All posts tagged Startup

Support HealthMobile this season on Indiegogo

HealthMobile is an android phone application focused on preventive healthcare solutions for Africa. The app also contains content that allows its usage in the global community feasible. The developers of HealthMobile is NIXIT, a technology start-up based in the city of Calabar in Cross River State Nigeria.

The company has today launched an Indiegogo Trust campaign to raise funds for the coming 2014 year. NIXIT is seeking to use funds raised from the campaign to make HealthMobile available on the Windows, Blackberry and iOS platforms, as well as to create a web server, that would make their content easily available through the web, on all devices.

IndHm

Perhaps most importantly though, the company is seeking to fund a ‘Symptom Checker’ app that it says would help users in Africa diagnose accurately between the top three water and air borne diseases in Africa, of which malaria is chief.

You can support this campaign, by visiting their Indiegogo page here. You can make contributions using your local ATM or debit card.

Contact the developers: nixithealthmobile@gmail.com or follow them on different platforms: TumblrFacebookTwitter or call: +2347030951502 for any further inquiries.

The Business of Start-up In Nigeria Is Brutal

Editor’s Note: Olumide Olusanya, Dr (@docolumide) is the Founder, CEO & Service Architect at Gloo.ng (@gloo_ng)

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat!” —Theodore Roosevelt.

Why would I be writing my very first blog post ever with such a long quote? It is because I have searched for over ten years—and will continue to search—but have not still found any other that best encapsulates the totality of what doing startups in Africa, and especially Nigeria, entails. To cut any portion of the quote out will take from it. Adding a single exclamation mark more will cause equal damage.

My purpose in choosing to begin to document some of my thoughts on this subject, similar to how others before me have started doing, is just so we can have a loudness of voices of DOERS in the technology ecosystem in Africa, and especially in Nigeria, to drown out the voices of the wingless fowls who have no farthing idea or clue as to what it REALLY means to do startups in Africa, and especially Nigeria.

I am not going to be talking about how to do startups following a Harvard MBA degree, as quite a number of the privileged “big guys” in this clime have. You begin to wonder if securing a foreign MBA that costs US$100,000+ and 18 months+ is the key qualification for doing something big in the tech space in Nigeria. US$100,000+ after discounting the costs of plane tickets, that is. (Why, by the way, would you go suffer, hunger, save and spend that much for such an education if you are already sold on the idea that tech business startup is WHAT you wanna do? Or is US$100,000+ not enough as starting point for a HUGE tech business?) Anyway, I would be flatly disqualified on that basis.

Neither am I going to be talking about doing startups with potentials for single digit million US$ exits. There is nothing exciting about that at all! No one deserves to face as much brutality and pain just for a single digit million US$ exit. Trust me—it is not worth the pain! (I dare say double digit million US$ exits too ain’t worth it as well.)

Furthermore, I will not be addressing this from the perspective of the professional critic whose only insight into doing startups in Africa is from what he gleans from binging on TechCrunch, PandoDaily, GigaOm and the like—most of which have no relevance WHATSOEVER to the very mortal nature of the combat of doing startups here in Africa. (You cannot even begin to guess how different and so far apart those startup terrains are from what obtains here in Africa, and especially Nigeria.)

And it will not be from the angle of the Conference Junkie—or Conference Hoe, if you prefer—the wannaprenuer, the guy whose face you ALWAYS see at all those shitty conferences that have no semblance of having anything to do with technology business or startups on this side of the world.

Finally, I will not be doing this from the vista of the dude who is usually the one you see on that stage at every Demo Day that is happening in town. Yes, you know yourself.

So whose perspective will it be from? Stay tuned…for my next blog post in the new year 2014—the year of THE Gloo!

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of OTEKBITS.

A Christmas Opportunity For Tech Entrepreneurs – 88mph

While average people are using the holidays to enjoy family and down time, entrepreneurs just cant seem to sit still.

If you would like something to do, and you’ve got an exciting, scalable mobile or web idea, 88mph would love to hear from you. Applications for the Cape Town 2014 program are still open for the next 7 days.

Apply here for funding with your startup idea.

Merry Christmas.

