GreenHouse Capital, a venture capital firm, has commenced the implementation process of investing $10million in 13 technology startups that have great solutions developed locally, but with global appeal and with the ability for global scale up.
Although the venture capital firm plans to invest the money in two tranches of $5 million each, it has already spent well over $3 million, spread across the 13 startups.
One of the founding partners of GreenHouse Capital, Mr. Bunmi Akinyemiju who made the disclosure, while showcasing the 13 startup companies at a technology show in Lagos, weekend, said “the future is about virtual technology and no longer oil and gas, and that is the reason we are investing in tech startups. We have invested over $3 million out of the $5 million that we planned to invest in the first tranche. In all, we plan to invest a total of $10 million in the next two years.”
Giving reasons behind the zeal to raise seed funds for tech startups, Akinyemiju said the VC firm decided to invest in them in order to support young entrepreneurs with brilliant ideas, who do not have the right funding to scale up.
The list of top global companies today by market capitalisation, is made up of technology companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple. Gone are the days when oil and gas companies used to top the list and that is the direction of the world today, so we need to guide and support Nigerian tech startups in that global direction, Akinyemiju said.
We are investing big in technology startups companies, because the financial gain is going to be exponential in the future. A VC firm like GreenHouse only needs about three successful startup companies, out of 20 sponsored companies to settle the amount of money spent promoting 20 tech companies, and still make huge turnover, Akinyemiju added.
Speaking on the vision and mission of GreenHouse Capital, its Managing Partner, Nichole Yembra said the mission is to promote and support tech entrepreneurs in Africa that have great talents but do not have the encouragement and funding to actualise their dreams.
Big entrepreneurs that are behind big brands like Uba, Google, Microsoft, among others, started as very small entrepreneurs and they got support to arrive at where they are today. So we want to replicate that kind of success out of Nigeria and Africa, Yembra said.
According to Akinyemiju, “We need to scale-up their business but all the money needed for scale-up will not come from Nigeria, because we will source for funds from outside Nigeria and Africa, from places like the US, UK, China, Hon Kong among others. But the money from these countries will not be made available unless African investors are able to support the initial funding and that is exactly what GreenHouse Capital is doing by investing in 13 technology startups.”
Among the 13 startups that were showcased at the Lagos technology show, some are into solar energy solution, financial solutions for banks, micro finance solutions, logistics solutions, and gifting solutions. The solutions were developed locally in Nigeria, but designed to scale globally.
It was however revealed that three out of the 13 tech companies that are being sponsored by GreenHouse Capital, have attracted international investors who are now investing in their solutions.
One of the tech startups, Chinedu Azodoh who manages Max Ventures with Tayo Bamiduro, said they provide logistics services for clients and help them to deliver items within three hours of purchase, using their network and locally designed technology solution.
Another startup, Ahmed Macaulay who runs AppZone, said they offer instant card issuance for banks, in order to reduce insider fraud and backlog of customers’ Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards. SureGifts is another startup company on display, managed by Kehinde Olufunmilola and her team that provides convenience for clients and customers, by developing gift cards that could be used for shopping after funds are loaded into the cards.