Venture Capital Africa Investor Summit
VC4 Africa Investor Summit at DEMO Africa boosts pan-African angel investor community
Angel investor networks from across Africa will investigate how to work together in a pan-African Business Angel Network. This is one of the outcomes of the Investor Summit hosted by venture capital community VC4 Africa this past Wednesday, September 24th, at the DEMO Africa 2014 event in Lagos, Nigeria.
At the Investor Summit a diverse group of investors discussed “The Future of Angel Investing in Africa”. The investors present, both local and international, included angel investors, impact investors, venture capital funds, and corporate venture capital actors; all focused on early stage SME investing in Africa.
VC4Africa’s CEO and Founder Ben White explains: “Going into the third year of DEMO Africa, we introduce a new exclusive investor-only event as part of the DEMO Africa 2014 event. This is the next step in making sure the leading innovators from across the continent are going to get the backing they need to achieve scale. At the same time, we see angel networks emerging across the continent. Now is the time to bring them together in a shared conversation about how best to move forward.
In other parts of the world (Europe, United States, Asia, and other regions) angel investors have already organized. Baybars Altuntas, Vice President of the European Business Angel Network (EBAN), came to DEMO Africa representing 20,000 angel investors across Europe. He explained, “the majority of EBAN members want to learn more about African startups and the ecosystem here. For us, this is a new source of investment pipeline. But to fully engage European angel investors we seek our counterparts across Africa. This is key for co-investing into opportunities on the ground. The European Business Angel Network could support an African Business Angel Network with incubation.”
In November the next big event of the European Business Angel Network will be held in Helsinki, Finland. Angels from different parts of the world will come together at this event. VC4Africa, EBAN and Lagos Angel Network will now jointly invite a delegation of angel investors from African countries to join this event, for a first meeting to develop a roadmap for the way forward.
Tomi Davies of Lagos Angel Network explained, ‘Demo has shown that Africa has serious entrepreneurs who can contribute value globally. As the Lagos Angel Network here in Nigeria we now have an opportunity to engage with our colleagues across Africa and in Europe. This is an open invitation to those interested to get involved.’
Over the past years various angel networks have emerged across Africa, including the Lagos Angel Network, Ghana Angel Investors Network, Cairo Angels, Angel Africa List, the Africa Angels Network and others.
Speakers and panelists at the VC4Africa Investor Summit at DEMO Africa included Chika Nwobi (440.NG, L5Lab), Tomi Davies (Lagos Angels Network), Leonard Stiegeler (Ringier), DipoAdebo (Angel investor), DehabGhebreab (US State Department), Collins Onuegbu (Lagos Angels Network), KrestenBuch (88MPH), Viktor Okigbo (IDEA Nigeria), Dr. InderpalMumick (Kirusa), Tope Ajao (Leadpath), Ben White (VC4Africa) and others. The room was packed with other investors as well. These investors, both local and international, included angel investors, impact investors, venture capital funds, and corporate venture capital actors; all focused on early stage SME investing in Africa.