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#58 Understanding African Markets for Mobile Games

Today’s guest has a background in investment banking and a passion for mobile games. His mission is to bring the world of interactives to Africa and to connect Africa to the world. Get ready for a fascinating, deep dive into the mobile gaming markets across the fastest-growing continent.

Cordel Robbin-Coker is the Co-Founder and CEO of Carry1st, the leading mobile games and content apps publisher and developer for African consumers. Cordel is based in Capetown, South Africa.

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Questions Cordel Answered in this Episode

  • What are some of the differences between investing in businesses in the U.S. and investing in businesses in Africa or is it the same process across continents?
  • What early-stage tech business investments in Africa stick out to you as successes or failures?
  • How difficult is it for you to localize your products across different African countries? And what is your approach?
  • What is it like for consumers to download apps in any of the key African countries you’re focused on?
  • What does your ideal app partner look like?


  • 1:43 Cordel’s story from Sierra Leone to investment banking to Carry1st
  • 5:27 Accelerating secular growth across Africa
  • 6:46 How investment opportunities compare between the U.S. and Africa
  • 10:57 What is Carry1st?
  • 14:36 The strategy behind Carry1st Trivia
  • 18:06 Tackling the diversity of African countries
  • 22:48 User experience for African consumers when downloading apps
  • 27:50 Two categories of partners that would be a good fit for us


(5:40-6:07) “[Africa] is the fastest-growing continent in almost any way you can imagine. People are starting to move into the middle class in a way you saw in Asia probably 20-30 years ago. And as that happens, there is an appetite for a really wide range of goods and services. Everything that you have and use day-to-day, people on the continent aspire to or/and are beginning to have. So, it creates a cool opportunity to build businesses and serve people.”

(20:27-20:38) “Kenya has the most advanced mobile money system in the world, called M-Pesa. And, there are statistics that say something like 50% of the GDP of the country flows through M-Pesa on an annual basis.”