VC4A is calling on disruptive African scale-ups keen to raise between $500,000 and $10 million. In collaboration with technical partner AWS Activate, VC4A will be hosting the exclusive ‘Venture Showcase – Series A’ in October as part of a virtual gathering of Africa-focused early-stage investors.
Since 2017, VC4A has showcased growth-stage startups as part of the annual Africa Early Stage Investor Summit, resulting in a number of Series A deals totaling over $100 million. Building on this success, the ‘VC4A Venture Showcase – Series A’ positions deal ready companies as a central component VC4A offers to its Africa focused network of over 150 early stage investment firms built up over the years. This is an exclusive opportunity for selected entrepreneurs to introduce their companies at once to everyone who’s anyone in Africa’s early-stage investment space.
(TOP: Tinashe Ruzane from Flexclub, a digital marketplace which helps independent drivers to access vehicle ownership, having in-depth discussions with investors as part of the 2019 edition of the ‘VC4A Venture Showcase – Series A’ in Cape Town, South Africa).
Ben White, founder and director from VC4A adds: “The Venture Showcase – now in its 4th year – has established itself as the premier platform for presenting the best companies ready for Series A from across the continent. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need to come together virtually as an industry and to collaborate on deals is more necessary than ever. Especially now, the world needs to recognize the quality of innovation and entrepreneurship taking up across the continent and the unique opportunity to be part of major success stories.”
VC4A works closely with the African investment community to refer candidates to the showcase, involving investors in both the screening and selections process. Participating investors work with the selected companies to prepare their participation in the showcase, and to ensure the companies are representative of the best investment opportunities coming up from across the continent. The showcase sets the stage for deal making with Africa’s leading entrepreneurs and investors coming together to scale up the best companies.
This year, cloud platform Amazon Web Services, through its AWS Activate program, joins the Venture Showcase as a technical partner. “We’re very pleased to see AWS join in the shared mission to grow and help scale Africa’s best startups. AWS brings unparalleled expertise and global infrastructure into the mix, and where the Showcase companies receive direct access,” says Ben White.
Selected companies of the 2020 edition will digitally convene and engage the VC funds, impact investors, accelerators, corporate venture divisions, industry associations, and public sector agencies. The 2019 edition welcomed over 300 investors from prominent VC funds and African angel networks, such as EchoVC, Greentec, I&P, Proparco, Accion, Knife Capital, Ventures Platform, TLCom Capital, Blue Haven Initiative, VBAN, 4Di Capital, Lagos Angel Network, Total Ventures, AngelHub Ventures, Teranga Capital, Outlierz Ventures, HIMangel, Tencent, Silvertree Capital, GSMA, Orange Digital Ventures, among many others. The 60 Venture Showcase alumni companies like Aerobotics, Coin Afrique, FinChatBot, FlexClub, 7Keema, Lifebank, MAX, Mobiz, Nawah Scientific, Rensource, Sendy and Shezlong raised over $100 million.
The 10 selected scale-ups of the 2020 edition will get:
- To participate in the VC4A Venture Showcase deal room, with over 150 VC investment firms
- Professional edited 3-minute virtual pitch videos
- 30-minute deep-dive sessions with investors in a private room
- Mentorship and pitch training by partner VC investors
- Amazon Web Services credits from AWS Activate worth ranging from $10,000 to $25,000, as well as tools, resources, and more to get started quickly on AWS
- To join the Showcase alumni network and gain exclusive access to fundraising opportunities
The Series A program will be followed by a ‘VC4A Venture Showcase – Seed’ track dedicated to startups raising their seed round ranging from $150,000 – 750,000. Keep an eye out on the VC4A platform for the launch in July 2020.
VC4A is an ecosystem builder that leverages its infrastructure, network and expertise for the programs that contribute to Africa’s startup movement. Since 2007, the organization designs, structures and implements successful entrepreneurship programs on the continent. VC4A runs an online platform featuring the world’s largest database of African startups and connecting local entrepreneurs to learning resources, mentors, investors and partner programs.