The Nigerian tech sector has often found creative solutions to support a population that is financially excluded by helping them gain access to mobile technology.
While there are challenges confronting startups in the Nigerian ecosystem, there remains an abundance of opportunities and increased venture capital inflow as more investors support the growing startups through funding.
One of such investors is Maya Horgan Famodu, the Managing Director of Ingressive Capital, a $10 million venture capital firm targeting early-stage startups across Sub-Saharan Africa’s key tech markets.
Half-Nigerian and half-American, Maya grew up in Minnesota. She completed her undergrad at Pomona Colleg and went on to Cornell University’s Prelaw Program. After that, she worked in private equity research at J.P. Morgan.
In 2014, she moved to Lagos and attempted to launch her first fund because she wanted to raise a $50M VC fund but with barely a year of work experience, investors swiftly declined. She forged a different path into deal-making by first launching Ingressive Advisory, providing “market entry services and tech research for corporates and investors.”
Since its launch, Ingressive Advisory has recruited top global investors and tech companies to expand into or invest in Nigeria, further developing the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Ingressive Advisory eventually expanded its services to providing one- to two-year subscriptions for outsourced services in Africa, for its billion-dollar+ tech company clients. Nigeria became one of its clients’ highest-growth markets.
Maya later co-founded (with her Ingressive colleague, Sean Burrowes) Ingressive for Good, a nonprofit providing scholarships, technical training and talent placement for African youths.
According to Maya, she is building a pipeline from the time a student thinks ‘I want to be in tech’ all the way to the time they IPO. Ingressive’s family of businesses grow and sustain the African ecosystem from the beginning till the end of a techie’s journey.
Ingressive Capital has seeded some of Africa’s fastest-growing businesses including Paystack, which sold for over $200 million to Stripe. Some companies in their portfolio include Bamboo, evolve credit, mono, 54gene, Onepipe, Tizeti etc.