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  • Sharon Mwale

Behind the Criteria: Attractiveness to Investors

Updated: Feb 11

Access to capital is one of the core tenets of the YASR mission and so we made sure the companies we selected were attractive investments to fund managers

“Cash is king, but it has got to be more than just a rat race to raise the most funds.”


At the Yale Africa Startup Review ('YASR'), we heard this phrase repeatedly in our conversations with Africa-based startup founders and executives as we discussed coverage of the local startup ecosystem. There’s nothing wrong with raising tons of money, in fact we celebrate it. We are mindful of the tough reality of being an entrepreneur in any environment and recognize that local founders may not have the accolades or success markers investors typically look for. We hope that by being featured in #YASR30, we can create access to resources and help these founders attract more funding.


For purposes of the review, however, we don’t focus on the amount of financing raised. We look at the ratio of revenue generated to total financing raised as a proxy for value created. This lens provides a more holistic way to compare startups that choose to (or have to) grow organically with their revenue to those that have raised millions of dollars in venture financing. We think this approach to telling the story is more representative of the financing environment and dynamism of the African startup ecosystem. We are excited to see more VC money flowing into the continent, but we agree, it’s got to be more than just a race to raise funds. We reflect that in our review process for #YASR30.

At YASR, we don’t focus on the amount of financing raised. We look at the ratio of revenue generated to total financing raised as a proxy for value created. This lens provides a more holistic way to compare startups that choose to (or have to) grow organically with their revenue to those that have raised millions of dollars in venture financing. At YASR, we believe we can celebrate both. We think this approach to telling the story is more representative of the financing environment and dynamism of the African startup ecosystem. We are excited to see more VC money flowing into the continent, but we agree, it’s got to be more than just a race to raise funds. We reflect that in our review process for #YASR30.


Originally published on Medium

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