After years of investing on his own, Nigerian angel investor Olumide Soyombo is launching his own venture to support African-based startup companies.
According to TechCrunch, Soyombo — a known high profile angel investor in Nigerian tech and African startups — today has announced the launch of Voltron Capital — a Pan-African venture capital firm co-founded with Abe Choi — which will invest in pre-seed and early-stage companies in Africa.
The outlet also reports that Soyombo’s goal for the new firm — which aims to start off with 30 startup investments — is to ultimately “address the severe lack of access to early-stage funding for African tech companies.” The investment sizes will range from $20,000 to $100,000 and focus on startups based in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and North Africa.
Soyombo is recognized as a prominent and influential figure in Nigeria’s tech ecosystem, as he has access to almost any important deals happening in the market on account of his respected reputation. Since starting his angel investor career in 2014, he’s invested in 33 startups to date — including Stripe-acquired Paystack and fintech company TeamApt.
In addition to investing his own money into startups based on their growth, the angel investor also takes it upon himself to invite friends and associates on board to contribute to funding rounds as well.
TechCrunch shares that this informal approach is what Soyombo hopes to make the norm by streamlining a structured format, in which each individual or organizational LPs can get access to his deal flow simultaneously and get capital distributed quicker.
For Soyombo, he believes that it’s his responsibility to bridge the gap in angel investing by connecting his corporate friends and colleagues — who don’t typically invest in tech and startups — to companies that need their money.
“There’s a bit of FOMO now. People, including high net worth individuals, tell me to carry them along anytime I’m investing, and then I have startups looking for capital as well,” he tells TechCrunch. “But then again, I’m not trying to get a full job by managing a full fund which is why we’ve structured it this way.”
Though Voltron Capital operates similarly to other seven-figure funds that target pre-seed and seed-stage African startups in Africa, the firm differs in the way it chooses to back founders. The fund will still embody Soyombo’s key investment tactic, which is “founders-first regardless of the industry.”
“I’m going to continue backing interesting entrepreneurs,” he says to TechCrunch. “So I think the investability of sectors, for me, is driven by quality entrepreneurs that are going to solve problems in that area.”
For more information about Voltron Capital, visit its website.