NewGenAngels invests $200k in 3 African startups

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NewGenAngels, an investment club which looks to provide deal flow for its member investors, has made investments totalling US$200,000 in three African startups in its first six months.

Founded in June this year, NewGenAngels is an exclusive investment club for investors looking to invest over GBP15,000 (US$23,500) in high-growth Africa-focused companies.

Since its launch, the investment club has gained 50 members, all African professionals based in the United Kingdom (UK) hailing from the likes of Zimbabwe, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique and Rwanda.

It has made three syndicated investments totalling US$200,000 in the six months since its launch, putting US$25,000 into music startup Orin, US$25,000 into online marketplace Kitaal and US$150,000 into a stealth financial technology company.

The club is run by founder and chief risk officer Sean Obedih, who also runs Europe-based The Founders Hive.

“The intention was to build an investment club and later raise a fund, which is where we are at the moment,” Obedih told Disrupt Africa.

“But we expect 2015 to be the year that most of the work we have been doing behind the scenes will come to the forefront, including the first Africa Angel Forum to be held in the UK.”

NewGenAngels aims to provide members with handpicked investment opportunities with strong management teams and a proven track record. It is also looking to provide online data rooms allowing potential investors to easily startup documentation prior closing. The club is a member of European Business Angels Network (EBAN) and works very closely with the UK Business Angel Association (UKBAA).

“My big, hairy, audacious goal is to institutionalise and professionalise African angel investing,” Obedih said. “This is a potentially a large market worth billions of dollars a year but it needs to be done right and to some extent be standardised, which is extremely hard to do on a pan-African scale.”

He said through working with partners he was optimistic NewGenAngels could provide adequate deal flow for investors to allow them to pool their money in companies they believed in.

Opportunities are introduced to investors through a variety of channels, including Investment Dinner Clubs, an Investment Bulletin delivered via email, and one-off direct placements.

The club does not take a percentage of any of the funds raised, and also has a flexible membership structure for individual investors, angel groups and corporations looking for strategic investments. It is also looking to utilise crowdfunding.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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