It’s still too early to say the African startup scene has matured, but there is incredible progress in the scene. Last year, African tech startups raised over $185 million. This year, the figure will be higher as more investors are paying attention to the scene, looking for opportunities. For early stage startups, angel investors are
It’s still too early to say the African startup scene has matured, but there is incredible progress in the scene. Last year, African tech startups raised over $185 million. This year, the figure will be higher as more investors are paying attention to the scene, looking for opportunities.
For early stage startups, angel investors are their lifeline (either that or they bootstrap by the skin of their teeth). That’s because angels use their own money and come with none of the constraints that accompany Venture Capitalists: they don’t require the startup to have a board, they don’t need to put in lots of capital, they have relatively simple terms and agreements with founders, they can invest in experimental ideas, and they can sometimes decide in a single meeting whether or not to invest.
The fact that there is a lack of adequate knowledge among local angel investors is why angel networks are being formed all across the continent. Establishing these networks has provided angel investment education and enhancement of policies by policymakers to favour the African startup scene.
Here are some of the angel investor networks in Africa leading the charge:
LAN is the first members’ only network in Nigeria specifically created to finance early- stage and start-up businesses. The Lagos Angel Network brings together individuals and organisations seeking to invest in and mentor Nigerian technology start-ups. Members, of which there were 15 in 2012, are expected to commit at least $6,000 a year to the investment pool.
Founded by Tomi Davies.
Since 2011 the ViKtoria team has been active in supporting the growth of entrepreneurial ecosystems in various sectors in East Africa. They usually connect investors with startups that have a founding team with sector expertise, technical and business know how while the business itself must be post prototype and post first revenue. The network held its inaugural event in December 2014 where four tech startups pitched to local investors.
Co-founded by Stephen Gugu.
GAIN, as they are popularly called, invest in startup and early stage businesses based in Ghana. They also provide startups with expert mentoring, networking, and capital. Member angels are free to invest in any sector of their choice, with any amount, depending on the deal and the value of total commitments available. Revo Technology Solutions was the first startup GAIN invested in, in 2014 (about $87,000). Particularly interested in Healthcare and Education. You can apply here.
Founded in 2014, Cameroon Angels Network (CAN) is the first network of angel investors in Cameroon. CAN invests in all sectors and industries with a particular interest in technology. They regularly partner with tech hubs to host pitch competitions as they hunt for startups with good investment potential in the country.
5. Cairo Angels
Founded in 2012, Cairo Angels is Egypt’s first formal network of business angels. The network has invested more than $1.4 million in 14 startups with binding offers being made almost on a quarterly basis. Collectively the network makes equity investments in the range of $30,000 to $125,000 per company, and can syndicate larger investments to our partner organisations. Although most of the network’s investments to date have been in the tech space, Cairo Angels aims to invest across all sectors with a particular appetite for export oriented products and services. Cairo Angels are especially interested in businesses from the agricultural, logistics and energy sectors, and hope to see more women entrepreneurs applying. Cairo Angels are open to regional startups applying for funding as well.
ABAN was founded in 2014, to support the development of early stage investor networks across the continent and to get many more (early stage) investors excited about the opportunities in Africa.
ABAN is made up of networks from countries such as Nigeria, Cameroon, Egypt and Ghana. The aim behind ABAN is to increase the angel investor gene pool across the continent by supporting creation of syndicates and networks, providing angel investment education and advocating angel investment enhancing policies to policy makers. The organisation usually holds Angel Investment Bootcamps in Lagos, Nairobi and Cape Town to engage with local angel investors.
Founding Members include Tomi Davies and Rebecca Enonchong.1 comment