THESCATHGROUP, a team of tech enthusiasts in Kaduna, is offering tech entrepreneurs from northern Nigeria with funding and advisory companies to convey their concepts to life.
Oluwajimi Akitunde is not any stranger to rising a enterprise. Fresh out of Ahmadu Bello University, he began to work on constructing a logistics enterprise earlier than he stopped attributable to a data hole that affected their skill to scale. Six years later, he co-founded THESCATHGROUP(TSC) in Kaduna the place he lives, a hybrid VC that’s offering early-stage funding & advisory for tech entrepreneurs from northern Nigeria.
While the tech group in northern Nigeria has seen some development since 2016, there are loads of distinctive challenges that entrepreneurs from the area face in attempting to scale, together with a scarcity of infrastructure and investor bias. Unlike the tech scene in states like Lagos, which is now the face of the nation’s thriving ecosystem, startups in northern Nigerian states are nonetheless struggling to persuade buyers that they exist.
“Many investors are based in Lagos and are more likely to invest in startups based in the southern part of the country,” Surayyah Ahmad, an early-stage investor at TechTankLabs wrote. “This bias has made it difficult for startups in the North to secure funding, even if they have promising ideas and strong teams.”
According to Akitunde, they’ve had instances the place they reached out to buyers or companions and as quickly as they realised that TSC operates from Kaduna, they grew to become hesitant.
“Thriving tech hubs like Lagos that they’re enthusiastic about now, only exist because a group of people took the bet on them and we need to extend this to other places,” Akitunde shared.
When requested why buyers are hesitant to put money into the North, Akitunde shared that he believes it’s primarily an curiosity situation and buyers are hardly ever excited by a lot that’s occurring exterior Lagos. He is nevertheless assured that the area has immense potential which is being ignored.
“Northern Nigeria holds two-thirds of the country’s population so there’s a lot of potential for talent and also as the target market. It does have its challenges but the only way to overcome them is to build through,” Akitude stated to TechCabal over a name.
TSC to date has supplied ten founders in Northern Nigeria with some capital to kickstart operations. However, it’s trying to elevate funding to help much more and write bigger cheque sizes of at the least $50K to $100K for the typical 7.5% they count on in return. Their portfolio companies span throughout mobility, agritech, and fintech, and most of them are kicking off properly. Akitunde shared that though their agency receives loads of functions, funds are restricted so that they are solely capable of write cheques for a couple of.
Beyond funding, the agency offers consultations and group for entrepreneurs, two issues that are vital for early founders. Community is one of the explanations the northern ecosystem has grown to this stage, nevertheless it does want much more. In 2016, Daser David and Hyginus Horson based nHub in Jos, northern Nigeria’s first tech and innovation hub. Sanusi Ismail based CoLab a yr later. These two hubs supplied 1000’s of younger individuals within the north with the data and group required to take their pursuits in expertise severely. More than 10,000 tech skills have gone by nHub and members of CoLab have gone forward to grow to be world-class expertise working at international firms and constructing their very own pan-African startups.
While there are a quantity of buyers in Northern Nigeria, they like to put money into conventional companies as investing in early-stage tech startups just isn’t as in style and consequently doesn’t encourage sufficient belief. This is a component of the work that TSC does. They have a hub in partnership with Afrilabs the place they host month-to-month group occasions for individuals in and out of doors the ecosystem to satisfy, be taught and community.
“This has been useful in bringing people together to learn about the work that is being done and collaborate,” Akitunde shared.
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…. to be continued
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