Jack Dorsey’s Planned Move To Africa Is Being Seen As A Sensational News.- Part 1
Jack Dorsey is one sensational news person where he brings his companies to the forefront of fintech. Read along for more on his move to the cryptocurrency market. Why is he targeting Africa?
What’s The News Buzzing Around Jack Dorsey And Cryptocurrency?
There may be CEOs, but it’s not that every day the CEO of a large Silicon Valley tech company decides to relocate to a different part of the world to learn more about especially when the company has been frequently maligned and overlooked by big businesses. The American entrepreneur who was known for the company he co-founded and leads not only one but two publicly listed companies Twitter and Square, Jack Dorsey is not the typical CEO. You might even call Dorsey, the anti-CEO with his dressed down, bearded look wearing a wooly hat and speaking in a slow, quiet voice. While it is a known fact that he eschews many of the stereotypical trappings of executive life with mannerism in favor of taking silent retreats and traveling to countries like Burma.
Courtesy to Dorsey’s itchy feet, it took him to Africa visiting Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, and Ethiopia on a listening tour. With several meetings, at incubators in Lagos, and Addis Ababa, talking to the number of African tech leaders including Tayo Ovisou, the CEO of Nigerian payments startup Paga, and Yele Bademosi, the director of Binance Labs. Before departing he did something more, which is announcing that he would return in 2020 living somewhere on the continent for up to six months. According to his tweet from Ethiopia, Africa is sure to define the future especially the Bitcoin one while it is not sure where yet but he is living there for 3-6 months mid-2020.
The relevant question here is where and when. Dorsey can be somewhat oblique whenever you read an interview with him as he rarely gives straight answers to straight questions as he always responds with something.
It was why spokespeople from both twitter and square declined to comment on the plans and if they will relate to those two companies as might be just likely that they don’t want to disclose anything they don’t know.
One thing is clear that Africa has 54 countries and 1.2 billion people representing one of the last blue oceans of global tech growth,
The State Of The Market
The African continent is one of the fastest-growing technology markets in the world, a look at year-over-year expansion in Virtual Currency investment in the region, startup formation and incubators as by monetary value it’s tiny by Shenzhen or Silicon Valley standards.
While all targets are based in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa they are the top three destination countries for startup investment collectively surpassing $1 billion in investment with fintech businesses currently receiving the bulk of the capital and deal flow.
This explains that by most accounts, Dorsey’s first foot forward made himself a student of the continents innovation scene specifically as it relates to fintech. According to CcHub’s CEO BosunTijani, the meetings with Dorsey at the incubator were more of them listening than anything else, not just Jack, but other senior members of the team. CcHub being the largest incubator in Africa, acquiring Kenya’s iHub with members of Dorsey's team joining him there included Twitter CTO Parag Agarwal and Product lead Kayvon Beykpour.
Ice Addis’ Markos Lemma added that Dorsey was here with the main reason to listen and to learn what’s going on in the region. Nigeria, over the years, has become Africa’s leader in a startup formation, Virtual Currency, as well as the entry of big tech players like Facebook opening an incubator in Lagos in 2018.
From around 2014, the country of 200 million held the dual distinction as Africa’s most populous nation and largest economy making it a compelling market for fintech and social media apps. According to sources, it was recently known that Twitter in Africa is less of a topic during Jack Dorsey’s meetings with founders and techies making some sense with service coming with lower penetration in the region estimated at 7.46% higher than Instagram but lower than Pinterest, essentially meaning that the business opportunities even though lower, with the major income of Twitter coming from advertisements. According to Tijani, the one concrete thing common in all the communication is that he seems to be interested in Bitcoin. Whereas Markos Lemma comes with the same takeaway after talking with Dorsey, he too suggests he’s specifically interested in Bitcoin.
It isn’t much a surprise that Dorsey’s crypto focus in Africa given his stubborn stand on Bitcoin as well as Blockchain-based technology, as he invested $ 10million in Coin List a startup facilitating and managing token sales. He is interested not in creating a cryptocurrency like Facebook’s Libra experiment but rather Square is using Bitcoin as the basis for the digital currency strati. Adding Bitcoin trades to CashApp, the P2P payment an investment product in 2018, the Square crypto effort was announced with aims to support and promote Bitcoin through open source development.
Offering further insight into Dorsey’s crypto Africa vision is a recent interview with Australia’s Financial Review where he said about Square’s moves that the internet will have a native currency where anything we can do to make it happen, we’ll do. In the long term, it is sure to help us more and more like an internet company launching a product where the world can use it instead of having to go from market to market and bank to bank and from regulatory body to regulatory body.
To Be Continued
The full interview and more views are continued in the next post. Stay tuned for more from us.