Outliers #001

African tech, Amazon's same day delivery, and peak Netflix.

Hey all,

Stew from TEN13 here. Introducing our latest newsletter...Outliers. In an effort to keep you all informed on the way we see the markets, we've built a new publication. Each week we'll present to you our insights on VC investing while on our endless hunt for outliers.

This week, we look into the opportunity that lies in African tech, Amazon's attention to grocery delivery a decade before the market craze, and answer how many streaming services fit in a consumer's life.

Enjoy and please reply with any feedback!


The biggest global Seed to Series A deals from outside the US this week:

  1. IQM Quantum Computers - US$131m - Espoo, Finland Quantum Computing may still seem like a pipe dream for most, but IQM raised 9 figures to deliver on its promise. IQM will focus on the climate by modelling solutions to smooth abnormalities.
  2. RPA Supervisor - US$20m - Bergen, Norway Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the official name for software that emulates human action. RPA Supervisor's software increases the capacity of RPA by up to 50%.
  3. Altruistiq - US$18.3m - London, UK Altruistiq is a carbon reporting platform for food, retail and fashion businesses. The £15m Seed round is the second largest in British history.
  4. DBank - US$17.6m - Islamabad, Pakistan Dbank is a fintech startup that is expanding the reach of financial services in Pakistan. The first Sequoia-backed startup in Pakistan.
  5. Cartona - US$12m - Giza, Egypt A B2B e-commerce platform, Cartona connects 60,000 retailers from 11 Egyptian cities to manufacturers across the FMCG space.

A VC's Insight

Africa: The market’s lone green arrow

Zimbabwe born and raised, TEN13 Managing Partner Stew Glynn believes Africa is finally in a position to capitalise on its long recognised potential. With 5 African investments under his belt, including the continent's third unicorn in Chipper Cash, here's how he's seeing the African funding landscape.

While you would be well aware of the current state of the funding market, the one corner of the globe bucking all trends is receiving less attention.

The African funding ecosystem continues to grow at a rapid rate. Q2 '22 funding rose 125% compared to the same quarter last year. This is on the back of a record equalling Q1.

It is not that African startups are immune to macro factors, but they are starting from an early base with US$1.4bn (2020) ramping by 263% to US$5bn (2021) invested in the last two years. Only 1.2% of all VC funding in the first 6 months of the year were towards African startups and founders.

Still, the rewards to be found in a previously untouched continent are enough to continue attracting VC interest, despite market conditions. But why?

To start, it's home to a rapidly growing, young population that is increasingly tech-savvy. Perhaps more importantly, we are just now seeing the infrastructure put in place to allow commerce and development to occur.

A doubling of internet penetration in the last decade has led to mobile wallets & payments networks. 30% of deals and 45% of funding went into FinTech in Q2.

Funding by Quarter

The Big Deal
is a go to source for all African funding data. Their latest figures show that Africa was the only geography to see a year-over-year increase in funding in Q2. Of course, funding still dipped against Q1 in line with the rest of the market but showed resilience amongst a challenging outlook.

The future of tech investing in Africa remains bright and is one of the last unconquered regions, there is a lot of upside left to be built, and many great entrepreneurs looking to make their mark.

Macro lens

Have we reached peak tech saturation? After Facebook announced their first fall in users earlier this year, the Twitter-verse joked that there weren't enough people on earth for Facebook to continue growing. The sentiment stands for the seemingly countless social and streaming apps competing for our eyeballs each day.

That being said, this chart supplied by Chartr shows that so far, people have increasingly made room for new streaming services in their lives. Almost half of all media consumers have 4 or more streaming subscriptions.  

What does this means for a VC's view on the world? Firstly, streaming isn't a winner takes all market and a quality product can succeed in a seemingly saturated market. Next we consider the extent to which the success of a new platform impacts an incumbent. Further research indicates that new services (among other factors) are increasing our daily screen-time. Nielsen found that streaming hours surged by 18% over the last year. There's plenty of room for Netflix and Disney (even if there was none for Quibi).


While those with an inner city postcode are enjoying 10-minute delivery to cure all cravings and forgotten milk orders, the concept has taken a near decade to eventuate. In 2013, Amazon considered developing in the space, despite realising then the "stuff is not economic".

@TechEmails is a great follow too. I wonder how the admins get their hands on some of the most revealing emails straight from Musk, Zuck et al.'s sent folder.

Your authors this week

Stew Glynn - Co-Founder and Managing Partner at TEN13. Previously at General Electric and KPMG. Eyes on Africa for opportunity. Follow on Twitter for more.

Alex Barrat - New to the VC world, Alex spent his early career at VC-funded scale up Stake. As one of the first ten hires, he left the team of 130 almost 5 years later. All pitches welcome. Submit your deck here.