AO: This 2017 report has been particularly influential in the Kenyan technology space and continues to be cited in conversations regarding race, tech capital and privilege. The key finding that created a big buzz and is primarily what is referred to when people mention "The Village Capital Report" is what the authors called the "pattern recognition problem" where foreign investors (who are the primary investors in Kenyan tech companies) fall back on personal networks and indicators like prestigious universities or accelerator programs in order to make investment decisions. Thus, many of the investments made in Kenyan tech companies are in companies run by white (co)-founders. This is a similar finding that de la Chaux and I (2017) mention briefly where for example a shared love of soccer (rather than the strong business case made) led to an investment (see pp. 281) and this is a point that Friederici et al. (2020) also detail. In other words, this report did not reveal something suprising so much as offer specific numbers and a legitimate source with numerical evidence that can be cited to turn the assertion from a subjective claim murmured in hallways into something that can be brought up as a core issue to be discussed in a roundtable event (like this one, for example).
Village Capital, "Strachan Matranga, H., Bhattacharyya, B., & Baird, R. (2017). Breaking the Pattern: Getting Digital Financial Services Entrepreneurs to Scale in India and East Africa. Village Capital. ", contributed by Angela Okune and Leo Mutuku, Research Data Share, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 16 October 2020, accessed 3 March 2024. https://www.researchdatashare.org/content/strachan-matranga-h-bhattacharyya-b-baird-r-2017-breaking-pattern-getting-digital-financial