NewGenAngels, a members-only investment club is to launch in three weeks time, focusing on providing funding and skills to African startups. NewGenAngels will be unveiled to the general public in Cambridge, United Kingdom (UK), at the Business in Africa Conference, and is looking to deploy US$150,000-US$500,000 per company with at least 10 investments per year.
The club membership is targeted at high liquid professionals and sophisticated angels, ultra high net worth individuals, venture capital firms, family offices and angel networks with an interest in Africa and the model relies heavily upon syndication of skills and funding from members of the African diaspora and friends of Africa. We also syndicate deals alongside the strongest investors in the local market.
Although the names of current members can not be made public as of yet, there had been increasing interest in joining from individuals and companies in London, Paris, New York, Lagos, Nairobi, Johannesburg, Washington DC, San Francisco, Amsterdam and Copenhagen.
Members will meet monthly to assess investment opportunities and make decisions, with membership – capped at 2,000 individuals or corporate entities – free of charge but coming with a requirement to invest a minimum of US$6,500 per year and commit time and skills.
NewGenAngels prefers to mentor, be hands on and coach the entrepreneurs in whom it chooses to invest in, asll we as serve on their boards, provide contacts and assist with team building, strategic planning and fundraising. The club is looking to empower African companies and help to create world class products and services, and aimed to be the largest and most active angel investment club focusing on Africa.
How it all started and who’s invited
The genesis of the club can be traced to 2008 after I witnessed several friends pool their funds together and invest in companies in their home countries. I have seen this happen in various communities in the diaspora, such as Zimbabwe, South African, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria. Local knowledge always beats any financial analysis and most often possesses great professional experience and networks across many sectors.
The brain drain experienced by Africa in recent years could be reversed, as there is a new generation of professionals returning to their home countries and making big difference. Though NewGenAngels is industry generalist, the focus will be on service and technology based businesses with strong growth dynamics, fragmented competition, a sizeable industry, low exogenous risk and straightforward operations with aim to decentralised the club established in all major cities by the end of 2016.
The Angel investment landscape in Africa is very fragmented and very focused on local activities but we believe that hinders the Angel community from truly benefitting from the economy of scale that a larger network can bring to bear. We believe that together we can achieve more. We also have to educate people and governments about the benefits of angel investments to further develop vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems.