Is The Super-Platform Hype Surrounding Africa's Mobile Gaming Industry Real? feat. Lucy Hoffman

Co-founder and VP, Operations of mobile gaming startup Carry1st Lucy Hoffman explains the business fundamentals of Africa's mobile gaming industry and sheds light on the sector's unique super-platform potential.

Is The Super-Platform Hype Surrounding Africa's Mobile Gaming Industry Real? feat. Lucy Hoffman

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In this instalment of the African Tech Roundup podcast, Andile Masuku and Osarumen Osamuyi are joined by Lucy Hoffman, co-founder and head of operations at the Cape Town-based, American mobile content development startup Carry1st.

Listen in to learn why, as glitzy ecosystem trends like fintech and mobility continue to dominate headlines, Lucy and the rest of her team at Carry1st are quietly bullish on the mobile gaming industry’s low-key commercial case and “super-app/super-platform” potential.

Lucy is an experienced American business operations specialist who, prior to joining Carry1st, spearheaded operations at impact investment facilitation startup Nexii and the African Leadership Academy. Before that, she interned for the global diversity and inclusion team at Credit Suisse and spent three and a half years embedded at Morgan & Stanley, where she worked on M&A and capital markets transactions for global power and utility companies.

To skip all the introductory niceties, head straight to [11:52].

Questions discussed in this episode include:

  1. What three words come to mind for Andile, Lucy and Osarumen when they hear the words “super-app” or “super-platform” and why? [11:52]
  2. Is the hype behind mobile gaming’s super-app potential worth buying into? [16:42]
  3. How are mobile gaming startups navigating the power dynamics of Africa’s mobile telco-controlled landscape in order to monetise? [21:32]
  4. How much time and effort do mobile gaming startups like Carry1st need to spend on solving for infrastructural and capacity-building frictions as opposed to working on actual product development? [39:50]
  5. Why might African mobile telcos do well to take on Google Play in seeking to own a meaningful share of the mobile gaming market? [49:00]
  6. What are the exit aspirations of a mobile gaming startup like Carry1st? [51:08]
  7. What is the difference between mobile gaming and mobile gambling? [58:23]
  8. Are African markets ready to jump on the global e-sports wave? [1:08:47]

Resources referenced in this episode:

The Mobile Economy: Sub-Saharan Africa 2019 by GSMA Intelligence

Image credit: Angelo Moleele