Efa Iwara, a Nollywood star, is widely considered to be the heartthrob of the Nigerian movie industry. He has gained recognition and fame for his performances in popular films such as The Lady Called Life, King of Boys: The Return of the King, The Men’s Club, and Rattlesnake: The Ahanna Story 

He recently announced his first angel investment in the Nigerian dating app Trueflutter. In an interview with TechCabal, Efa recounted how the inspiration for his investment came from a message he received on Instagram. “It actually started with someone sliding into my DM on Instagram,” he said with a smile. “She told me I had changed her life because she saw a video advert where I promoted Trueflutter 8 months before, and she downloaded the app because of me.” 

The woman went on to meet her husband on the app, and the couple was now set to get married. “She wanted to invite me to the wedding and thank me for being the person who got her to take action,” Efa said. “On that particular day I had been feeling a bit low because of some personal issues. So you can’t imagine how this message absolutely brightened my day and lifted my spirits.” 

Efa’s encounter with the woman prompted him to reach out to Dare, one of the co-founders of Trueflutter. “We knew each other from back in the day and I could always tell he was passionate about his vision of connecting people,” Efa said. “But now I genuinely wanted to see how I could help him accomplish that vision even faster.” 

Dare shared with Efa the progress Trueflutter had made, including the 1.6 million matches powered by the app’s algorithm, the team, and the ongoing fund raise for the pre-seed round. “He was almost evangelical about it and his passion was infectious,” Efa said, “so I decided to go all in and make my first angel investment in a startup.” 

When asked about why he has become increasingly vocal about the importance of supporting African founders, Efa said, “You know every time I would hear about African tech startups with phenomenal valuations and returns to investors, you would find that most of the investors backing them were foreigners. It’s time for more Africans to back African companies. We may not be able to write cheques as large, but the more of us get involved the more it all adds up.” 

As a creative and a part of the Nollywood industry, Efa also emphasized the importance of planning for the future. “You know, I’ve always been a big fan of Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson and Jay Z. They’re not just talented comedians, actors and rappers, but they’re also savvy business minds,” Efa said. “Another great example is Ashton Kutcher. He invested early in companies like Uber and Airbnb and now his networth is over $200 million. My goal is to follow in their footsteps and build a portfolio of investments over my career while supporting as many promising founders as I can.”

Efa shared that he chose to invest in Trueflutter specifically because of the impressive vision of the brothers behind the company. “I’ve spent a lot of time speaking with them, and let me tell you, the size of their vision is so large, it’s almost hard to believe. I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it. I’ve seen the evolution of the product, spoken to the people using the product and met a few of their advisors who are huge names in the startup industry. I truly think they… I mean we… have what it takes to totally own this space in Africa.” 

In concluding the interview, Efa shared his belief that creatives should consider investing in startups in addition to saving the money they make from their art. “Many of these founders have savvy advisors on their table,” he said, “but none of those advisors have the creativity, influence, or social clout that we do. We can truly make a difference in helping our startups succeed.”

To download Trueflutter, please visit trueflutter.app.link/download

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