Newly launched Benin Business Angels Network to make five deals this year

Featured image: EtriLabs CEO Senam Beheton (Supplied)

The newly launched Benin Business Angels Network (BBAN) is looking to invest in three to five Beninese tech startups this year — with the first deal to be concluded at the end of this month, EtriLabs CEO and BBAN founding member Senam Beheton has revealed.

BBAN was launched last month in the port city of Cotonou, at the EtriLabs-organised inaugural Early-Stage Investment Conference (ESSIC) which took place on 9 and 10 April. The creation of the network was spearheaded by Etrilabs.

The network’s 15 founding members include local entrepreneurs, investors and individuals from the diaspora. BBAN is led by Medea Degbe, the former director general of Benin Telecoms Services.

Prospective BBAN members will among other things have to commit to invest $4300 per year in one or many startups

Beheton (pictured above) told Ventureburn on Monday (13 May) that syndicate groups who form part of the network, are expected to invest between $15 000 and $100 000 in seed funding for between 5% and 15% equity to help startups in the country grow quickly.

He pointed out that the network will initially focus on investing in startups in the fintech, edtech, software-as-a-service (SaaS), mobile, agritech and renewable energy sectors. Thereafter the selection will extend to other sectors, he added.

The network, he said, will work with local accelerators and incubators to source potential investments. This, while the network will also launch calls for startups on a rolling basis.

In addition, network members will also actively participate in demo days and pitch sessions to identify promising startups.

Beheton pointed out that the network won’t stop at just investing startups, as it intends to organise events to raise awareness and showcase startups that BBAN invests in.

“Members will support startups by giving access to their networks, share experience, mentor and provide technical assistance to founders,” he pointed out.

Members to commit to invest $4300 annually

To join BBAN, individuals have to apply for membership or be sponsored by current members. In addition, they will also have to commit to invest at least 2.5 million CFA francs ($4300) a year in one or more startups.

Beheton said the network has so far raised $64 500 from member contributions.

It’s not all about money though, as members will be expected to invest their time and expertise with the network’s investees.

Members will also be required to commit to attending pitch sessions and participate in demo days.

Applications to join BBAN, said Beheton, will be examined according to the applicant’s ability to invest, motivations, vision and morality.

He said an interview will also be held with BBAN’s board of directors before a decision is made.

Featured image: EtriLabs CEO Senam Beheton (Supplied)

Daniel Mpala


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