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Raising funds in emerging markets may not be a walk in the park, but the process has become easier. Though some have complained the current economic environment is not favourable to startups, the current mindset is favourable to good ideas – no matter where they are. For startups with global vision based in emerging markets, here are eight sources of capital to consider.
The US-based Venture Partners (USVP) has helped build great companies in the last three decades. Since its inception in 1981, USVP has invested more than US$2.7-billion in about 450 companies. After the investment the company’s partners have work with early-stage startups, many of which have become industry leaders. The majority of its investment activities fall into three categories: information technology, life science and technologies for adapting to or mitigating climate change.
USVP’s current focus include energy-related products and services, semiconductors, web-enabled services for businesses and consumers, storage, wireless communication, sustainable agriculture, biomedical devices and new drugs with profound social benefits.
Ignition is a venture capital firm that takes the angle of ensuring the best entrepreneurs seize opportunity.
The company works on turning an early-stage idea into a business. They provide functional advice and connections that allow startups to grow strategically to a global level, thus ensuring high returns for Ignition in the long-term.
Ignition invests in emerging and future leaders in communications, internet, software, and services across business and consumer targets. The company has invested in dozens of companies, including Socialeyes which was recently acquired by Facebook.
Sequoia Capital in the U.S. caters to the founders and managers. “We have learned that the only way to help develop a fabulous company is one step at a time. This only happens if the company makes wonderful products or delivers a service that thrills large numbers of customers,” explains the company. If the above requirements are in order, Sequoia believes the founders, management and employees of the company will prosper – and as a result makes strategic investment decisions when this criteria is met. Sequoia is eager to point out that there are no shortcuts to success.
The company has offices in the US, China, India and Israel. Sequoia has funded an unprecedented number of successful companies including Google, Yahoo, Paypal, Electronic Arts, NVIDIA, Cisco Systems, Oracle, Apple, YouTube, Admob and Zappos. Sequoia estimates that 19% of the NASDAQ’s value is made up of firms they have funded.
Invenfin describes itself as a seed and early stage venture capital fund. The company enjoys investments in all types of innovations across all sectors. This may involve a new product, process, software innovation, device, technology or particular business models.
The South African-based fund looks for profitable opportunities that can succeed globally. “We aim to provide early stage venture capital as well as the supporting skills and networks as well as strategic advice required by start-ups to increase their chances of success,” says Invenfin.
Hasso Plattner Ventures
Hasso Plattner Ventures backs young entrepreneurs with the successful transformation of their ideas into marketable products.
To date Hasso Plattner Ventures has successfully invested in 18 companies with accumulated revenues of more than half a million Euros.
Azione Capital is a venture capital firm based in Singapore focusing on early stage investments in the digital media, clean technology and telecommunications. The portfolio companies are geared towards Asian markets and beyond and is one of a minority of venture capital counties in emerging market regions.
In 2008 Nicholas Chan, executive director at the company famously remarked, “entrepreneurs who emphasise on their fancy education, hundreds of pages proposals, talkers-not-doers and trend-followers are filtered out right at the start.”
Mobius Venture Capital
Mobius Venture Capital is an early-stage venture capital fund comprised of seasoned veterans and entrepreneurs from leading technology companies who have hands-on operating experience to the companies in their portfolio. The company has 100 active portfolio companies.
Heidi Roizen, a managing director at the company says that VCs will not give all the money up front. It is important for startups to set milestones, and develop a relationship with a VC. At Mobius, VCs collect data on all portfolio companies on a weekly basis to best understand their companies, doing so to improve its companies’ performance according to Roizen.
4D Innovative Capital International Limited (4Di Capital)
4Di Capital is an early-stage capital investment company, with a particular emphasis on high-tech.
Though based in the USA, the company is focused on sourcing and funding promising technology, software, web, media and telecommunications prospects from the seed funding stage onwards, primarily in Southern Africa. 4Di Capital specifically seeks opportunities that have the potential to attain long-term sustainable profitability and be successful on a global stage.
4Di Capital says it aims to couple entrepreneurial thinking with established international venture capital methods in the under-serviced markets particularly in Southern Africa. This region has talent and potential, but lacks sufficient venture funding partners who are equipped with suitable capital, access to global networks and resources according to 4Di’s management.
To this end, the company has appointed exclusive advisors in South Africa, with offices in Cape Town, to enable engagement with investment opportunities locally providing investments with a a strategic mentoring and partnership approach.