Tiger Global Management, LLC is like a giant coupling factory, but for funding deals. They are like a robust assembly line, but for cutting cheques.
This year, the New York-based funder has sealed 100 deals in 120 days, averaging 4+ deals a week in the first quarter of 2021. When you have a fund size of USD 6.7 Bn (with an eye on a new USD 10 Bn fund), I guess you are entitled to that kind of flex.
Nowadays, Tiger Global’s bread and butter is minting unicorns in the U.S., China, and India. But at one point, they seemed bullish on African tech too. These days, not so much.
How so? Well, let’s go back to 2011 when the African internet market wasn’t much of one and the tech ecosystem was closer to non-existent than nascent. Guess who took a punt on African tech regardless? You guessed it: Tiger Global.
In fact, between 2011 and 2014, the funder forked out a total of USD 111 Mn into African startups like iROKOtv and Takealot. Then suddenly, they went dark. Things got really quiet.
Even as African tech evolved over the years and became a hotbed for exciting startups and venture capital, Tiger Global was M.I.A. For 7 years, they essentially ghosted.
That was until they backed Flutterwave earlier this year in that unicorn-making Series C round. It’s the only African tech deal by Tiger Global during that Q1 funding frenzy. It’s not much, but it’s stirred rumours of further investments by Tiger Global in African startups.
But someone has got to get the actual gist from the horse’s mouth, right?
So I decided cut through the noise and search for real answers around Tiger Global’s plans for Africa. However, knowing Tiger Global’s well-documented tendency to be coy and tight-lipped, it sure was no straightforward task.
Apparently, Tiger Global prefers to keep a low-profile even though its actions are quite loud, which is quite ironic.