Trends reshaping the Tech Entrepreneurship Industry in 2021
According to an article by Ray Dalio, founder of the largest hedge fund in the world BridgeWater Associates, ‘we are in a transition of a new world order’. There are three fundamental mega-trends that are shifting the global business, political and socio-economic landscapes. 1) Rising inequality, a growing gap between the rich and poor and a broken system for fairly allocating resources, 2) A rising superpower, influencing geopolitics on a global scale. And 3) Rising inflation of currencies, assets, and goods.
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated these megatrends, and their impact on the African continent. The African innovator is seen as the solution to the challenges faced on the continent, because governments do not have the capacity to address the fundamental issues which have traditionally been under their portfolio – issues such as poverty, health, and infrastructure. It is useful to consider how some of these trends will play out, and what to expect more of in 2021.
Here’s a a spot list of three of these:
Expanded online learning and ed-tech as educational systems continue to pursue online. During the pandemic 190 countries experienced forced school closures, impacting 1.6 billion people. Many start-ups stepped in to support the accelerated digitalisation as African institutions needed the innovative capacity. We will see this growth trickle into AR and VR opportunities.
Accelerated public health, biotech, and drug development investments. We saw record speed development, testing and approval of new drugs, testing kits and vaccines. This required never-seen-before collaboration from scientists, business, and policymakers. We think this momentum will continue in the year as health-tech innovations roll-out. Expanding essential healthcare while reducing COVID-19 exposure has been a growing need. We see this continuing to usher a new era for telehealth and telemedicine start-ups in Africa such as Udok, Unjani Clinic and OCLIYA.
Contactless delivery and perfecting last-mile shipping continue to prop up new online stores, at-home services, and dark kitchens. Having the convenience to access your daily needs from your home or with minimal outside contact is a new normal that will stay. Even though “Africa’s Amazon” – Jumia is a unicorn, African cities have been plagued by informal addressing systems and inefficient logistics. The pandemic has given the industry as much needed boost as it is now projected to grow by 24% in 2021, reaching a market size of $25 billion.