VC4Africa community gathers in Nairobi

Almost a year after the successful VC4African meetup in Nairobi’s Hilton Hotel, and six months after the even better gathering held during the first DEMO Africa on October 2012, it was time for another meetup at Kenya’s capital city last Thursday. Around 50 people showed up at the Mercury Lounge, ABC Place, to meet new people and see old friends.

Shortly after 7 p.m. people started to come in and starting to figure out ‘who is who’. The fact that the Belgium community in Kenya also held their monthly drinks at the same bar didn’t make it easier for the guest to find the people attending the VC4Africa meetup. But it didn’t take long before many introductions were made and startups pitched their ideas (one of them was M-Rent, for paying house rent via M-Pesa). The Belgians even started to mingle with the VC4Africa crowd. Most of them are also entrepreneurs in different industries in Kenya – so there was a connection there ;-)

The people who were attending the meetup can be separated in three groups: 1) entrepreneurs who are looking for funding and hope they will find an investor, 2) entrepreneurs who are looking for new customers and 3) investors who are interested to meet entrepreneurs with fundable companies. The ‘problem’ with most investment firms is that they are looking for deals of $500k and up – and most entrepreneurs in the VC4Africa community are looking for seed capital of $50k – $250k.

At this Nairobi meetup we had people from Jacana Partners and Fusion Investment Management attending, but they are also looking for those bigger deals. One of them asked for a list of seed stage investment funds as they receive many interesting proposals that not fit their criteria. See this video we made last year on the need for angel investors in the African startup space.

It was also great to see many familiar faces and to get updated on the projects they are working on. Two participants of Village Capital Nairobi told me about their progress since September last year. One of them is already creating revenue with their mobile logistic system for retailers and the other is launching officially this coming August.

All in all a nice evening where many new connections were made, the main goal of a VC4Africa meetup! The next Nairobi meetup will be held during DEMO Africa 2013 in October. See you there!

Thanks Bertil for a great job! It’s great to see the local VC4Africa community come together like this! The next VC4Africa meetup coming up will be on Friday June 28th in London, UK. Are you interested in organizing a VC4Africa meetup in your city? Pick a date and fill in the form! If not a VC4Africa member yet, join here. Happy networking!

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