How to make money by being an angel investor in Africa

Starting this Saturday, seed fund and incubator 88mph is organizing a series of angel investment workshops in Nairobi, Cape Town and Lagos. Below we catch up with the host, full-time business angel Brigitte Baumann, who is also the Founder and CEO of European and US angel network Go Beyond, and Chairman Emeritus of EBANthe European trade association for Angel and seed funds. This Saturday, November 23rd, the first workshop is held in Nairobi.

BrigitteBaumannWhat are the key things most important for successful angel investing?

“It is key to have an investment strategy and good deal flow. Also support from a professional angel network is important: be part of a group of investors who know  a variety of sectors. Build a portfolio of 6 to 10 investments and keep enough money for follow on rounds. And finally, have fun!”

How did you get involved in the African investment space, and what are your recommendations to other investors active in Africa?

“I got involved in the African investment space by doing impact investing – focused on people, planet, and profit. I invested in some businesses who sell their products in Africa or are also looking at some companies based in Africa. It’s important to make sure you understand the local situation well, know local co-investors, and have the relevant skills to help the company, not only financially, in Africa and also abroad if they want to expand.

What are the elements that have to come together for you to back a deal, the key points to look at in deal screening?

“First, the team! Second, innovation and scalability of the business model and  the valuation/terms and the co-investors. Look at the team and readiness of the business to have private investors who invest time and money.”

What role do you see for VC4Africa as a platform and a community of investors and entrepreneurs? And how do you see the startup/investment landscape changing?

“VC4Africa is a wonderful platform to build awareness, build knowledge, connect investors and entrepreneurs and also be a voice for both investors and entrepreneurs.

I see a democratisation of the investment space: it’s easier for investors to access good investment opportunities. Also there is a professionalisation of our sector into an asset class, increasing use of internet to facilitate the investment/financing process. But even though more happens online and mobile, we must not forget that investment is about human relationships!”

Anything you’d like to add?

“Yes, let’s get more impact investments and women entrepreneurs and investors!”

Starting this Saturday, a series of 1 day angel investment workshops of max 25 participants ($299/angel) by Brigitte Baumann across 88mph locations in Nairobi, Cape Town, and soon Lagos, will start. The workshop in Nairobi will be held this Saturday, November 23rd. The workshop in Cape Town will be in March 2014, and the workshop in Lagos will be announced later. During the angel investment workshops participants will receive training and advise on investment processes & strategy, experience live pitches and negotiations and will have the opportunity to engage and network with fellow angel investors. For more info on the workshops please contact Sylvia Brune at 88mph.