VC4A Venture Showcase, an exclusive program of choice for Africa-focused early-stage investors and hand-picked startups looking to raise their Seed ($250K-$1,5M) and Series A ($1,5M-$10M) rounds, is back in its 5th edition as part of the annual Africa Early Stage Investor Summit #AESIS2021.
Applications are now open, with 8 spots available for each of the two tracks for companies operating in Africa, showing solid traction and gearing for expansion.
The Showcase has run successfully every year since 2017, with over 120 partnering venture funds and angel groups actively involved in the vetting and selection process, and with the 80 startups showcased to date having jointly raised over $180M. The program receives consistently high ratings from participating founders, with over 90% reporting to be in ongoing conversations with investors they met through the Showcase in the weeks following the program.
“The secret of such positive outcomes for the fundraising founders is in the process design”, explains Alina Vinogradova, Programs and Partnerships Lead at VC4A. “What many applicants don’t realize is that the Showcase begins the moment they submit their application. The selection is fully carried out by investors, and due to our track record there’s unprecedented interest from investors to join. Each application gets reviewed by 5-6 investors, followed by interviews with yet more investors. This way we guarantee not only ultimate selection quality, but also ultimate investor exposure.”
While this way the investors are also taking note of the companies not making the cut, the ultimate cherry on the cake for the finalists remains an exclusive feature as part of the Africa Early Stage Investor Summit. In addition to the pitch, they get to participate in a DealRoom with 200+ investor organizations jointly responsible for over 90% of funds deployed on the continent in the past 5 years. This remains one of a kind opportunity for selected entrepreneurs to introduce their companies at once to everyone who’s anyone in Africa’s early-stage investment space.
Among its many success stories, the Showcase has also seen mentorship engagement translate into an investment. It’s hardly a surprise, considering that also all mentorship is done by partnering investors.
“Following my time as a mentor to Kais for the VC4A Venture Showcase Series A, we have concluded a transaction, and Newtown Partners is now an investor in Fulfilment Bridge. After I had spent a few thoroughly enjoyable weeks working with Kais, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity not to invest myself”, comments Llew Claasen, Managing Partner at Newtown Partners.
“Newtown Partners was our lead investor and the first to join our pre-series A round. I would add that this relationship/transaction went 100% online from the beginning of the mentorship program until we closed the deal, and was a direct result of the VC4A exposure and mentorship program”, adds Kais Khadhraoui, the founder of Fulfillment Bridge.
VC4A works closely with Africa's investment community to refer and vet candidates to the showcase. Participating investors work with the selected companies to prepare their participation in the showcase, and to ensure the companies are representative of the best investment opportunities coming up from across the continent. The showcase sets the stage for deal making with Africa’s leading entrepreneurs and investors coming together to scale up the best companies.
The 16 companies selected for the 2021 Seed and Series A tracks will get:
- Participation in the VC4A Venture Showcase deal room, including 200+ VC investment firms
- Professionally edited virtual pitch featured at the Africa Early Stage Investor Summit
- Closed-door deep-dive sessions with investors
- Mentorship and technical support by partner VC investors
- Exclusive access to industry events and fundraising opportunities as part of the Showcase alumni network
Interested entrepreneurs are invited to apply for Series A and Seed tracks before July 24th, 2021. Investors who wish to refer to a company can contact Alina Vinogradova at [email protected].