Early stage companies in the Lagos area have a new stage to present their innovations to the investment community. VC4A partners at the Lagos Angels Network open applications for promising startups at one of the upcoming deal days. Organizing several syndicates, LAN members are moving to invest N100 million into up and coming companies. More importantly, LAN opens its door for international and foreign investors to participate.
Applications have been pouring in since the announcement. Great founders will be selected to showcase their companies to Nigeria’s top angel investors. Several investment syndicates are being formed that allow other investors, local and abroad, to get involved. This is an important initiative that could see replication across the continent. The first Deal Day will be held on the 31st of March.
As the event’s name suggests, members of the Lagos Angel Network will come and listen to vetted startups. But with a twist. Investors who want to access the startup pool on deal day will be required to form or join syndicates. Each syndicate will in turn be required to invest a minimum of N5 million on the day — startups will be able to request between N5 – N25 million.
LAN membership is not a prerequisite to joining syndicates. The network is looking to attract a broad range of investors, regardless of their affiliation.
The syndication model that LAN is adopting here is instructive. Investing as a group makes an investment easier, and less risky than if one investor had to take on all of the cost and exposure from a single deal.
Less experienced investors can form up behind a veteran, because their commitment to the investment’s success de-risks it significantly. Already, there are at least two confirmed syndicates, formed by active Nigerian angel investors — TechnoVision, led by Tomi Davies, and Sasware, led by Collins Onuegbu.
Quarterly Deal Days
The March 31st event is only the first of these deal days, which will take place quarterly. As a result, early stage startups will have a regular opportunity to engage committed Nigerian angel investors who at least four times every year coming together to meet top founders. The network will be leveraging relationships with the VC4Africa community, TechCabal, the Africa Business Angel Network (ABAN), hubs, incubators and accelerators as the program moves forward.
To get into the room with investors, startups will have to register and pitch via VC4Africa for a chance to make a final shortlist that will be announced on the 21st of March. For the investor side, Interested angels and syndicates are invited to get in touch with Segun Odukoya at the LAN Secretariat for information on how to participate.
For startups who have grown weary of pitching to tire-kickers, the promise of real funding could inspire them to be better prepared. For local investors who aren’t in on the action, the fear of missing out might well inspire them to join in. The Lagos Angel Network has itself invested in a number of startups. But the bigger plan here is to get more moneyed locals to put their money where their mouth is.