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Find And Activate Nigerian Angel Investors

Editor: Francis Onwumere is co-founder and president of Prowork, a project management and collaboration solution for businessYou can follow him on twitter at @digitalcraft

I was lucky to have front row seat during Augie Rakow’s session at the Venture Out Challenge in Moldova. Venture Out focused on giving entrepreneurs the resources and skills necessary to internationalize their startup.

As expected, the question of funding required to scale a startup was on the horizon, Augie, having worked with over 100 startups, angels and venture firms to close investment rounds in Silicon Valley, gave insights from his experience.

SEE ALSO: Foreign VC Will Dominate Nigeria For A While, Here’s Why

In his talk, 10 observations on New Venture Finance, Augie expounded on 10 points, while observation number 4 struck me as Deja Vu – it still had untapped potency.

Network with venture backed CEOs and raise seed money from them.

Was this guy talking about Jason Njoku and SPARK? Must be. Or are there other Jasons (CEOs) and SPARKs (angels) in Nigeria? This got me thinking.

So who else do we have? There’s Tayo Oviosu of Paga (CEO) and He’s already done one angel investment- Yswara, a luxury african tea company in South Africa. Tayo may not be doing a SPARK but he has invested once and he will invest again.

Chika Nwobi of L5Labs- He’s done Jobberman, Cheki, etc. Chika has invested and he will invest again.

There are more out there. Startups spend a long time educating investors, and this is how it should be. But mostly as you don’t have that much time to spare, talking with CEOs of tech companies who already get your business model would save you precious time. Time to investment.

And there are other venture backed CEOs out there. I think we need to find them and activate them.

So I thought the best way to find them is to crowd source the information. I created a hackpad called Venture Backed Tech CEOs in Africa that we can collaboratively edit. I already put in the names of some of the people I mentioned above, and I hope you can find time to add other CEOs whose names belong in there and make that very important list.

Find them. Activate them.

As seen on TechCabal

What You Need To Know About Startup Funding Rounds – Series A and B

venture round is a type of funding round used for venture capital financing, by which startup companies obtain investment, generally from venture capitalists and other institutional investors. The availability of venture funding is among the primary stimuli for the development of new companies and technologies.

Series A Funding

Series A Preferred Stock is the first round of stock offered during the seed or early stage round by a portfolio company to the venture capitalist. Series A preferred stock is convertible into ordinary shares in certain cases such as an Initial Public Offer or the sale of the company. Series A rounds are a critical stage in the funding of new companies.

A typical Series A round is in the range of $2 million to $10 million, purchases 20% to 40% of the company, and is intended to capitalize the company for 6 months to 2 years as the company develops its products, performs initial marketing and branding, hires its initial employees, and otherwise undertakes early stage business operations.

Jobberman is one company that fits this shoe. Because there are no public exchanges listing their securities, private companies meet venture capital firms and other private equity investors in several ways, including warm referrals from the investors’ trusted sources and other business contacts; investor conferences and symposia; and summits where companies pitch directly to investor groups in face-to-face meetings.

Smaller investment amounts are not worth the legal and financial expense, the burden on a company of adjusting its capital structure to serve new investors, and the analysis and due diligence on the part of institutional investors. A company that needs money for operations but is not yet ready for venture capital will typically seek angel capital. Larger amounts are usually unwarranted given the cost of business in fields such as software, data services, telecommunications, and so on.

However, there are routinely Series A rounds in excess of $10 million in fields such as pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, and real estate development. There are many Series A rounds in other business contexts, underwritten by investment banks, corporate investors, angel investors, public agencies, and others, that do not often receive press coverage. They all share a similar legal and financial framework, but specific terminology, deal terms, and investment practices vary according to business customs within different countries, business sectors, investor communities, and geographical regions.

Series B Funding

Because the company will generally have advanced its business by the time of the B-round financing, it will typically have a higher valuation by this time. This means that the Series B investor will usually pay a higher price for investing in the company than the Series A investor. Private equity investors prefer convertible preferred stock to common stock for the various financing rounds because of the special features of preferred stock, such as dividend accrual and anti-dilution, that may not be available in common stock.

