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Business News

Top venture capitalist firms investing in tech in Nigeria

If you are looking to raise money for your startup, here are some VC firms in Nigeria offering funding for startups.

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How five Nigerian tech-startups are tackling COVID-19 outbreak

In today’s world, having a great idea and a strong will to succeed is just not enough, especially if you are an entrepreneur who is looking to start a business, grow and scale.

Lack of funding is a common reason why most startups fail. The exciting journey from having an idea to growing a company that offers beneficial services to people requires capital, but getting this capital can be quite tasking. You have to know what you want, where to look, and also be prepared to do the work required to pitch your ideas to prospective investors.

In recent times, the Nigerian Tech sector has gained a lot of traction in terms of funding. According to a report, foreign investors contributed $85.8 million out of the approximately $120.6 million that Nigerian startups raised in the year 2020.

Who is a Venture Capitalist (VC)?

A venture capitalist is a person or company that invests in a business venture, providing capital for startup or expansion. Venture capitalists are defined by the large investments they make in a promising startup or young business.

So, if you are looking to raise money for your startup, here are some VC firms in Nigeria offering funds to startups.

FirstCheck Africa

  • FirstCheck Africa, a female-focused angel fund, is making it easier for African women in tech to raise capital by writing “ridiculously early” first checks and creating pathways for more African women to invest in technology startups.
  • Founded by Eloho Omame and Odunayo Eweniyi, FirstCheck is creating more opportunities for women & diverse teams to raise capital, and for more women to invest in tech.
  • FirstCheck Africa will invest up to $25,000 in each woman that it supports, working to help raise a significant pre-seed round within 12 months.

Future Africa

  • Future Africa provides capital, coaching, and community for mission-driven innovators “building an African future where prosperity and purpose are within everyone’s reach.”
  • Founded by Iyin Aboyeji, the platform connects mission-driven innovators and investors looking to turn Africa’s most difficult challenges into global business opportunities.
  • Some of the popular Nigerian startups in Future Africa’s portfolio include Andela, Chaka, Flutterwave, 54gene, bamboo, rise, Eden, evolve credit, and many more.

Greentree Investment Africa

  • Greentree is an investment company that invests in people who love what they do. The company is committed to the growth of the businesses they invest in, leveraging their extensive collective expertise to grow and add value to their portfolio companies.
  • Founded in 2014, the company has funded many startups, most notable of which include Paystack, Precurio, and Big Cabal Media.

Ventures platform

  • Ventures Platform is a Pan-African early-stage fund focused on supporting post MVP teams to grow their startups. Ventures Platform invests in seed and early-stage companies that are operating in markets that have existing positive offline indicators. It was founded by Kola Aina, an avid angel investor and startup mentor.
  • Some of the popular Nigerian startups in the Ventures Platform portfolio include Paystack, Tizeti, Thrive agric, Kudi, Piggyvest, Trove Finance, Brass, Mono.

Echo VC Partners

  • Echo VC is a technology-focused early-stage VC firm focused on unapologetically investing in women, underrepresented founders (particularly of African descent), and underserved POC markets, backing bold ideas and business models that harness the power of technology to deliver value to mass markets.
  • Some startups in their portfolio include Lifebank, Lori, hotels.ng, Migo, and Netplusdotcom.

TLCom

  • TLCom supports innovative entrepreneurs that leverage technology to find market solutions to significant challenges. They invest between $500k and $10m dollars in companies.
  • Some companies in their portfolio include Andela, kobo 360, autochek, uLesson, and ilara health.

Microtraction

  • Microtraction funds smart, relentlessly resourceful founders who are building high-growth, technology-driven businesses in billion-dollar markets. They typically invest $25,000 for 7%.
  • Startups in their portfolio include Cowrywise, Buycoins, Bitsika Africa, Thankucash, sendbox, and many more.

If you have a product or a business idea, you can leverage these VC firms to give your business the chance to live to its full potential.

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Janet John is a graduate of Chemical Engineering from the University of Uyo. She specializes in technical writing where she creates easy to read documentation, articles to clearly and efficiently explain highly complex processes. When she is not writing, she works as a freelance front-end developer

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    Business News

    ABCON asks CBN to check impact of cryptocurrencies on diaspora remittances

    The association also noted that the apex bank needs to address other issues driving the patronage of cryptocurrency exchanges for remittance transfers.

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    ABCON disagrees with those calling for naira devaluation

    The Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to introduce measures that will neutralize the positive effects of cryptocurrencies as a channel for diaspora remittances.

    This is to redirect diaspora remittances away from cryptocurrency exchanges to official channels and also protect such against potential disruptions.

    This call was made by ABCON during its Quarterly Economic Review for the first quarter of 2021 where it commended the CBN for the N5/$ rebate scheme introduced to encourage diaspora Nigerians to use official channels to remit their funds.

    However, the association noted that the apex bank needs to address other issues driving the patronage of cryptocurrency exchanges for remittance transfers.

