Startups require capital to build, grow and expand. No matter how revolutionary a business idea is, if there is no funding to bring it to life, it would remain in the realm of imagination.
Running a business in Africa is laced with many challenges including that of funding. Many businesses die off because of this issue and hence financial investments are very necessary. EchoVc Partners is one of the Venture capital firms that fund businesses in Africa, offering a lifeline for growth and expansion. This post is an overview of Echovc Partners and its operations.
What is EchoVc Partners?
EchoVc Partners is a technology-focused early-stage Venture capital firm focused on unapologetically investing in women, underrepresented founders and underserved markets. The company backs bold ideas and business models that harness the power of technology to deliver value to mass markets. It invests in secrets that become obvious with the benefit of hindsight.
Why was Echovc Partners founded?
The company was founded out of the view that Africa was significantly underserved in digital technology and that it was clear that traditional sectors such as Agriculture, media, print, hospitality, transportation, education, financial services, and commerce would be reimagined and reinvented by technology and the internet. Most importantly, solutions for the 99% could be deployed at scale.
When was Echovc Partners founded?
Echovc Partners was founded in 2011 in Lagos.
Who is the CEO of EchoVc
Eghosa Omoigui is the founder and Managing General Partner of EchoVC Partners, EchoVC Pan-Africa Fund I, an Africa-focused early-stage tech VC fund & EchoVC+, an early-growth-stage Africa-focused VC platform in partnership with TPG Growth/TPG Rise Fund.
Eghosa worked with Intel for nearly 10 years and his last role at the company was as Intel Capital Director, Consumer Internet & Semantic Technologies. In this role, he served as a senior investment professional focused on platform-agnostic consumer, web services and digital media-based investment opportunities in the US, EU & Asia. He also drove ICap’s stage-agnostic investment focus on next-generation semantic technologies, AI, ML, smart data, AR and the real-time web. Eghosa was personally responsible for developing supporting theses and sourcing investment opportunities in various companies including AdMob, Jaiku, Powerset, Facebook, LinkedIn, Teracent, Qik and Pandora.
Eghosa has advised SWIFT (the inter-bank consortium) on technology innovation for financial services (InnoTribe). He is a member of the ASTIA Venture Advisory Board (an organization focused on mentoring and supporting women entrepreneurs). He was a winner of the Moss-Adams/ASTIA Women Entrepreneur Mentor of the Year award and is a Kauffman Fellowship and Pipeline Angel Fellowship Mentor.
EchoVc Partners’ business strategy
The strategy was to build a platform that would focus on serving the elite Africa-based technology entrepreneurs whose pleas for funding had gone unheard. The company identified three key segments that needed a valuable source of funding, mentorship and company building assistance:
- Preseed opportunities ($50k): Super interesting founding teams that could be just short of product-market fit but for whom small financing round would accelerate their quest for fit.
- Seed opportunities ($250-500k): Early but crystal clear product-market fit and small teams led by elite founders.
- Seed+ opportunities ($750k-1M): Rapidly growing revenues and meaningful financing support needed to fund mini-scaling.
EchoVc as part of its initial strategy also identified the need for a vehicle that would support post seed+ companies. This vehicle would offer financing up to $10-15m per company and EchoVc would lead or participate in rounds as required.
EchoVc is sector agnostic and currently invest from their offices in Africa, the US, and the UK.
Key investment stats
36 Companies (including unannounced rounds)
2k+ Employees employed by our portfolio companies
$41mm+ deployed, $21mm+ returned
12 Countries Echovc’s companies operate in:
Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, India, Pakistan, United States, United Kingdom, Germany.
The current portfolio comprises companies delivering value in the following sectors: Smart Planet, Health and Human Services, Emerging Fintech, The Next Frontier, Commerce, Media & Entertainment, Access to Energy, Sustainable Mobility, and Connectivity, among other themes.
The team, with over 80 years of combined experience and insights, is actively growing and supporting a portfolio built over the last decade. Echovc leads nearly all its deals, actively support founders and teams it has backed, and will always match their conviction.
The Portfolio of Echovc include:
Grow intelligence, Migo, Kukua, KxGlobal, Lifebank, Tofa, Frontier car group, FinAccess, Payjoy, Png.me, eBanqo, Kosa, Wapi pay, hotels.ng, Parallel wireless, Cellulant, Lori, Riby, Next Counsel, Printivo, WhereIsMyTransport, Ligare, Kangaroo Health, Systemone, ma3route,QuickBus, S&T media, NetPlusdotcom, Shoobs, Easyshop, HopexTv and World cover.
The EchoVc Partners investment process
I). The company invests with purpose, by identifying companies and sectors from market research, future economic opportunities and portfolio synergy. It is very intentional in its decision making. The decision-making process is summarised into 7 T’s: Team, Traction, Tech, Timing, Trenches and Theses.
ii). Investment is done in companies at different stages and cheques are written from Seed Stage to Series A/B. The company’s fund(s) cater to the diverse opportunities it sees in the market and represents its desire to support and finance entrepreneurs solving critical pain points in underserved markets and underserved opportunities.
iii) Echovc Partners look for solid teams and founders – those entrepreneurs who have strong convictions in the problems they are solving and the solutions they are offering. It places a heavy emphasis on investing in amazing founders with integrity since they are the heart of building outstanding businesses.
For any founders who want to engage with Echovc Partners, it is also important to know what you are looking for from EchoVC. Why have you sought Echovc out specifically? How can Echovc help you build out your dream?.
Echovc Partners is particularly interested in:
i. Founders from underrepresented backgrounds (ethnic minority or female founders).
ii. Value propositions that are addressing acute pain points for enterprises (B2B) or consumers (B2C), including for underrepresented consumer classes.
iii. Scalable business models and large Total Addressable Markets (TAM)
iv. At the very least, an MVP out in the market and some initial traction (Echovc will not fund companies in the idea stage).
v. Indications of unit economics that are working, or close to working.
How to apply for EchoVc Partners funding
Click the link and fill the online form at echovc.com/submit-a-proposal
Fill the contact form on the company’s website. Follow @echovc on Twitter.
Echovc Partners have been in operations for over 10 years and has a long portfolio of investments in innovative companies. If you are seeking funding for your business and fall into the criteria of businesses that Echovc funds, you should apply to get the much-needed funding for your business growth.