The Benin Business Angels Network (BBAN) has launched, bringing together local and diaspora entrepreneurs, investors and professionals to fund and offer support to Benin-based startups.
The launch of the network took place at the inaugural Early-Stage Startups Investment Conference (ESSIC) which took place in Benin earlier this month and brought together more than 120 participants to discuss ways of creating funding mechanisms for young startups.
One such way is the establishment of angel investor groups, which is happening across Africa under the auspices of the African Business Angel Network (ABAN). West Africa is seeing a number of developments in this regard, with recent launches of angel groups in Senegal and Togo, and now Benin has its first formal network.
BBAN launches with 15 founding members who have pledged, as a condition of their active individual membership, to invest an annual minimum of CFA2.5 million (US$4,300). Aside from providing capital to local startups, members will also provide mentorship and access to networks to help them scale. Its aim is to make its first investment by the end of May.
In further good news for Benin-based startups, the event also saw the launch of Noru Capital, an impact fund with a clear focus on early-stage companies. Spearheaded by local innovation hub EtriLabs, the evergreen fund will provide equity and quasi-equity financing to promising startups with great teams, product-market fit and scalable business models. Noru Capital will seek exits through larger funds or acquisition by larger companies.