Starting a business anywhere in the world is hard, but starting a business in Nigeria could prove to be harder.
With so many factors such as lack of basic infrastructure, inadequate funds, unfavourable policies and other limitations, the chances of succeeding at business in Nigeria could be very low.
One of the major hurdles entrepreneurs on the African continent identify as a limiting factor in starting and running a successful business, no matter how amazing their idea is, is access to finance.
But the good thing is, there are investors in Nigeria willing and ready to support founders solving vital problems and creating a better world through creative solutions.
Seven early-stage startup investors in Nigeria you should know
These individuals are on a mission to actively support the next generation of African innovators and every entrepreneur in Africa should know them.
1. Jason Chukwuma Njoku
Jason Njoku is a British-Nigerian entrepreneur, film magnate, and African startup investor. He is the co-founder and CEO of iROKOtv and co-founder of Spark Capital. In August 2013, alongside his business partners Bastian Gotter and Mary Remmy Njoku, Njoku launched a $2 million investment vehicle for Spark Capital.
SPARK provides early-stage funding and support for startups with defined and scalable revenue models. It currently has over nine startups in its portfolio, including Hotels.ng, Paystack, OgaVenue, Drinks NG, and Medsaf.
2. Victor Asemota
Victor Asemota is a technology entrepreneur and investor who serves as a board member and advisor to leading fintech and investment firms across Africa. He is the Africa Partner for Alta Global Ventures, the founder of SwiftaCorp, and an advisory board member of Assets and Resource Management.
A co-founder of the African Diaspora Mentorship and Investment Network, Victor is committed to the growth and mentorship of the next generation of talents on the continent. He volunteers as a global mentor for the Google Launchpad startup community and the Interaction Design Foundation where he is the continent manager for Africa.
3. Maya Horgan Famodu
Maya Horgan is a Nigerian-American venture capital investor and Forbes 30 Under 30 entrepreneur. She founded Ingressive Capital, a $10 million venture fund focused on early-stage African startups.
Maya started Ingressive Capital as a result of challenges faced by her friends in getting financial support for their businesses. She is committed to ensuring brilliant people, wherever they are located, have access to the resources they need to build wildly scalable businesses. Some companies in Ingressive portfolio include Paystack, 54gene, InvestBamboo, Vesicash, and Oze.
4. Dr Ola Brown
Dr Ola Brown is the founder of the Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Group. The Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Group invests and operates across the healthcare and wellness value chain in hospital/clinic construction and refurbishment, diagnostics and equipment, health facility management, pharmaceutical retail, air ambulance services & logistics and consulting/healthcare technology.
Along with two other directors, Dr Ola runs an early-stage venture capital firm, Greentree Investment Company which provides growth capital to some of Africa’s most exciting tech startups.
Yele Bademosi is a serial entrepreneur and investor. He founded the early-stage venture capital firm, Microtraction which plans to invest $65,000 in startups.
"My vision and initial focus for Microtraction has always stayed the same, which is to increase the number of venture-bankable startups across the continent and ultimately bridge the pre-seed funding gap that currently exists", Yele said in an interview. Nigerian startups like Cowrywise, BuyCoins, Wallets Africa, Allpro, and ThankUCash are some of Microtraction's portfolio companies.
6. Nichole Yembra
Nichole is the founder and managing director of the Chrysalis Company, which houses Chrysalis Capital — a $15 million investment fund for Africa and Diaspora tech investment focused on building strong African institutions. Companies such as Helium Health, Flutterwave, and Bankly are some of the companies in Chrysalis Capital's portfolio.
7. Kola Aina
Kola Aina is an engineer, entrepreneur, and investor. He is passionate about using technology and innovation to solve problems in society and ultimately create prosperity. He is an impact-oriented venture capitalist and he believes that it is possible to "do well" and "do well" at the same time.
He is founding partner of the venture capital firm, Ventures Platform Fund, which has over 20 companies in its portfolio.
This is a guest post written by Jessica Fortune Oguh, Communication Specialist at Ingressive Capital.