As seen on Tech 360

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VOD Platform iROKOtv Raises $8Mn In Series D

 iROKOtv, the Africa-based movie platform for Nigerian movies, known colloquially as ‘Nollywood’, today announces a funding round of $8Mn, led by existing investor Tiger Global, with further participation from Sweden-based Kinnevik and introducing new investor to this round, US-based Rise Capital. This brings the total raised to $21Mn, arguably making iROKOtv one of the most well funded internet companies in Africa today.

iROKOtv is the leading Video-on-Demand (VOD) platform for African content and following the announcement of the $8Mn investment, the company will continue to focus its attention on growing traffic, content curation and building a platform-agnostic distribution system for its 1Mn monthly users.

To-date, the capital raised by iROKOtv has been used to acquire content, expand the London-based tech team, develop mobile websites and applications and open offices in London, New York and Johannesburg, alongside the company’s Lagos headquarters. iROKOtv now holds the world’s largest online catalogue of African content, with over 5,000 movies.

The new capital will be channeled at building and transitioning the company’s audience from a primarily Diaspora base to an African base, as well as migrating from a largely ad supported model to more subscription service. Currently, 50% of iROKOtv’s audience is located in the UK and US alone, but with the continent coming online, demand for homegrown multi-platform video content is rising fast. There will also be a renewed focus on monetizing iROKOtv’s catalogue through its SVOD service, iROKOtv PLUS, as well as through its strategic distribution partnerships with global airlines and TV channels.

Jason Njoku, CEO and co-founder says: “The $8Mn raised by Tiger Global, Kinnevik and Rise Capital will further fuel our expansion and help us to realise our long term goal of becoming one of Africa’s preeminent media companies. We started life three years ago as a Nollywood content aggregator on a YouTube channel and today we find ourselves with a VC-backed dedicated VOD platform, watched in 178 countries around the world, with one million unique visitors a month. These metrics were achieved with hard work from a great international team and today’s news allows us to continue in the same vein and accelerate our growth.”

Bastian Gotter, COO and co-founder says: “We have forged a niche in African movie programming and captured people’s imagination in terms of bringing previously unobtainable yet popular content, loved by millions, to a global audience on an awesome platform. This additional capital allows us to consolidate our position as VOD market leaders for Africa, invest in tech, content and infrastructure and, importantly, we are now in a position to become profitable by 2015, which is an extraordinary feat for any start-up, let alone an African VOD one like ours.”

Today’s announcement also sees a new investor, Rise capital, brought into the funding series, with Gotter adding: “Nazar’s guidance as our first outside investor and active board member has significantly helped our development as a company, so we are excited to strengthen this relationship with him and the Rise Capital team. We look forward to continuing to benefit from their global investment expertise.”

Nazar Yasin, Managing Partner of Rise Capital says: “We are very pleased to participate in this round of financing alongside Kinnevik and my former colleagues at Tiger Global. Having worked with Jason, Bastian and the team since their early days, we at Rise Capital look forward to continuing to help them scale their content acquisition and distribution channels and secure their positioning as Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest and most impactful media company.

Mia Brunell Livfors, President and Chief Executive Officer of Kinnevik adds: “This latest funding round for iROKOtv is testament to the fact that Kinnevik continues to support them on their journey to becoming one of Africa’s most exciting and far-reaching media companies”.

On 1 July 2012, iROKOtv introduced a subscription service (SVOD) to its site, iROKOtv PLUS, where for $5 a month, subscribers are the first to access the 12 brand new movies uploaded onto the site every month. The iROKOtv PLUS business is currently growing rapidly and is now the largest single source of revenue for the company, revealing that more consumers are willing to pay for quality content. 95% of content on iROKOtv continues to be free and is supported by an advertising (AVOD) business model.

iROKOtv has aggregated the world’s largest online Nollywood catalogue, now standing at 5,000+ movies and the company has been credited by for pioneering VOD for Africa and African continent. Coined by the media as the ‘Netflix of Africa’, iROKOtv has successfully disrupted and reorganised the multi-million dollar Nigerian movie industry’s distribution infrastructure.

Source – iROKO Press

5 More Co-Creation Hub Based Start-ups Pitch At The Tony Elumelu Foundation

Last Wednesday, 5 startups from the Co-Creation Hub gathered at the Tony Elumelu Foundation at Ikoyi to pitch their solutions  in other to get feedback and funding.

The startups include:

Church+

ChurchPlus is a comprehensive, simple and easy to use church management application that makes church data administration a breeze from relationship management and building to Church performance analysis.

