Today VC4Africa starts the first African online venture capital matchmaking platform. Many investors are looking for businesses to get involved with but have difficulties in finding promise. At the same time many businesses seek knowledge, capital and practical support. Without matchmaking their promise is never realized, hindering economic growth.
The VC4Africa community currently consists of 10.000 members worldwide. Business ideas have been registered through the website and entrepreneurs are seeing benefit. VC4Africa has the goal of visualizing the business potential. It is VC4Africa’s ultimate goal to contribute to a paradigm shift focusing on transparency and a new way of realizing Africa’s potential. VC4Africa wants to become the one-stop shop for African business development.
VC4Africa is a truly global initiative with the team working from Cameroon, Kenya, The Netherlands and the USA. Events have already been hosted in Kigali, Kampala, Nairobi, Johannesburg, Lagos, Tunis, San Francisco, Atlanta, Washington DC, New York, London and Amsterdam.
Due diligence is a limitation factor for investors interested in Africa. It costs too much time and capital to find genuine entrepreneurs with a solid business idea and plan. As a result, most existing funds seek large deals and better margins. MicroCredit is limited in its ability to support high growth businesses, this results in entrepreneurs with potential, struggling on the sideline.
VC4Africa solves these issues by leveraging the power of the crowd and innovative technology. Anyone anywhere in the world is able to positively contribute to the development of African businesses with their own competencies and interests.
Ben White, founder VC4Africa: “Ever go to a website where you had to spend 3-4 hours uploading your business plan? And maybe then you never heard from a real person again? There is probably nothing more frustrating to an entrepreneur. I mean lets face it, time is money and every second you spend on documentation you could spend doing business.
With the matchmaking platform we do things differently. Using plan cruncher we can get your plan online with a few simple mouse clicks. Any entrepreneur can breeze through the questions (with a Twitter limit of 140 characters :)) and actually have fun selecting the icons. Before you know it you have crunched your business idea into one page and it’s online.
Investors and other members can quickly scan your idea and ask you questions if they need clarification. They can also like your idea and help rank it to the top of the list. We capture all of this activity and interaction. At the end of the day it’s the best ideas and the most serious entrepreneurs who claim the top spot. It is these entrepreneurs that are the most likely to secure investment.”
VC4Africa team includes Ben White, Bill Zimmerman, Bart Lacroix, Valery Colong, Joshua Wanyama and Gaudi Hoedaya