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Rising Tide Africa, a Lagos-based women-oriented investment group, will this year establish a Pan-African fund, co-founder Olayemi Keri has said.
Keri (pictured above), who founded Rising Tide Africa in 2016 with Ndidi Nnoli Edozien, told Ventureburn last December that the organisation will this year also look to close more deals.
A slide deck Keri sent to Ventureburn shows that once the fund is operational, a nine-person investment committee will screen, analyse and vote on investments.
Rising Tide Africa — which was founded in 2016 by Olayemi Keri and Ndidi Nnoli Edozien — made its first investments last year
Keri explained today (8 January), that the Rising Tide Africa (RTA) Fund will be primarily focused on early-stage investments in digitally and tech-enabled small businesses and startups that have the potential to scale-up their activities as well as give financial returns and make a significant impact on the continent.
“The focus of RTA is to bring about a quantitative and qualitative return to improving the lives and lifestyles on the African continent,” she said. Keri however did not disclose how big the fund will be, and when it is likely to be operational.
In addition, she said this year, Rising Tide Africa will also hold “more structured” mentoring sessions for investees and other women entrepreneurs, as well as set up an education platform.
As of last November, Rising Tide Africa had a total of 32 members. Membership, Keri explained, is by referral from an existing member.
She also explained that one of the main challenges facing the organisation is around scheduling time for Rising Tide Africa’s activities. “Most of the women have their day jobs so the scheduling of mentoring sessions or other meetings becomes difficult,” she said.
‘Succeeded in creating deal flow’
The other challenge facing Rising Tide Africa, she also pointed out, is around creating a pipeline of deals for the investment network to invest in.
“It took us a while but we have succeeded in creating a flow,” she said. Keri said in 2018 — its first year of investing — the investment network invested a total of $100 000 in three companies which include include US and Lagos-based fintech Mines.io as well as Lagos-based WiFi tech startup Versecom.
Rising Tide Africa aims to make between five and 10 investments annually. Although the investment network’s focus is sector-agnostic, the organisation has a preference for tech and tech enabled businesses.
In addition, the investment network also focuses on investments that have a social impact, with investment sizes ranging between $10 000 to $500 000, with a capital duration of between three and seven years.
Featured image: Rising Tide Africa co-founder Olayemi Keri (Yemi Keri via Twitter)