Meet the Woman Hoping To Change the Tech Landscape for Women in Africa

Andria Moore

Andria is the Social and Engagement Editor for dot.LA. She previously covered internet trends and pop culture for BuzzFeed, and has written for Insider, The Washington Post and the Motion Picture Association. She obtained her bachelor's in journalism from Auburn University and an M.S. in digital audience strategy from Arizona State University. In her free time, Andria can be found roaming LA's incredible food scene or lounging at the beach.

Meet the Woman Hoping To Change the Tech Landscape for Women in Africa
Photo by Andria Moore

Six years ago, Africa didn’t have any unicorns. Today, there are seven.

The arrival of these new creatures — ”unicorns” is a term for private tech companies with a value of over $1 billion — is due in part to the efforts of founders like Gabriella Uwadiegwu.

Uwadiegwu is an investor and co-founding partner at Archangel Fund. She’s made it her life’s mission to fund and support women in the tech space in Africa. Archangel Fund writes check of between $25,000 to $100,000 to early-stage startups created by women.

On Wednesday, Uwadiegwu discussed Archangel Fund’s mission at L.A. Tech Week and offer her thoughts on the evolving tech landscape in Africa.

“Right now, Africa is tracking about five years behind South East Asia in venture funding,” Uwadiegwu said. Last year alone, African tech companies raised over $4 billion.

Uwadiegwu believes now is the most “exciting time” to invest in African startups because of the “potential” and the continent’s emerging dominance in the global tech market.

However, the continent’s tech industry is almost completely dominated by men: Only 3% of all the investments made into African startups between 2013 and 2021 went to startups led by women. Archangel Fund is trying to reduce that inequality, starting at the pre-seed phase.

Because the startup scene in Africa is so male-dominated, Archangel has been able to find a nice niche for itself. Uwadiegwu thinks the lack of competition is because other investors don’t know where to look to find women-led startups, but as a Nigerian woman with a background in software engineering, she feels uniquely qualified in this space.

“We know where to look,” she said.

Archangel Fund invests in everything from logistics to fintech, and everything in between. Jetstream, one of their portfolio companies, is a supply chain platform that helps African businesses to trade for supplies. Uwadiegwu said it’s companies like this that are helping to introduce African startups into global commerce and trade.

Although most of Archangel’s investments range in the $25,000 to $50,000 range, Uwadiegwu said they are currently expanding, working to raise $5 million for funding purposes. In her view, it’s money well spent. Her analysis indicates that women often perform better than their male counterparts despite having less access to funding. She hopes that her work with Archangel will help to reshape the tech landscape in Africa.

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Archangel Fund is a nonprofit.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


Behind Her Empire: Lisa Sequino on the ‘Light Bulb’ Moment That Launched JLo Beauty

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

Behind Her Empire: Lisa Sequino on the ‘Light Bulb’ Moment That Launched JLo Beauty
Lisa Sequino

On this episode of Behind Her Empire, JLo Beauty Co-founder and CEO Lisa Sequino discusses how she transitioned from her corporate career to a more entrepreneurial path.

Read moreShow less