Venture capital event targeting Lagos start-ups offers $500,000 minimum funding, calls for pitches

Ekovention, a venture capital fundraising event backed by investors from Silicon Valley, will launch in Lagos to raise funding for promising start-ups focused on agriculture, education, finance, healthcare and smart city products, its organisers said.

Firms using technology to solve problems in Africa’s most populous city will be able to apply for and raise up to $500,000 and more in capital. The companies can be at the pre-seed seed stage.

The private equity event, themed “Lagos: Funding the Future,” holds in June and is setting its sights on start-ups with presence in Lagos and having teams of three or more.

It is being jointly arranged by Tuyo Ventures, a San Francisco-based firm, and Eko Innovation Centre. PREMIUM TIMES is also a partner.

Applications from start-ups will be received from April 4 to 18, while investor hub tour will hold on June 22. There will be private sessions with selected start-ups a day after and public sessions will hold on June 24.

“There will be a three stage review with the 3rd stage being the final and selection round. Selected pitch decks will be presented to investors in Silicon Valley and San-Francisco before their arrival in Lagos,” the organisers said.

Nigeria is fast becoming Africa’s foremost hub for venture capitalists from outside the continent on account of promising and scalable businesses with unique offerings.

Nigeria accounted for 35 per cent of the $4 billion the continent’s start-ups raised in 2021, with Flutterwave, Interswitch and OPay already accorded unicorn status, a league of such companies with valuation of at least $1 billion. The continent has seven.

In February, the Nigerian stock exchange said it was launching a tech board in the mould of US tech-heavy NASDAQ. The bourse is looking to sweeten the terms of entry for such businesses looking away from home to find funding in order to take a slice of the market.

“If you look around you, there is a technology capital formation perhaps every other week … One question we have to naturally ask is how we can make a lot of that capital formation to happen on the exchange,” CEO Temi Popoola told CNBC Africa.

The current size of the five sectors Ekovention is targeting is estimated at $1.2 trillion. The June event will follow up on the success of the annual Art of Technology (AOT) Winter Event held last December.

The organisers and investors are interested in the following areas:

Agriculture: IoT & Data Mining, Food Technology, Supply Chain Management, Crop & Yield.

Health: IoT & Data Mining, Service Provider Database, Insurance Coverage, Billing & and Settlement, Telehealth.

Finance: Investments & Trading, IoT & Data Mining, Insurance & Risk Management, Banking Services.

Education: IoT & Data Mining Tools, Digital Transformation, Interactive Education Technologies, Learning Management System & Assessment Tools, Hardware & Devices.

Smart City: IoT & Data Mining, Utilities (Water, Telecommunication, Electricity etc) Management Solutions, Cyber Security Solutions, Waste Management Technologies, Cloud technology & Infrastructure, Transportation (E-Commerce).

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Divyansh Singh

Talks about #technology #innovation #investing and #business.

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