A few days ago I posted about low-balling African VCs. Surprisingly I got inundated with DMs about horror stories experienced by African entrepreneurs dealing with African VCs.
I was complaining of low baller time wasting African VCs but from my DMs realized that many African entrepreneurs have experienced even worse. Outright unethical behavior by African VCs.
Some of it you will see in comments from my prior post. If you were to categorize most of the issues- VCs spying for competitors, VCs stealing ideas, VCs asking for ludicrous ownership terms et al.
It is hard enough for African Entrepreneurs to run their businesses without having to deal with unethical African VCs.
And it is time to do something about it.
As someone who has raised $2M+ across 2 startups, I will be taking direct action to help African Entrepreneurs in 2 ways
1. Share a short guide on Fundraising including a spreadsheet of ethical VCs I have engaged with that you should start contacting for your deal flow
2. Work with a few people to create an accountability platform where African entrepreneurs can post information about Unethical VCs. This is important because the same unethical VCs kept showing up in my DMs. It is therefore important that you share about unethical VCs you have experienced so as to protect others in the Entrepreneurship community. Ideally this platform will be a quick go to for all Entrepreneurs when an investor asks for a meeting- you can just come in there to see any and if horror stories have emanated with them. So at least you know what to do to protect yourself.
As a parting advice at this point, I enjoin African Entrepreneurs to do more in seeking international funders. The reality is that African VCs tend to be followers. Everyone is now trying to lash onto Paystack’s success now. But they had <$5K in sales when YC invested $150K in them. Many African VCs before YC’s investment were telling them to show more traction. Only after YC came in did they start piling in. Now many of them are acting like they were there from Day 1.
Fact is Africa VC is rotten. Broken. And needs fixing. While we are at it in the meantime let us do what we can to support one another.
While I am putting the above action points together, if you are raising now, please apply to the Norwegian Katapult Accelerator. They are very ethical. And they gave me my first break when we were nothing. Talk of Foreign VC supporting African Entrepreneurs. You need such people behind you early on. Let the African VCs follow if they want.
They are now admitting their first batch I encourage you to apply here before November 15th!https://apply.katapultaccelerator.com/