Mustard, an Africa-focused venture agency has launched its idea-stage programme, a £4 million investment vehicle to build narrative-led technology ventures from the very start.
According to the London-based company, the development is aimed at originating Africa-focused ventures capable of resonating with global audiences as it will be designed to play the role of both investor and builder from the earliest stage possible.
In addition to identifying visionary, veteran and influential individuals with globalisable venture ideas, the company said it will provide the capital and expertise in engineering, design and storytelling to explore a company even before it is incorporated.
The company also said it wants to provide its investors VC-type returns in 5-year time as against the typical 10-year returns approach of African VC firms with its team of expertise which includes; Ndubuisi Kejeh, Founder of Mustard, Parminder Vir OBE, an award-winning film and TV producer and the former CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation; Chris Williamson, MD of Mpesa at Vodacom; Eunice Chou of the Africa VC firm EchoVC partners, and Dudu Sarr, long-time friend and manager of Grammy-award winner, Youssou N’dour.
What they are saying
Parminder Vir OBE, said, “Africa has many stories to tell, and over the last twenty years the story of its resilient youth seen through the growth of tech startups has been one of its most significant. Over the last four decades, I have worked to bring stories from Africa and other cultures to the world through film and television, and I believe Mustard’s approach will help to do the same through the meaningful brand narratives it builds for tech ventures.”
Seni Sulyman, said, “Right from the first time I came across Mustard’s thesis and idea-stage investment approach, it sounded really powerful. I am keen to see what comes next from the Mustard team because I want to see African brands go global, which will not only mean massive changes for the continent, but also for its place in the world.”
Thebe Ikalafeng, said, “Africa has the culture, vibrancy and talent needed to make world-class brands, but over the years rhetoric and desire has not been matched by output. Mustard’s narrative-first philosophy, hands-on building and investing approach, and focus on influential founders, might be the change we need to shift the status quo.”
Eghosa Omoigui, said, “Mustard’s expertise in venture building at the earliest possible stage coupled with a strong philosophy on brands has resonated with us for quite a while. African startups and their brands need to go out to the world for many reasons, among which include access to broader consumer markets. Mustard’s idea-stage investment approach is uniquely different, and highlights why a mixture of approaches is what a growing startup ecosystem needs.”