Ten Young African Millionaires To Watch
With four of Forbes’ Ten Young African Millionaires to Watch coming from South Africa, it seems we’re heading down a road of increased prosperity and success that is self made. And what is even more encouraging for us in the Grolsch Swingtop Circle, is that they’re all under 40 years old. Be inspired by these stories of entrepreneurial genius…
There are thousands of young and immensely successful entrepreneurs across the African continent. There’s a growing number of Africans aged 40 and under who are legitimately amassing multi-million dollar fortunes. They don’t inherit stuff; they build it themselves.
Jason Njoku, Nigerian
Founder & CEO Iroko TV
The maverick Nigerian Internet entrepreneur is founder of Iroko TV, the world’s largest digital distributor of African movies. Iroko TV has been dubbed the ‘Netflix of Africa’. Earlier this year, Iroko TV raised $8 million in venture capital from Tiger Global Management, a New York-based private equity and hedge fund run by billionaire Chase Coleman. IrokoTV enjoys lucrative content distribution deals with Dailymotion, iTunes, Amazon and Vimeo. Njoku is unwilling to divulge figures, but analysts believe IrokoTV could be worth as much as $30 million. Njoku is the company’s largest individual shareholder.
Vinny Lingham, South African
Founder, Yola Inc
Lingham, a South African national, is the founder of Yola Inc, a San Francisco-based Web 2.0 outfit that provides free website building, publishing and hosting services to over 3 million active users across the globe. Yola has attracted over $30 million in venture capital financing from institutional investors such as Columbus Venture Capital, a subsidiary of South African billionaire Johann Rupert’s Richemont Group. Prior to Yola, Lingham founded Click2Customers, a hugely successful search engine marketing company with offices in London, Cape Town, and Los Angeles. Click2Customers rakes in about $100 million in annual revenues. Lingham is a co-founder of the Silicon Cape Initiative along with fellow South African entrepreneur Justin Stanford.
Ashish Thakkar, Ugandan
Co-Founder and CEO, Mara Group
Thakkar, 29 is a co-founder and CEO of Mara Group – a Ugandan conglomerate with tentacles in financial services, hotels, renewable energy, technology and manufacturing. Annual revenues are approximately $100 million and the group has an active presence in 16 countries on four continents. Devoted philanthropist: Through his Mara Foundation, Thakkar provides mentorship and seed funding to young East African entrepreneurs. Also funds Next Generation Schools, an independent charity focused on improving education quality in disadvantaged secondary schools in Uganda. The Mara Group recently signed a $300 million deal with the Tanzanian government to develop a 3.5 million square foot state of the art mini-city.