A startup pitch competition on Ilashe beach or a co-investment session meeting on a yacht. Welcome to Lagos, Nigeria, a hotbed of African tech startups and entrepreneurs.
Nigerian-American Maya Horgan Famodu is solving a big problem for Silicon Valley: Investors want to invest in Africa, but lack the know-how or local partners to help them get on the inside. Enter Famodu. She is the 26-year-old gatekeeper between tech investors and the Africa entrepreneur ecosystem.
Famodu describes the continent of Africa as the “last frontier market”. Raised in an entrepreneurial family between the US and Nigeria, Maya grew curious about how to redirect the surplus of capital and resources from the US to the continent. With her years of experience in private equity research, Maya learned early on the impact that an underdeveloped financial infrastructure has on a business, and created a way to bring the West and Africa together. She launched Ingressive as the problem solver. I reached out to Famodu to find out more.
Let’s start from the top. Why Africa?
I saw an opportunity to leverage international networks cultivated from a background in private equity research and within banking, and direct underutilized capital from the West to Africa’s most promising entrepreneurs and technology ecosystems. It was an easy sell once we got started: now is the time: valuations are a fraction of Silicon Valley assets with same traction yet hold equal if not greater upside as they’re pioneering industries with little competition. There is first movers’ advantage, and an opportunity to impact 1 billion African people.