Demi Obayomi, Sapphire Ventures & Africa's Tech Ecosystem

Demi is a VP with Sapphire Ventures. He provides a brief history of Africa's technology ecosystem, his perspectives on vertical SaaS, and how he has navigated his role as a VC

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Demi Obayomi, a current VP with Sapphire Ventures, grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, and moved to the United States to attend Johns Hopkins. Despite it being an exclusive industry dominated by white males, Demi broke into Venture Capital as an associate with FirstMark Capital, a fund that has invested in companies including Pinterest, Draft Kings, and Airbnb, and has continued to navigate the industry successfully.

Demi has remained close with the Nigerian tech ecosystem and shares his perspective and the history of the explosion of technology startups across Africa. He delves into the opportunities and shifts that led to the rise of Edtech (Andela) and fintech startups (Flutterwave, PayStack, M-Pesa). In our conversation, Demi talks about opportunities to invest and build in Africa, his breakdown of Vertical SaaS opportunities in the United States, and navigating his career as a venture capitalist on both the east and west coast.

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