing a significant role in the Angolan startup ecosystem, offering entrepreneurs affordable office space and access to a supportive community of like-minded individuals. Incubators and accelerators are also important, providing startups with mentorship, training, and access to funding. Many universities in Angola are offering entrepreneurship programs to support and encourage students to start their own businesses.
The Angolan startup ecosystem is focused on a few key sectors, including fintech, agtech, and e-commerce. Fintech startups are particularly popular in Angola, given the country's large unbanked population and the significant potential for financial inclusion. Agtech startups are also important, given Angola's large agricultural sector and the need for innovative solutions to improve productivity and efficiency. E-commerce is another area of focus, with several startups working to create online marketplaces and other digital platforms to facilitate commerce in the country.
What are some of the most successful startups in Angola?
Angola's startup ecosystem is still in its early stages of development, and there are relatively few established startups in the country. However, there are some notable success stories that have emerged in recent years. Here are a few examples:
- Kubinga: Kubinga is an e-commerce platform that allows users to buy and sell products online. The company was founded in 2016 and has since grown to become one of the most successful startups in Angola. Kubinga has raised funding from several investors and is expanding rapidly, with plans to launch in other African countries in the near future.
- Tupuca: Tupuca is an online food delivery platform that was founded in 2015. The company has since grown to become one of the most popular food delivery services in Angola, with a network of over 200 restaurants and a loyal customer base. Tupuca has raised funding from several investors and is expanding its services to include grocery delivery and other on-demand services.
- Appy Saúde: Appy Saúde is a health-tech startup that provides a mobile app that allows users to schedule appointments with doctors, access medical information, and manage their health records. The company was founded in 2016 and has since grown to become one of the most successful startups in Angola's health-tech sector.
- Kiandara: Kiandara is an agtech startup that provides a platform for smallholder farmers to connect with buyers and access market information. The company was founded in 2018 and has since grown to become one of the most successful startups in Angola's agriculture sector.
- Karga: Karga is a logistics startup that provides a platform for shipping and delivery services. The company was founded in 2018 and has since grown to become one of the most successful startups in Angola's logistics sector, with a network of delivery partners and a growing customer base.
While these startups are still relatively new and have a long way to go before achieving widespread success, they are examples of the growing potential of the Angolan startup ecosystem. With the right support and resources, there is significant potential for Angola to become a major hub for innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa, especially for Lusophone countries.
What are some of the most renowned coworking spaces in Angola?
Coworking spaces have become increasingly popular in Angola's startup ecosystem, providing entrepreneurs with affordable office space and access to a supportive community of like-minded individuals. Here are some of the most renowned coworking spaces in Angola:
- Kianda Hub: Kianda Hub is one of the most popular coworking spaces in Angola, located in the heart of Luanda, the country's capital. The space offers flexible office space, meeting rooms, and event space, as well as a range of amenities and support services for startups and entrepreneurs.
- INNOVspace: INNOVspace is a coworking space and startup incubator located in Benguela, Angola's second-largest city. The space offers a range of services and resources to support early-stage startups, including mentorship, training, and access to funding.
- Espaço Luanda: Espaço Luanda is a coworking space and business center located in Luanda. The space offers private offices, meeting rooms, and a range of business services and amenities, including high-speed internet, printing and scanning, and reception services.
- I-Hub Angola: I-Hub Angola is a technology hub and coworking space located in Luanda. The space offers flexible office space, meeting rooms, and a range of support services for startups and entrepreneurs, including mentorship, training, and access to funding.
- Revolve: Revolve is a coworking space and creative hub located in Luanda. The space is designed to provide a supportive environment for creative professionals, with a flexible workspace, meeting rooms, and various amenities and support services.
What are some of the incubators in Angola?
Incubators play a crucial role in supporting early-stage startups and helping them to grow and scale their businesses. Here are some of the most notable incubators in Angola:
- Startup Angola: Startup Angola is an incubator and accelerator program that provides support and resources to early-stage startups in Angola. The program offers mentorship, training, and access to funding, as well as a range of other support services to help startups succeed.
- Fundo Soberano de Angola: The Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA) is a sovereign wealth fund that has launched a number of initiatives to support entrepreneurship and innovation in Angola. The FSDEA has partnered with several international organizations to provide funding and support to startups and small businesses in the country.
- BFA Incubadora: BFA Incubadora is a startup incubator program launched by Banco de Fomento Angola (BFA), one of the largest banks in Angola. The program provides support and resources to early-stage startups, including mentorship, training, and access to funding.
- Seedstars Angola: Seedstars Angola is a startup incubator program that is part of the Seedstars network, a global startup incubator and accelerator. The program provides support and resources to early-stage startups in Angola, including mentorship, training, and access to funding.
- KIC InnoEnergy: KIC InnoEnergy is a European startup incubator and accelerator that has launched a program in Angola to support startups working in the energy sector. The program provides funding, mentorship, and support to startups working on innovative energy solutions.
List of some of the most prominent individuals in the Angolan startup ecosystem.
- Sérgio Raimundo: Sérgio Raimundo is the founder and CEO of Kianda Hub, one of the most popular coworking spaces in Angola. He is also a prominent advocate for entrepreneurship and innovation in Angola and has been recognised for his efforts to support the country's startup ecosystem.
