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VC4Africa introduces VC4A Talent, a free recruitment service for African startups

By Bill Zimmerman on July 25, 2013

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve launched a new recruitment function for ventures listed on VC4Africa, the first steps in creating a one-stop shop where startups can search for qualified talent, and where skilled experts and others can seek out the best new companies.

Building a great company is hard to do. To successfully take a concept to market you have to create outstanding products and services. And although we might be called Venture Capital for Africa, we know entrepreneurs need a lot more than just cash. Building a great company requires access to the right network, expertise and knowledge along the way. It also means you have a great team in place to execute the vision. Simply put, entrepreneurs who operate alone have little [...]

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10 African startup founders who built million-dollar Internet companies

By Douglas Imaralu on July 23, 2013

Success stories inspire success stories. This article was originally published on Ventures Africa, a VC4Africa publishing partner.

The number of millionaires springing up from digital ventures has grown tremendously in the past two decades, as the world increasingly embrace the potential of knowledge technologies, information and social media to produce economic benefits , employment and enable globalisation. From Mark Zuckerberg to Sergey Brin, Lawrence E. Page and YouTube partners: Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim, the world has witnessed a new breed of entrepreneurs who have charted a new course in business and made a fortune at it. The good news – Africa is not lagging behind.

Innovative minds in the motherland have cited and exploited opportunities in the knowledge economy, which has become [...]

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Africa Rising in the news, East Africa’s investment scene struggling on the ground

By Tim Weiss on June 20, 2013


In a series of articles on VC4Africa, Tim Weiss will explore private equity investment challenges in East Africa. Below is the introduction: various media evoke an optimistic case for investing in Africa. Still, specific equity investment challenges remain. 

With regard to doing business in Africa, newspaper articles, blogs, twitter feeds, online platforms and consultancy reports can be seen as the new “Lonely Planet” for decision makers: providing guidance in markets that are still ambiguous to many decision makers. Oftentimes, an aggressively optimistic image of the African “lion” economies is evoked. Some of the selling arguments are:

  Economic growth trajectories which vastly outpace those of the Northern Hemisphere economies

  A rapidly growing middle class, currently estimated by the AfDB at 10.8 million people [...]

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Dear African VC, angel: international investors are stealing your lunch

By Martin Carstens on May 13, 2013

This article by Martin Carstens originally appeared on Ventureburn, a VC4Africa publishing partner.

Is there a shortage of VC and angel funding in Africa? Pose the question to entrepreneurs and the answer is bound to be yes. Omidyar’s latest report on African entrepreneurship found that 71% of respondents surveyed in South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania believe that there is a shortage of equity capital to start new firms. African financiers disagree, simply saying that many projects are not fundable.

Whatever the case may be, the International Finance Corporation estimates that up to 84% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa are either un-served or underserved, representing a value gap in credit financing of US$140-billion to US$170-billion. So, what’s a startup to do?

Instead [...]

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Do’s and don’ts for entrepreneurs: VC intro emails – 10 lessons from a venture capitalist

By Keet van Zyl on March 27, 2013

This article by Keet van Zyl originally appeared on Ventureburn, a VC4Africa publishing partner.

About the author: Keet van Zyl is a dynamic investment expert with extensive growth equity experience. He worked at industry-leading companies such as Procter & Gamble, Investec Bank and HBD Venture Capital; and co-founded growth equity fund manager KnifeCapital as well as AngelHub – SA’s first Business Angel Investment Group.

Here’s the thing: if you do a cold-call pitch to a Venture Capital (VC) investor using email, your proposal is already at the bottom of the pile before anyone has even read the subject line.

The reason: VCs mostly rely on warm referrals from within their trusted networks to generate dealflow, as this acts as an automatic filter and increases the quality of proposals. [...]

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Connecting innovators with capital, meet 40 investors from the VC4Africa investor network

By Ben White on March 14, 2013

At VC4Africa our mission is to support the continent’s most promising entrepreneurs and to connect them with the resources (network, knowledge and capital) they require to realize their potential. Specifically, we focus on the less than 1 million range currently underserved by the market. We do everything we can to help entrepreneurs tackle both their non-financial and financial needs. Launching the VC4Africa investor network in May of 2012, entrepreneurs with venture profiles listed on VC4Africa now have exclusive access to the continent’s largest and most dedicated network of Africa focused investors actually interested in early stage companies.

We selected 40 investors from the VC4A network and profile them here:

4Di Capital is an [...]

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18 questions you should ask a VC before you sign your startup away

By Michelle Atagana on February 12, 2013


This article by Michelle Atagana originally appeared on Ventureburn, a VC4Africa publishing partner.

So you have been lucky: your idea is the next Google and investors have decided put a pile of money into it. This is all good news — after all, it is not easy to impress venture capitalists. Building a company from scratch is a very difficult business and you need to be prepared.

Choosing the right VC is a tough decision. I was once told by a VC that the relationship between a startup and its VC is very much like a marriage. It is a long-term commitment that is full of struggles and disagreements and it is quite difficult to exit. Sometimes the relationship will end badly, other times the [...]

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Angel investing in Africa (case study part 3): Scouting new opportunities and finding companies to invest

By Bertil van Vugt on December 7, 2012

Recently M-Kazi closed their seed round with angel investor Jerome Kisting. This interview is the third installment in a three part series (see part 1 and part 2) and abbreviates from an interview held with Jerome Kisting on Thursday the 22nd of November 2012. 

How do you find new companies to invest in?

“I’m very curious, I read a lot. If I find something in a sector that I’m interested in, I will dig a bit in that area. I look at crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, I read the VC4Africa newsletter and I’m a member of a couple of LinkedIn Groups.

But if I were looking for an investment in a country where I already have a network, I would always consult them first. So in Kenya I would talk to [...]

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Angel investing in Africa (case study part 2): Screening and structuring the angel investment

By Bertil van Vugt on December 6, 2012

Recently M-Kazi closed their seed round with angel investor Jerome Kisting. This interview is the second installment in a three part series (see part 1) and abbreviates from an interview held with Jerome Kisting on Thursday the 22nd of November 2012. 

What is your mindset as an investor going into this process?

“For me it’s about people and about interactions and sometimes things don’t work out. Even when they don’t work out it is still about people and their ability to execute. Sometimes you work on a business model and it just doesn’t work. Luckily it looks like m-Kazi’s model is working and Lino and Nancy are the right people to execute this.”

What triggered your interest in m-Kazi?

“Lino, Nancy and I spoke a lot via Skype and we [...]

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Angel investing in Africa (case study part 1): Canadian investor Jerome Kisting and Kenyan based m-Kazi

By Bertil van Vugt on December 5, 2012

Recently M-Kazi closed their seed round with angel investor Jerome Kisting. This interview is the first installment of a three part series and abbreviates from an interview held with Jerome Kisting on Thursday the 22nd of November 2012. 

Can you tell us about your background?

“I have a background working in finance and investments in Namibia. I became interested in the impact investing area 4 years ago. When I moved to Canada I got involved with an impact-investing fund, called the Toronto Enterprise Fund that gives grants to social enterprises. And it was a great introduction to the social enterprise business model and it broadened my perspective on business and what it can achieve.”

Please describe yourself as an investor

“I’m not the kind of person that will start a [...]

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