According to data compiled by Disrupt Africa, African tech startups received a total amount of funding in excess of US$185.7 million in 2015. In light of recent events and how African tech industry has come under the spotlight, that number is only going to increase. The question is, are you getting your fair share?
In a previous article, we discussed 5 important places to find angel investors for your startup funding which includes angel investor networks. In this article, I will go a step further and show you 5 angel investor networks willing to invest in African startups. If you have not developed your profitable startup idea, these 7 tips will help you get started. If you have, getting funded could be just a click away. But first…
What do angel investors look for in a startup?
Pule Taukobong is the founder of African Angels Network (AAN). Since inception, the network has invested in over 18 startups across 8 African countries. In an interview with Techpoint, he revealed some of the factors he considers while selecting startup beneficiaries. Hear him…
First of all when it comes to big potential it’s the market size you are addressing. I want to understand, what is the challenge or problem you’re solving? If you look at Uber for example, they were solving a big problem, which was how do you efficiently leverage off a need for transportation that is on demand. As an investor you’ve got to seriously understand the market that the entrepreneur or business is trying to solve.
The second thing, which is equally, if not more, important is the people behind the business – the team. By “the team”, I not only mean the Co-Founders or the developers. I also mean their mentors, their advisers, who have walked down their journey. That’s absolutely key for me.
I also ask, what is the actual product that they’ve designed or created to solve the problem? Obviously, I go much more in depth of each – the market, product and the team. Sometimes it’s also traction, sometimes it’s not. The other thing I always add is gut feel. I always trust my guts. Sometimes I come across a situation where all the boxes are ticked but then my gut feel tells me something is not sitting well, or maybe I can see a bigger competitor coming into the space. Read the full interview here
If you need a second opinion, watch Tomi Davies explain what tech angels look for when they invest in African companies.
Now that you know what investors look for in potential startup investments, here are 5 networks who have been, and are still, investing in African startups.
5 Angel Investor and VC Networks Investing in African Startups
CoCreation Hub (CCHUB) is not really an angel investor network in the strict sense. I put them at the top of this list because I was amazed at what they have accomplished since they started in 2012. Most people did not know about them till the recent visit of Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg. Since 2012, they have invested in 16 early stage ventures that can transform the way people live and do business in Nigeria. These startups include names like GoMyWay, WeCyclers and Traclist.
You can register an existing venture or a startup idea you have and work it up from there. Click here to get started.
2. Venture Capital for Africa (VC4A)
Since I found this network, I’ve not stopped talking about it and I don’t think I will. Not only is vc4a an angel investor network helping African startups achieve their dreams, they have a robust mentoring system where experts provide support and guidance to entrepreneurs. The mentoring is entirely free of charge although you have to register your venture to get started. These are some of the ventures listed on the network. Click here to register.
3. Lagos Angel Network
The Lagos Angel Network is the premier angel network in Nigeria and one of the most active in Africa. It is a network of business angels that put startup funding and mentoring into early-stage ventures in Lagos, Nigeria. Founded in 2014, LAN is the first members’ only network in Nigeria specifically created to finance early- stage and start-up businesses. The aim of the network is to drive job creation and foster collaboration among individuals and institutions interested in promoting or engaging in entrepreneurship, especially in the south west region of Nigeria. Since its creation, LAN members have invested in over a dozen Lagos startups
4. African Angels Network
The Africa Angels Network (AAN) is a network of angel investors that invests in Africa-focused startups, primarily in the tech sector. Founded in July 2013 by Pule Taukobong– a former software developer who found his way into the world of corporate investments and Asset management – the Africa Angels Network has invested in 18 high potential startups across 8 African countries. These are some of the beneficiaries.
5. eVentures Africa Fund
The goal of eVA Fund is investing capital and knowledge to strengthen small and medium sized internet related enterprises thus securing and creating jobs and income for large African communities and with that, generating attractive financial returns for investors. Entrepreneurs applying for funding should meet the following criteria:
- Existing business with a track record of 2 to 5 years
- Funding requirements of $100.000 to $1.000.000
- Businesses in sub-Saharan Africa
- Business focus: internet and/or mobile applications, platforms, e-commerce and solution-providers (i.e. not in infrastructure and hardware)
- Sound strategy and business model
- Profitable, now or within a limited period
Your Move, entrepreneur…
So what do you think? This is where you make your move. These organizations, and more, work round the clock to help entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas achieve their dreams. So go ahead and explore your creative side. There has to be problems in the community your ideas can solve. If you need mentoring, these 4 websites offer free online business mentoring to aspiring entrepreneurs. Your move, entrepreneur!
Did I miss anything? Do you have further questions or you need help developing your ideas, let me know in your comments.
Image Source: http://www.tom-gray.com/