    READ: Nigeria among worst countries to start a career, and they all don’t accept crypto

    What ABCON is saying in their statement

    The association in its statement said, “It is noteworthy that public acceptability for cryptocurrency exchanges are rising which could be quite accountable for the wide drop in diaspora inflows to Nigeria. Insecurity in the country is giving it greater prominence as investors and citizens are finding Cryptocurrency a safe haven for their wealth in case of any eventuality.

    In most Emerging Markets Bitcoin transfers surged last year, as the pandemic exposed the cheaper and more efficient digital remittance services. Migrants sending money across borders to their families prefer the minimal transaction costs of cryptocurrency exchanges against the exorbitant costs of traditional money transfer companies like Western Union.”

    READ: Atsu Davoh is building ways for Africans to easily acquire and spend cryptocurrency

    According to ABCON, “Cryptocurrency transactions are faster than the conventional transfers, which require passing through banks reliant SWIFT, the sluggish, half-century-old interbank messaging system that handles cross-border payments.

    These exchanges override the political complications of official channels. The global reach of cryptocurrencies avoids the inflation risk inherent to official currencies, especially in politically unstable countries reliant on fickle foreign investors.

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    Thus, while we commend the efforts of CBN in introducing the package of Five Naira for One Dollar transfer, it can be seen from the analysis above that the challenges exceed just non-payment of foreign currency by the IMTCs and the exchange rate. Strategies that satisfy the most sensitive of these advantages of Cryptocurrency exchanges must be introduced to redirect flows to the official channel.”

    ABCON also expressed concerns over the country’s huge unemployment rate, urging the government to apply radical approaches with the use of both conventional and unconventional economic and political tools to redress the trend.

    READ: Afreximbank President reveals ways Nigeria can boost diaspora participation in economy

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    What you should know

    • It can be recalled that the apex bank had about 2 months ago, warned the Deposit Money Banks, Non-Financial Institutions and other Financial Institutions against doing business in crypto and other digital assets.
    • The CBN directed financial institutions to immediately close the accounts of persons or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges, warning of severe regulatory sanctions in the event of any breach of the directive.
    • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had a few days ago, revealed that it is working with the CBN for a better understanding and regulation of cryptocurrencies in the country.

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    Companies

    Unilever earmarks N62 million as remuneration to its Non-Executive Directors in 2021

    Unilever Nigeria has fixed its remuneration to the Non-executive Directors of the company in 2021 at N62 million.

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    Unilever Overseas increases stake in Unilever Nigeria Plc

    One of Nigeria’s leading FMCG companies, Unilever Nigeria Plc, is set to pay out a total of N62 million as remuneration to its Non-Executive Directors for the year ended December 31, 2021.

    This disclosure was made by the leading consumer goods company as one of the key resolutions that would be considered and passed at the Company’s ninety-sixth (96th) Annual General Meeting, which will hold on Thursday 6 May 2021 at 10.00 am.

    The famed manufacturer of Sunlight detergent also revealed that in addition to the N62 million remuneration, sitting allowances will be paid at standard agreed rates for each meeting attended and the Chairman of the company will be entitled to a vehicle allowance of N12 million gross per annum.

    READ: Heavy sell-off in PZ & Unilever shares leads to N6.09 billion market value loss

    Short-term benefits paid by Unilever in 2020 to its Directors

    Despite the fact that Unilever Nigeria Plc has not paid its shareholders dividends for about two years now, the FMCG company paid out short-term benefits of about N511 million and N73 million to its Executive and Non-Executive Directors in 2020 respectively, compared to a sum of N590 million and N59 million it paid out in 2019 respectively. The members of the leadership team, excluding the Executive Directors of the company, were paid a total of N867 million short term benefits in 2020, down from the N1.04 billion they received in 2019.

    On the flip side, the total payout as wages and salaries to the company’s employee in 2020 was N5.05 billion, this is down from the N5.99 billion which the company paid out in 2019.

    READ: Abdulsamad Rabiu set to earn N39.4 billion from his cement business

    In case you missed it

    According to a recent result by Unilever Nigeria Plc, the company made a loss of about N492 million in the first quarter of 2021. This figure is 144.1% lower when compared to the profit of N1.114 billion made by the company in the corresponding quarter of 2020.

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    Unilever’s revenue however surged by 45.7% during the quarter. However, the growth in the cost of sales, and the huge 63.3% increase in marketing and administrative expenses pressured the profits down to a loss of N492 million in the first quarter of 2021.

    READ: Guinness shares surge by 9.89%, lifting the brewer’s capitalization by N5.9 billion

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    What you should know

    • Shares of Unilever Nigeria Plc are currently valued at N12.95 per share, placing the YTD loss in the shares of the company at -6.83%.
    • Unilever Nigeria Plc is the sixth most valuable consumer goods company listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, with a robust market valuation put at N74.4 billion, higher than Guinness Nigeria Plc, NASCON Allied Industries Plc and PZ Cussons.
    • The shares of the top FMCG brand is trading 23.8% lower than its 52-week high price of N17, and 23.3% higher than its 52 week low of N10.5.

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