After an Investor Summit hosted by venture capital community VC4Africa September 24th, at the DEMO Africa 2014 in Lagos, Nigeria, angel investor networks from across Africa are pondering how to work together in a pan-African Business Angel Network.
The investors discussed “The Future of Angel Investing in Africa” with a focus on early stage SME investing in Africa. The various angel networks including the Lagos Angel Network, Ghana Angel Investors Network, Cairo Angels, Angel Africa List, the Africa Angels Network and others thibk working together wil help boost the African tech ecosystem.
According to VC4Africa’s CEO and Founder Ben White, “This is the next step in making sure the leading innovators from across the continent are going to get the backing they need to achieve scale. At the same time, we see angel networks emerging across the continent. Now is the time to bring them together in a shared conversation about how best to move forward.”
This unity of angel investors is not new.
In other parts of the world (Europe, United States, Asia, and other regions) angel investors are already working together and include groups such as the European Business Angel Network (EBAN) whose VP attended DEMO Africa representing 20,000 angel investors across Europe.
Baybars Altuntas, Vice President of EBAN said, “the majority of EBAN members want to learn more about African startups and the ecosystem here. For us, this is a new source of investment pipeline. But to fully engage European angel investors we seek our counterparts across Africa. This is key for co-investing into opportunities on the ground. The European Business Angel Network could support an African Business Angel Network with incubation.”
In November the next big event of the European Business Angel Network will be held in Helsinki, Finland. Angels from different parts of the world will come together at this event. VC4Africa, EBAN and Lagos Angel Network will now jointly invite a delegation of angel investors from African countries to join this event, for a first meeting to develop a roadmap for the way forward.
Tomi Davies of Lagos Angel Network explained, “DEMO Africa has shown that Africa has serious entrepreneurs who can contribute value globally. As the Lagos Angel Network here in Nigeria we now have an opportunity to engage with our colleagues across Africa and in Europe. This is an open invitation to those interested to get involved.”
Speakers and panelists at the VC4Africa Investor Summit at DEMO Africa included Chika Nwobi (440.NG, L5Lab), Tomi Davies (Lagos Angels Network), Leonard Stiegeler (Ringier), Dipo Adebo (Angel investor), Dehab Ghebreab (US State Department), Collins Onuegbu (Lagos Angels Network), Kresten Buch (88MPH), Viktor Okigbo (IDEA Nigeria), Dr. Inderpal Mumick (Kirusa), Tope Ajao (Leadpath), Ben White (VC4Africa) and others.
The summit was attended by both both local and international, who included angel investors, impact investors, venture capital funds, and corporate venture capital actors; all focused on early stage SME investing in Africa.