Startups With an Unusual Fight
Bloomberg Businessweek|November 09, 2020
Often targeted by police, Nigeria’s tech industry works on ways to help protesters
Sarah McGregor

Last year, Aubrey Hruby took two Egyptian venture capitalists on a tour of Nigeria’s technology startup scene. After five days of meetings with top entrepreneurs, she was convinced the trip was a success. Hruby, the co-founder of Tofino Capital, a U.S. fund that helps tech companies in emerging markets, hired a taxi to take the visitors back to the Lagos airport. On the way, police pulled over the driver for not using his turn signal and impounded the car. A second Uber ride was also stopped, and this time officers accused the investors of being terrorists. They searched their suitcases and found $1,000 in cash, which the police refused to give back. “They eventually let them go, and they made their flights, but they were so traumatized,” says Hruby, who’s also a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center. “I don’t know if they will ever come back.”

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