Over the weekend, GreenTree Investment Company, a venture capitalist firm based in Lagos, organised a Pitch Day for promising Nigerian startups; many of whom could potentially receive thousands of dollars in funding for their businesses.
The Pitch Day, which held at the Co-Creation Hub in Yaba, Lagos, saw the gathering of over twenty startups and their founders; all of whom tried to convince the venture capitalists to invest in their businesses.
Speaking to Nairametrics on the sidelines of the event, Mr Abasiama Idaresit, a Director at GreenTree Investment Company, said the essence of the Pitch Day was to identify early-stage, technology-led companies that have potential while giving them the much-needed capital that will enable them to expand.
Asides funding, the startups will also stand the chance of receiving mentorship, insights, connections and “strategic counsel” that will guide them through the tough Nigerian business environment.
He noted that the Pitch Day is important to GreenTree Investment Company, in that it enables the company to avail the startup founders the opportunity to pitch their business ideas/models and receive investments in return.
He also stated that they are really excited by the quality of the ventures they saw, even as they prepare to make some commensurate decisions based on their discoveries.
Also speaking to Nairametrics was Dr Ola Orekurin, another Director at GreenTree who highlighted the main criteria they use when deciding which startups to invest in. In her words-
“There are three main criteria we use when deciding which startups to invest in. First and foremost, we look at the market size. And by market size, we mean the total market size and the addressable market size. We do this by considering how many people there are who can potentially buy your product.
We also look at the team; the quality of people the founders have been able to assemble to work together on the projects, and the quality of the founders themselves. We look at their skillsets, their experiences, their business philosophies and also their money spending habits and investment decisions.” – Orekurin
Dr Orekurin further stated that the GreenTree team also focuses their judgment on the product/service under consideration, examining what the product is all about, how it will change people’s lives; how disruptive is it? In other words, they consider what is it about the product that makes it different and unique from all the other products that are already available in the market.
She expressed optimism in the Nigerian startup ecosystem, noting that it is very interestingly vibrant and diverse, with so many interesting players. According to her, the GreenTree team always looks forward to organising Pitch Days because it is a good time for them to not only scout potential investment opportunities but also learn a lot from the entrepreneurs about what currently obtains in the market.
The team also expressed their determination to continually work together with startup founders to move their businesses forward, helping them to achieve their short-term and long-term goals.
The weekend event only marked the first phase of the selection process. The next phase will involve a whole lot more, including greater evaluation of the businesses. At the end of the selection processes, GreenTree hopes to be able to invest in as many startups as meet their criteria.
Some of the startups that pitched their businesses during the Pitch Day event are listed below-
- E-Pump: A small startup dedicated to ending fraud at filling stations with the use of technology.
- Jara: a marketplace app with which shoppers can pay bills and get discounts.
- Davton Learn: An e-learning platform catering to the learning needs of professionals and corporate organisations.
- PayScrow: An e-Commerce company which ensures buyer-seller protection.
- Publiseer: A digital publishing company which ensures copyright protection and markets works of arts across the world at no cost to the owners.
- Oyecube Farms: An agric company which farms and processes ready-to-eat snails; albeit on a large scale.
- Kiakia Print: A disruptive, online-based printing service provider, etc.
GreenTree Investment Company is an investment company which avails startups access to funding, helps them implement “a bulletproof corporate governance framework”, and offer simplified financial planning and legal advice, among others. Since 2014 when the company was founded, it has funded many startups, most notable of which include- Paystack, Precurio and Big Cabal Media.
Meristem presents Outlook for 2021 titled ‘Bracing for a different future’
Meristem for the past 16 years has been consistent in value creation and innovation within the capital market space.
Meristem Securities Limited, a leading capital market conglomerate has recently launched its economic outlook report for the year 2021. The outlook report titled ‘Bracing for a Different Future’ highlighted in depth a wide range of issues relevant to an evolving future. With a global economy that has been scarred by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the domestic economy was not left out, as the Nigeria economy slipped back into a recession, amplifying the structural weakness of the domestic economy in the form of weakening exchange rates, rising inflation, among others.
In Meristem’s H2:2020 Outlook: “Unmasking Value in a Scourge”, Meristem had warned that the threat of a second wave of new infections was very much a possibility. As a result, the recovery of economic activities would remain fragile until a vaccine is developed. Hence, much would depend on strict compliance with social distancing and healthcare measures as economies gradually re-opened. The Deputy Managing Director of Meristem, Sulaiman Adedokun, stated that while the rising number of daily infections pose a threat to economic activities, we expect a rebound of the domestic economy”.
Launching the outlook “Bracing the future” during a webinar attended by institutional investors, corporate clients, retail investors amongst other industry professionals, Sulaiman also commented on the equities market highlighting that “The equities market recovered from deep selloffs to finish as the best performing equities market last year, citing unattractive yields in the fixed income market, excess liquidity and a resilient corporate performance in the middle of a pandemic as major factors which drove the market.” “We expect these factors to persist thereby sustaining the positive momentum of the market through the better part of the year; in the first half of the year, we expect the financial market to be dominated by attractive dividend yields and the low yield in the fixed income market,” Sulaiman added.
