Echelon Capital is looking to invest millions of dollars in African tech and non-tech startups, beginning with a $1 million rolling fund.
Raising money in Nigeria, and Africa, in general, is an extreme sport for all parties involved. For startups involved, there’s unending competition for limited resources. Microtraction, one of the leading early-stage investment companies in Nigeria, revealed that it reviewed 600+ companies in 2020 and invested in seven (7). That leaves at least 593 companies that applied and didn’t get funding.
One of the reasons for limited resources is a lack of local investors. According to African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, only 20% of VC funding in Africa over the last five years came from African-based investors. Local founders often have to interface with foreign investors who do not have a complete understanding of the terrain.
Echelon is looking to help reverse the trend. The new VC firm has announced its plans to invest startups across the continent from February. While it plans to invest millions of dollars, eventually, the first stage of investments will kick off with $1 million going directly to Nigerian-owned startups.
This new announcement bodes good news for locally owned startups who have plans to scale their startups. It also opens up an opportunity for more startups to be fully home-grown, and the investment returns to remain in the country. Interested startups can fill this form to apply for funding.
The VC firm was founded by Sunday Olorunsheyi, an international business leader whose success precedes him. Armed with two Master’s degrees in Business Administration and Public Administration from Business School Netherlands and Ladoke Akintola University, Sunday has over 20 years’ experience in building businesses across sectors.
He is the co-founder of Pertinence Group, an enterprise development and people empowerment company that was founded in 2012. The company has since then grown into a multi-billion naira business.
Sunday also sits on the board of over 12 different companies. The successful business leader has supported up to 20 successful startups for over five years. He is currently pursuing a post-graduate certificate in Project Management at Fleming College in Ontario, Canada, and a PhD at Charisma University in the UK.
Sunday’s passion for supporting people and seeing African startups grow pushed him to start Echelon Capital. He wanted people to access help, just like he did 20 years ago. He aims to leverage Echelon Capital to provide funding for tech-focused and no-tech focused businesses.
Interested eligible founders only need to sign up through the website and participate in a virtual accelerator programme.
His interest in non-tech businesses was fueled by his goal to invest in startups with outstanding products, a strong team, capital efficiency, execution strategy, and profits. He believes that limiting investments to just tech startups sidetracks unique possibilities obtainable from investing in other businesses.
Sunday is fully excited about the journey and what he and his team are set to accomplish. He’s happy to be at the helm of affairs in providing funding to founders who have properly positioned their businesses.
Speaking on the future of startup investing in Nigeria, Sunday predicts that;
- Decentralized investments will take over as individuals leverage startup funding platforms to make direct investments.
- Demands for crowdfunding platforms will increase. More people will leverage them to invest in infrastructures that could help SMEs scale globally.
Sunday’s mentees have expressed confidence in their mentor’s new venture. While the CEO of Pertinence Properties, Jeffery Itepu believes Sunday will lead Echelon Capital to great success, Damilare Oshokoya refers to Sunday as ‘another Warren Buffet.’ He argues that ‘the record speaks for themselves.’