The inaugural Africa Business Angel Forum (ABAF) held at the Lansdowne Club in London, UK on the 3rd of March 2016 saw the announcement of two funds totaling $60M to be invested in scaling up African ventures.
Neils Ellegard, Founder of Reewire and Managing Partner of United+ based in the US and Africa, announced the launch of a $50M fund, followed by Ellen van den Broek, Director of Aurorae who announced a $10M fund partly backed by AXA Ventures, a subsidiary of French insurance giant AXA, who just bought 8% of Africa Internet Group for $83M.
Mr Tangwena Nelson, the CFO of Homestrings during his presentation indicated that their company has so far mobilized $20M from the diaspora and channeled that into African investments on their platform.
Simon Glossop, CEO of CAMSCORP and Chairman of EOC Committee, Octopus Investments who opened the event with a keynote outlined how his company is represented in 12 African countries with investments in excess of $20M is lead to various levels of export activities from the continent including raw and processed products like ginger from their factories in Nigeria.
Other notable speakers included Jessica Hope founder of Wimbart, Russell David Southwood, CEO of Balancing Act, William Tindal of Emerging Crowd and Anthony Sheehan of the UKTI-Global Entrepreneurship program.
The forum was concluded with an investors dinner in the evening where the guest of honour was Mr Inigo Gilmore a world renowned journalist who made a documentary on the phenomenon of “Repats” — the children of Nigerian migrants who came west who are returning to the land of their parents and finding the jobs and opportunities that Britain has failed to deliver, and this led to a discussion on how those still in the west can either contribute or move back to the continent to build companies that the continent needs.
The event, which was organized by the NewGenAngels, saw the participation of 70 investors, entrepreneurs, professionals and scaleup ventures from 20 different countries.
Sean Ndiho Obedih , Founder of NewGenAngels and Convener of ABAF said, “We are overwhelmed by the outcome of the event and extremely encouraged by the decision of participants to have the second ABAF on 2nd September 2016 in London before we all head out to Nairobi, Kenya to participate in the 4th Angel Fair Africa which is the official follow up event on the continent.”
“We are mobilizing global capital to invest in African scale up ventures”, he added, “so our partnership with Angel Fair Africa is essential to bridge the funding gap between Africa and the rest of the world . We are excited to be heading to Nairobi this year after a great AfA event in Accra, Ghana last year.
Eric Osiakwan, Founder of Angel Fair Africa said “The success of ABAF and the amount of capital announced and committed speaks of the desire by international investors to bet on the new entrepreneurial ventures that are changing the Africa narrative.” We are looking forward to welcoming European, American and other investors from around the world to Nairobi, Kenya in November 2016.