Africa’s super app needs to be African
By Ammar Hmid
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There’s a gold rush going on in Africa. Inspired by the successes of Careem (MENA), Gojek (SEA), and Rappi (LATAM) a flurry of tech entrepreneurs have flocked to the continent to capture its grand prize: Africa’s super app. The playbook is as follows: build a delivery-app enabling users to order anything from groceries to medicine. Once users trust you, offer financial services. Then, sell or go public.
Presto is a delivery app launched and operating in Libya. It’s a tough market, but one where oil wealth grants the 6 million-strong population with relatively high buying power and internet access. That and the absence of foreign competition is what we have capitalized on.
We’ve had to reinvent the food-delivery model. While our European peers waged price wars fueled by seemingly endless VC money, we’ve had to quasi-bootstrap our way to growth and survival. For a simple reason: no VCs were willing to invest in a country they saw more on CNN than on TechCrunch. With some initial funding from local investors, we’ve managed to come a long way.