The face of work has changed and many corporate organizations and their employees are rapidly adopting cutting-edge technology to meet the future of work in a COVID-19 era. While fielding questions from journalists about how the organization has deployed its business continuity plan, Sulaiman expressed that “The pandemic has influenced changes amongst people globally and we have enabled this change in our organization by utilizing the power of technology, we have also adopted a work from home culture that enables team collaboration through technology, we intend to maintain this even beyond the pandemic.”
Meristem offers a wide a range of services that cater to all classes of investors regardless of the stage in their financial journey, services like stockbroking, wealth management and financial advisory help clients to access various opportunities within the capital market. Via Meritrade, an online stockbroking platform, investors can trade stocks from anywhere around the world as well as better manage their shares and enjoy access to the most exclusive market research.
Meristem for the past 16 years has been consistent in value creation and innovation within the capital market space. In 2018, the Nigerian Stock Exchange awarded Meristem as the Best Digital Broker of the Year. In the same year, Meristem also became the first Nigerian asset management firm to attain compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS) by the CFA Institute. Still, in 2018, Meristem received two nominations from Business Day, for the best Money market Fund and Equity Fund.
The firm has remained a leading player in Nigeria’s competitive investment market with a solid reputation as a highly professional and client-centric firm, helping to take their clients farther.
FG’s plans on economic growth depend entirely on business climate – Osinbajo
Osinbajo has stated that every plan of the government relating to economic growth depends greatly on the business climate in Nigeria.
The Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, has told heads of agencies that every plan of the government relating to economic growth, and improving job creation & opportunities, depends on the climate of doing business in Nigeria.
This was revealed by the media aide to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, in a social media statement on Wednesday, after the VP spoke at a PEBEC meeting where a survey presentation exposed pitfalls in some regulatory agencies which affected a conducive business environment in the country.
VP to FG agencies: Every one of our plans around sustaining economic growth, improving job creation & opportunities, whatever it is that we plan to make life better for the citizens, depends entirely on the environment in which people have to do business. It determines whether…
— Laolu Akande (@akandeoj) January 20, 2021
The Vice President said the business climate “determines whether they will invest their resources, expand their businesses, and it just determines practically everything.”
Osinbajo directed that all heads of MDAs of Nigerian regulatory bodies be presented with the outcome of the survey to get their feedback and seriously deal with the situation promptly because there must be accountability.
What you should know: Nairametrics reported last week that Prof. Osinbajo, during an MSME stakeholders’ meeting, disclosed that the Federal Government, in partnership with the private sector, would continue to provide interventions to boost the growth of small businesses across the country.
Malabu Oil Scandal: Prosecutors demand JPMorgan documents
U.S bank, JPMorgan has been ordered by a court to present documents of a transaction regarding the $1.3 billion Malabu oil field sale.
Prosecutors at the Milan Court holding a trial for the $1.3 billion Malabu oil field sale have demanded that U.S bank JPMorgan present documents of a transaction as part of the corruption case regarding the sale of the oilfield.
This was revealed in a report by Reuters, as the court case over the sale of the oil field continues. Prosecutors claim that nearly $1.1 billion was stolen by Nigerian politicians and middlemen, with former oil minister, Dan Etete, keeping half.
Prosecutors demanded that the Milan court accept emails sent by UK authorities, coming from a separate case launched by the Nigerian government against the bank for its role in the controversial deal.
The emails include a transaction between Nigerian Attorney General Mohammed Adoke Bello and JPMorgan using the address of a company owned by another Nigerian named Aliyu Abubakar. Prosecutors allege that he paid $500 million in cash as part of a bribe.
Both men have also been charged for corruption relating to the deal, with both pleading not guilty.
The second email includes two JPMorgan executives expressing views on whether to transfer $1.1 billion to accounts related to Nigerian banks. The Milan prosecutors said the emails were valid, stating that a Swiss and Lebanese bank had also expressed doubts over the transaction.
The Milan court said it would make a decision over the emails on the 3rd of February. The verdict of the court case is expected to be announced in March 2020.
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported that Dan Etete, former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum, said that the $1.3 billion sales of Malabu oil field to Shell and Eni in 2021 was legally perfect, with zero traces of corruption in the deal.
- Royal Dutch Shell announced that it would write down its investment in the controversial Malabu OPL 245 offshore field in Nigeria.
- Malcolm Brinded, an ex-Upstream Chief of Shell Petroleum, told international prosecutors that the sum of $1.3 billion paid by Shell and Eni in 2011 to acquire OPL 245 offshore field was lawful, and he had no reason to think it was illegal.
- A lawsuit filed by the Nigerian government against US bank JPMorgan Chase, claiming over $1.7 billion for its role in a disputed 2011 Malabu oil deal, will proceed to trial. The six-week trial in London is expected to commence on the first available date after November 1 2021, meaning that proceedings may not begin until 2022.