- Wilson Ganga: Wilfried Ganga is the founder and CEO of Tupuca, one of the most successful startups in Angola. He is a prominent figure in the country's tech community and has been recognized for his contributions to entrepreneurship and innovation.
- Mariana Arantes: Mariana Arantes is the founder and CEO of Inclusão+, a social enterprise that provides training and employment opportunities to people with disabilities in Angola. She is a prominent advocate for social entrepreneurship and has been recognized for her efforts to promote inclusion and diversity in the workplace.
- Elsa Fonseca: Elsa Fonseca is the founder and CEO of i9Mais, a startup that provides digital solutions for small businesses in Angola. She is a prominent figure in the country's tech community and has been recognized for her contributions to entrepreneurship and innovation.
- Djamila Cabral: Djamila Cabral is the founder and CEO of SISTERS Angola, a social enterprise that provides vocational training and employment opportunities to women in Angola. She is a prominent advocate for women's empowerment and has been recognized for her efforts to promote gender equality in the workplace.
These individuals are just a few examples of the many talented entrepreneurs and innovators who are driving the growth and development of the Angolan startup ecosystem. As the ecosystem continues to mature, we can expect to see more successful startups and more individuals making significant contributions.
What has the Angolan government done to help the Angolan startup ecosystem?
The Angolan government has taken several initiatives to support and promote the country's startup ecosystem. Here are some examples:
- Angola Investe: Angola Investe is a government program that provides financial support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including startups. The program offers loans and equity investments to qualifying businesses to help them grow and create jobs.
- Hub de Inovação: The Hub de Inovação is a government-funded innovation hub located in Luanda. It provides workspace, mentorship, and networking opportunities for startups, with a focus on technology and innovation.
- Angola Startup Accelerator Program: This program, launched in 2021, is a partnership between the government of Angola and the African Development Bank. It provides funding and training to early-stage startups in Angola, with a focus on agriculture, energy, and information technology.
- Tax incentives: The Angolan government has introduced several tax incentives to encourage entrepreneurship and investment in startups. For example, startups are exempt from paying corporate income tax for the first two years of operation.
- Regulatory reforms: The government has also made regulatory reforms to create a more favourable environment for startups. For example, it has simplified the process of registering a business and reduced the time and cost involved in obtaining licenses and permits.
Overall, the Angolan government's efforts to support the startup ecosystem are still in the early stages, but they are a promising sign for the future of entrepreneurship and innovation in the country.
Some examples of investors and organizations that are actively investing in Angolan startups:
- VC4A: VC4A is a global venture capital platform that has invested in several startups in Angola, including Kubinga and Tupuca.
- Africa Technology Ventures (ATV): ATV is an early-stage venture capital firm that focuses on technology startups in Africa. The firm has invested in several African startups, including one based in Angola.
- Innovation Fund: The Innovation Fund is a government-funded organisation that provides financing and technical assistance to startups and small businesses in Angola.
- Angola Cables: Angola Cables is a telecommunications company that has launched an investment fund to support startups in the technology sector in Angola.
- Kento Holding: Kento Holding is an investment firm that has invested in several startups in Angola, including Jobartis and Kianda.
What are the challenges faced by the Angolan startup ecosystem?
The Angolan startup ecosystem faces several challenges that can hinder the growth and success of startups in the country. Some of the challenges include:
- Limited Access to Funding: Access to funding is a major challenge faced by startups in Angola. There is a limited number of angel investors, venture capitalists, and other funding sources, making it difficult for startups to secure the necessary funding to grow and scale their businesses.
- Lack of Technical Skills: There is a shortage of skilled technical professionals, including software developers, data analysts, and other technical specialists. This shortage can limit the ability of startups to develop and launch innovative products and services.
- Weak Infrastructure: Angola's infrastructure is still developing, and this can create difficulties for startups, especially those in remote or rural areas. Poor transportation networks, limited access to electricity, and other infrastructure challenges can impact the ability of startups to operate efficiently.
- Limited Market Size: Angola has a relatively small market size, which can limit the potential customer base for startups. This can make it difficult for startups to achieve economies of scale and reach profitability.
- Complex Legal and Regulatory Environment: Angola's legal and regulatory environment can be complex and challenging for startups to navigate. This can create barriers to entry and limit the growth potential of startups.
- Political Instability: Political instability and corruption can create challenges for startups in Angola. This can impact the ability of startups to attract investment and do business in the country.
Conclusions about the Angolan startup ecosystem
The Angolan startup ecosystem is still in its early stages of development, but there has been significant progress in recent years. The government has made efforts to support entrepreneurship by establishing policies and programs to encourage innovation and attract foreign investment.
However, there are still significant challenges that startups in Angola face, such as limited access to funding, a lack of technical skills, and weak infrastructure. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the startup ecosystem in Angola, as it has in many other countries.
Despite these challenges, there is potential for the Angolan startup ecosystem to grow and thrive, given the country's natural resources, strategic location, and young and entrepreneurial population. With the right support and resources, startups in Angola could drive economic growth and create job opportunities for the country's growing youth population.