Raise, a fundraising and equity management platform for Africa, has raised $25,000 from Nigeria’s Microtraction in a bid to help African startups fundraise and grow their businesses with ease.
“We’re pleased to announce that Microtraction is joining our journey to build Africa’s NASDAQ as an investor and partner. Together, we’ll be building out the future of investing in private and public companies across Africa. We are so excited to be working with Microtraction to build the future of Africa’s capital markets,” announced Raise’s CEO Marvin H. Coleby.
Founded by Marvin Coleby, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Eugene Mutai, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Tina Nyamache, Chief Growth Officer (CGO), Raise drives founders to a faster product-market fit by empowering them with affordable online tools to raise faster and distribute equity to hire talent.
Raise helps startups manage electronic cap tables, automate financing contracts like SAFEs and share private deal rooms. Raise aims to help African founders save time lost during fundraising and building their cap tables across their employees, founders and investors.
According to Marvin Coleby, CEO Raise, the web-based interface enables founders, investors, and law firms to collaborate and leverage digital tools to simplify due diligence and equity management.
“Raise’s mission is to simplify equity and democratize access to assets for Africans across the world, where people have the power to create financial independence for their communities, teams, and families.”
By simplifying the fundraising and cap table management process, Raise makes it simpler to distribute equity and raise money faster across Africa, a continent where transactions for technology companies and the VC asset class, which surpassed $2.4 billion in 2020 according to Briter Bridges Africa Investment Report 2020) and grows by 80% on average every year. Venture Capital in Africa is growing to a $22 billion market size over the next five years. From there, Raise will work on onboarding private equity assets which surpassed $20 billion over the last few years.
At the moment, Raise has already scaled over 200 companies and over $150 million in equity on the platform, and created over $90 million worth of valuations. raise is also working with Africa’s largest corporate law firms to continue onboarding users and scale across the continent.
Raise initially wanted to understand how blockchain-based digital securities could democratize access to capital across the continent. It started with a simple application for African tech, for companies to store and update shareholder information after their rounds were completed.
The team quickly learned that African founders, investors, and shareholders do not have access to accurate data on prices, valuations, and terms of shares around their own companies. Even worse, the data on cap tables quickly showed how illiquid African venture capital shares were.
So, the founding team of Raise understood that if they could create a platform to simplify share and equity ownership, they could be democratizing access to capital and turning shares into cash for African founders.