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  • Writer's pictureGrant Rock

Cape Town, start-up capital of Africa

A 2018 report by Wesgro, shows why Cape Town is the startup capital of Africa. Read a summary below or download it here.

  • South Africa presents low barriers for communication with its European time zone, English as business language.

  • South Africa has the largest telecoms market in Africa and a robust mobile infrastructure. +150% mobile penetration, 87 Million mobile subribers, 4th fastest growing mobile comms market in the world

  • World Economic Forum research rates South Africa’s professional services & financial markets as world class.

  • Cape Town is found to be the best run city in SA - sophisticated, and globally focused, with one of the largest open access fiber networks in Africa, the lowest unemployment rate and the fastest growing economy in the country. The city boasts over 850km of fiber laid with a network spanning +1800km. There are 715 free Wi-Fi hotspots around the city and 225 free Wi-Fi hotspots locations.

  • There were 114 VC investments to the value of value of R872 million in 2016. 56% these transactions concluded in companies that are headquartered in Cape Town.

  • South Africa has an active angel and family office investing community and the potential for more with +49 000 South African US$ millionaires. Investors are attracted to Cape Town specifically for its ecosystems of quality startups, access to Africa, lifestyle, tax incentives, talent and culture.

  • Cape Town has a robust community of entrepreneurs building global businesses with each high growth tech enabled business creating 200+ direct jobs. Global start-ups choose Cape Town for its access to funding, entrepreneurial community, talent, culture of creativity and for the lifestyle it offers.

  • Key areas of innovation include fintech, edutech, traveltech, gaming, ecommerce, digital services and health & biotech.

  • Cape Town has the highest number of acceleration & co-working spaces in Africa with Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative the first tech incubator in Africa which has incubated +2000 businesses and supported +3000 entrepreneurs. Cape Town has 25+ co-working spaces and 20+ local & international accelerators. Acceleration programs support 10-15 start-ups per year.

  • Cape Town has a wealth of affordable, talented people and globally recognised universities. In a 50km radius there are 4 world-class universities, 2 globally recognized business schools, research councils, private & public coding schools. The University of Stellenbosch & Business School and University of Cape Town & Graduate School of Business are globally ranked.

  • More than 12 000 engineering, science and tech mathematics graduates are produced annually, more than 500 coders trained per annum.

  • Software engineers & developers in Cape Town are 40–80% less expensive than developed markets.

  • Corporate activity in Cape Town is vibrant with 25 Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed companies are headquartered here. Key sectors include retail, oil & gas, tourism, agricultural processing, BPO, asset management, tech and sustainable energy.

  • Cape Town is home to global innovators Naspers (largest global media company outside of the USA), Capitec (Globally voted as “the world’s best bank”) and Amazon Web Services (EC2 cloud built in Cape Town & Amazon Web Services operates from the city).

  • Global investors into the cape town tech sector include Thomson Reuters, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Google, Hisense and Barclays.

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