In West Africa, technology incubators are entering the dance with, for example, the launch from Ghanad’s an ambitious new venture capital fund. A fund managed from Accra by the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (or MEST), the technology incubator founded in 2008 by Jorn Lyseggen. With this initiative, MEST wants to open the tap for financing innovation in Africa by injecting, through this new investment vehicle, the precious liquidity which is sorely lacking in the capital of African start-ups.
“We will launch the fund in the first six months of 2016,” said Neal Hansch, executive director of the MEST incubator in Accra. I cannot yet tell you the target size at the moment because negotiations are still in progress. But it will be one of the biggest investment funds for African tech start-ups, which will mainly invest in rounds, or round table, series A and B. “
If the fund is still in the “closing” phase, one thing is certain: its geographic “scope” will be resolutely pan-African. “We want to invest in the best teams, regardless of their geographic location, although I imagine that our deal flow will be mainly supplied by Kenya, Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria. And if start-ups from Zambia or Botswana come to see us with excellent products, that also interests us … Why not also start-ups from French-speaking Africa? Concedes Neal Hansch, recalling however that the language barrier constitutes a significant obstacle.
Read also: Nigeria: Tomi Davies, business angel 2.0
Another example, that of Senegal, where it is a support professional who created the first seed fund for Senegalese start-ups, Teranga Capital, in order to provide an answer to the absence of a financing mechanism. in priming. Former director of CTIC Dakar, the technological incubator in the Senegalese capital, Omar Cisse managed with his partner to raise the equivalent of 3 billion CFA francs to locally finance innovative start-ups from 2015.
Another funding lever that is taking off in Africa, business angel networks. Meeting on September 23 in Lagos, Nigeria, to “brainstorm” for several hours before the official opening of the DEMO Africa competition, members of the African Business Angel Network (ABAN) are celebrating their first candle. “The Africa of tomorrow is already being built, but the missing ingredient, and it is the investors,” says ABAN’s charismatic Nigerian President Tomi Davies. ABAN’s role is not to invest directly in African start-ups but to structure, advise and professionalize business angel networks across Africa. “And in particular to teach business angel apprentices how to use the” language “of technological start-ups.
To reach its objective, ABAN must “educate” every day potential African investors, more used to placing their savings in the land than in the capital of technological companies. Each member of ABAN must invest a minimum of $ 5,000 annually in African start-ups, the tickets being often pooled with other co-investors in order to dilute risk-taking. And finally, each business angel must dedicate 20 days a year to support entrepreneurs. “It’s the bare minimum,” said the president of ABAN, who already has other investor clubs such as Cairo Angels, Ghana Angel Netwok, Lagos Angel Network, VC4Africa and the Cameroon Angel Network.
Learn more at http://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2015/11/02/les-robinets-du-financement-s-ouvrent-pour-les-start-up-africaines_4801683_3212.html#dY6F4pQyvV9ZAKBx. 99