The sub-Saharan population of youths is predicted to grow rapidly in the next five years. This includes 180 million gamers. Among many, Carry1st is a start-up that plans on benefiting from this growth.
The company’s founder Cordel Robbin-Coker was originally born in Sierra Leone but grew up in the United States where he graduated from Stanford. He made a career in investment banking and decided in 2018 to move to Cape Town and found Carry1st. In his eyes the huge potential lies in Africa’s future growth for nearly every sector.
While working as an investment banker he got to manage a $700 million fund specifically for Africa. This allowed him to travel all around Africa during which he started to get interested in early tech. He got the chance to accelerate and boost goods and service companies all over Africa which made him aware of the political, social, and infrastructural differences among the countries, which need to be kept in mind.
Carry1st is the leading games publisher in Africa. They help content donors to scale, monetize and introduce global games to selected African markets as well as publishing African products worldwide. The African continent has a population of 1.3 billion people now and the number of smartphones used on the planet are set out to grow drastically in the coming years.
To blue print a strategy and test the field, they launched their own game in 2019 in Kenia, Nigeria, and South Africa. It was a huge success and taught the company an important lesson. All over the world, good games are created by passionate people with a lot of experience. Instead of competing with them, the idea became to partner up with them, by localizing their products and providing them with knowledge about a market they had no experience operating in.
Out of the 54 countries on the African continent, the company is targeting 6 countries in specific, trying to reach a combined population of over 500 million people. Their key differences lie in development status, average wealth, internet availability, political system, and population size. Kenia has huge potential due to its advanced digital payment systems, South African’s are generally wealthier, and Nigeria is a cultural hub which needs to be included into every strategy.