Nearest Locator

Is a location based mobile app that helps you easily and accurately find nearest places to you; places like: ATMs, Banks, Eateries, Hospitals, Pharmacies, Police Stations, Events and Promos/deals etc., closest to you, with their detailed information like contact info and location on map.

500 shops

An platforms that gives retailers the ability to sell online with ease while managing inventory and other hassle like hosting, logistics, and other fulfilment services at different pricing packages. This can be compared to Shopify.

Truppr

Truppr helps you organise and find team mates to enjoy your favourite sport with, in cities around the world. It is currently a web app, but to release its mobile version soon.

SportDEY

SportsDEY is a brand new Sports website that gives you the juiciest sports lifestyle news, in depth match analysis and opinion, latest scores and results, and a platform to share your views.

Here are some of the moments from the event with the photographs below:

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About Tony Elemelu Foundation

The Tony Elumelu Foundation is an African-based, African-funded philanthropic organisation. Founded in 2010, our mission is to support entrepreneurship in Africa by enhancing the competitiveness of the African private sector.

Online Retail Site BuyNowNow.com Acquired

BuyNowNow.com, a Nigerian online retailing site owned by Mayowa Owolabi has been acquired earlier today. Mayowa Owolabi announced that the deal has been closed and necessary acquisition documents has been signed but he refused to disclosed the buyer but promised to send proper press release later in a chat.

We hear another online store was acquired along with BuyNowNow but we keep our finger crossed as story unfold.

Developing…

About BuyNowNow

Launched in December 2010, buynownow is a Nigerian online marketplace that brings buyers and sellers together to trade almost anything through fixed price sales.

Verge Now Offering SaaS Business Intelligence Solution

Verge, a fully scale SaaS Business Intelligence solution recently launched by technology entrepreneur and developer, Francis Osifo, aims at giving businesses full control and insight into operations of their entire business process and chain.

According to the founder, having seen the many challenges that businesses face including: problems with inventory management, loss of inventory and revenue generated from sales to theft, and lack of the necessary infrastructure and in-depth business performance and analysis report to enable business owners make more informed data driven decisions, there was a need for a solution like Verge.

Here are some use cases for Verge:

Do you have POS terminals?

Verge seamlessly integrated to the POS terminals of all your outlets and sync’s the data with the Verge cloud service ensuring you have access to manage and control your business wherever you are.

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No basic infrastructure?

Verge’s strategic partnerships with hardware(Laptop, mobile, tablet) and data partners ensures you have the required resources to get started immediately in ensuring you enjoy the immense benefits of Verge.

Don’t have POS terminals?

Relax; as Verge can act as your POS terminal generating receipts and controlling the sales process. Verge automates the entire transaction flow of your business.

inventory

Have several Outlets to manage?

Verge allows you to create multiple outlets, warehouses, users, products etc while allowing you to determine where they fit into your business operations.

Want to move content to/from Verge

Verge allows you to seamlessly import and export customer, transaction and product information making the process of dealing with large dataset
a breeze.

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With Verge, common operations such as managing, controlling and planning the direction of your business is guaranteed to be easy, fast,and virtual. It is also quite affordable with three different pricing offers – basic(N2000), complete(N5000), and premium(N7500) monthly subscriptions.

More information available at Verge.com.ng

VC4Africa Hosts 25-City Meetups For Global Entrepreneurship Week

VC4Africa believes entrepreneurship development in Africa can be accelerated when we are able to connect a global network of knowledge and capital. As part of this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week (November 18th – 24th), the community initiates a global conversation on African entrepreneurship on Thursday November 21.

Members from around the globe are taking the initiative to host a meetup in their own town on Thursday November 21. These informal networking meetings bring together local networks of entrepreneurs, angels and VC investors eager to be part of the continent’s next great success story. These local meetups are also a chance for engagement, otherwise the individuals who have yet to get involved in the African entrepreneurship ecosystem in a meaningful way.

Meetups have been confirmed in over 20 cities, all over the world including: Accra, Addis, Alexandria, Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Cairo, Chicago, Johannesburg, Kampala, Lagos, Lille, London, Los Angeles, Nairobi, New York, and Silicon Valley. Full list of meetup cities can be found and registered for here.