Investing in Africa? Try VC4Africa’s investor services

VC4Africa connects qualified investors from around the world with quality entrepreneurs all across Africa. Register as an investor on VC4Africa to get access to screened deal flow, direct access to private documents from hundreds of ventures in Africa, and to network and pool resources with fellow investors.

VC4Africa’s investor network is the largest network of dedicated SME investors interested in supporting African based ventures. Beside a large group of informal investors, the network also includes many institutional investors. We recently profiled 40 investors part of VC4Africa’s investor network.

The VC4Africa community of entrepreneurs and investors has more than 10,000 members in more than 159 countries. More than 1,000 African enterprises applied for registration on the platform. We invite new investors to join the community.

Access to screened deal flow

The ventures on VC4Africa are Small Medium Enterprises and require investments between USD $10K and USD $1 million. The documentation has to be top level and social traction within the community counts.

Investors who register on VC4Africa can see which ventures are fundraising and follow the progress of the ventures they find interesting. Presently more than 500 venture profiles are published on VC4Africa, from over 35 countries in Africa. All of these are screened by VC4Africa before publication to meet a list of basic criteria, such as having a complete venture profile, a website amongst others.

Entrepreneurs with published venture profiles on VC4Africa can register their funding needs and upload documents to a secure documents tab. Ventures that apply for fundraising need to provide additional information like business plan, Chamber of Commerce registration, Letter of Intent of customers to show they have a proven business model. If the business plan and related documentation of the ventures meet our quality standards this is made visible to the investors registered as part of the VC4Africa investor network.

Saskia Reus-Makkink, VC4Africa’s Head of Investor Relations supports entrepreneurs in this final stage: “With dedicated coaching we can turn good business plans in to excellent plans and increase understanding of the entrepreneur about the fundraising process and the expectations of an investor.” Entrepreneurs who do not meet the quality criteria get feedback on  areas they can work on. They are free to make use of our growing number of tools and resources to get to the next level, such as VC4Africa’s peer to peer Mentorship Marketplace.

Access to screened deal flow and their documents on VC4Africa is free of charge. We believe in a no cure no pay approach. Only if a deal is closed via the platform do we ask for a 1.5% contribution from the entrepreneur and 1.5% from the investor. This financial contribution is returned to the community to allow us to support new entrepreneurs to get ready for funding and to facilitate new matches.

In a recent interview, Angel Investor Jerome Kisting explained the value VC4Africa creates for him: “I don’t have staff working for me, so if VC4Africa can do that initial screening and select entrepreneurs that actually have coherent business plans and it looks like the model can work, that is really useful. A lot of Angel Investors don’t have their own infrastructure to assess things, so any pre-selection is really helpful.”  Saskia Reus-Makkink: “Also with us the numbers count: one out of 100 applications fits our criteria to fundraise.”

Networking and pooling resources

If you are registered as an investor on VC4Africa you have direct access to private venture documents from hundreds of ventures in Africa, you can engage entrepreneurs with questions, ask for more details and can express your interest to invest. If you like the terms you can step forward as a lead investor. The venture of this entrepreneur then goes into fundraising mode in which the entrepreneur and lead investor can attract additional support. Entrepreneurs can only contact an investor when the investor follows the entrepreneur or its venture.

The VC4Africa team also assists its members with personal introductions and one to one networking opportunities. Both entrepreneurs and investors can make use of VC4Africa’s support infrastructure when closing an investment deal. In this way, VC4Africa works to lower barriers to investing in the continent’s most promising entrepreneurs.

Investors can also network with fellow members of VC4Africa’s investor network and pool resources with fellow investors. See the list of all registered investors to engage with, and join the African Angel Network, European Angel Network and US Angels Network to network or start a discussion with fellow angel investors.

Concrete examples

VC4Africa is a member of the LIONS Africa partnership, we supported the inaugural DEMO Africa 2012 event and are presently facilitating the application process for DEMO Africa 2013, the Launchpad for emerging technology and trends. VC4Africa also collaborates with leading incubators across Africa like ActivSpaces in Cameroon, MEST in Ghana, the Nailab and the GrowthHub in Kenya, Innoventures and Ice Cairo in Egypt, Ice Addis in Ethiopia, Mara Launchpad in Uganda, Wennovation Hub in Nigeria, CTIC Dakar in Senegal, Enviu in The Netherlands, 88mph and Seed Engine in South Africa, among others.

To read more about deals made via VC4Africa, read for example about the deals made with ventures M-Kazi, YamBEEji and most recently Knellen. Also see an overview of ventures that are currently fundraising on VC4Africa (ventures in tech, agribusiness, tourism, transport, retail and more).

To make use of VC4Africa you first need to sign up. You can easily sign in with your LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter account. After signing up, you can register as an accredited investor. Only registered investors have access to private venture documents and can express their interest to invest.

Also see VC4Africa’s Welcome Page for investors and the 5 steps to fundraising on VC4Africa. To network or start a discussion with fellow angel investors, join the African Angel Network, European Angel Network and US Angels Network.

Other questions or comments? Please share them below or contact Saskia Reus-Makkink, VC4Africa’s Head of Investor Relations.