It is said that less than 50% of startups make it past their fifth year. If that estimate is anything to go by, Techpoint Africa is well above the threshold, as today marks our sixth year in business!!!
Six years in business alone is enough cause for celebration. But the path to achieving this milestone was replete with unique challenges that trailed the COVID-19 pandemic so, there is a lot more to be thankful for.
Major milestones in 2020
- August: Successfully hosted Techpoint Build 3.0 virtually to a large turnout. It was originally scheduled to hold physically in April/May.
- August: Hosted first Techpoint Awards ceremony (virtually).
- August: Launched Built in Africa podcast, grew it to an average of 90,000 downloads/listens per week by early December.
- October: Launched West African Startup Decade Report in English, Mandarin and Japanese. The report covers activities of West African startups that each raised over a million dollars cumulatively between 2010 and 2019 and provides actionable data.
- Overall, Techpoint Africa website users grew by 55.84% year-on-year (y-o-y), and monthly active users by 93% y-o-y.
- Full-time team strength grew by 20%, despite the exits of four team members (not due to the pandemic) over the course of the year.
- Despite the pandemic, no one was laid off and exits came either before the pandemic or due to new career opportunities.
- Stayed alive and in business
- Many more ‘tiny’ milestones.
Of course, we weren’t impervious to the economic effects of the pandemic. Revenue in particular dwindled drastically in the first few months of the pandemic, especially during the lockdown period. Consequently, every single person on the team accepted a 50% pay cut, which wasn’t reversed until early Q4.
I am extremely grateful for the team who, through it all, remained passionate and motivated. A lot of what we achieved in 2020 would not be possible without their sacrifice and contribution. I could theorise, for pages on end, about the brilliance of our process and management philosophy but the truth remains that our team made the difference. I am genuinely humbled.
What next? We move!
Like the headline says, we are just getting started.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are probably aware that in November, Adewale Yusuf stepped down as Publisher — to focus on African tech talent platform, TalentQL — and I took up the mantle.
That announcement was the most public-facing side of an internal restructuring ongoing at Techpoint Africa.
We are going 100% remote
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that businesses can thrive without physical boundaries. Thanks to the pandemic, many businesses have come to realise that remote work is not a bad idea after all, as long as you can figure out a system that works.
Way before the pandemic, Techpoint Africa dabbled in remote work, albeit partially. But having figured out a system that works (we actually became more productive), we have made the decision to go fully remote starting February 2021. This means that our team members will have the freedom to work from anywhere in Nigeria (for now) and (hopefully later) Africa or the world.
But what does this mean for you? Nothing much except more flagship events, more in-depth articles and more insightful reports. In fact, you will hardly notice any differences because our productivity is about to enter ‘beast mode’.
More events, more networking to come
Like I mentioned above, Techpoint Africa will continue to host events. We are kicking things off in Lagos, Nigeria with the Digital Currency Summit which will hold in Q1 2021.
It will host some of the brightest minds in decentralised finance, fintech, international trade, developers and everyone passionate about “Building the money of the future” in Nigeria.
To find out more and reserve a ticket, visit currency.techpoint.africa.
More events to be announced in the course of the year.
We will be hiring aggressively
We will be growing the Techpoint Africa newsroom and marketing departments in 2021.
In 2019, in a bid to contribute our quota to the African tech journalism talent pipeline, we hosted the maiden edition of the Techpoint Writer Bootcamp. It was a smashing success.
Three of the finalists from the programme have become the fulcrum on which our newsroom rests. Some of the other finalists have gone on to contribute to or lead the content strategy of other startups.
Introducing Techpoint Bits
As is customary every New Year’s Day, I am happy to introduce a new product – Techpoint Bits.
Do you want to:
- Know the hottest African startups way before they raise a seed round?
- Understand the business model of African startups?
- Understand how government policies are shaping the African startup industry?
If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, Techpoint Bits is for you. And you can get all of the above, and much more, for the price of a cup of coffee per month. Join the waitlist now.
On behalf of the Techpoint Africa team, I want to appreciate every single one of our hundreds of thousands of monthly active users. You guys made our year. And to every new user, welcome. You are in for a pleasurable ride.
Here’s to a pandemic-free and profitable 2021!
PS: 2020 wasn’t all gloom and doom. We made a list of our ten most memorable moments of the year.