Guest Contributor | Jan 17, 2023 | 0
Angel investors on the hunt for innovative startups
The Namibia Business Angel Network (NABAN) recently hosted its first pitch event in Windhoek, where four founder teams were selected to pitch before the network of angel investors for investment.
The event attracted an audience of investors, Startups and external stakeholders from both the private and public sectors.
NABAN received over 90 applications for the pitch event. Following a diligent pre-selection process, four promising start-ups who are working to innovate the Mobility, Health, Retail and information technology sectors were chosen: Tetranologie Mobility – a company developing smart and protective headgear for the micro-mobility sector; DigiHealth Solutions – a company that creates software for healthcare providers to improve efficiency and collaboration; EasyShop Mobile Marketing, a company focused on building Africa’s first super app to connect the continent’s physical retail ecosystem and Pulsar Electronics – a company that has developed an electric pre-paid smart meter and Wi-Fi router which provides smart, efficient metering and solves internet penetration problems in Southern Africa at the same time.
All Startups are convinced with their proven, innovative business model, initial traction and a strong dedication to bringing their business to the next level. At the event, all founders had 3 minutes to pitch, which was followed by 5 minutes of Q & A. The twelve NABAN members asked questions on the viability, scalability, regulatory framework within which the Startups operate and issues around intellectual property, screening the Startups carefully.
However, unlike witnessed in shows such as ‘Shark Tank’ the Namibian Angels did not have to make an investment decision on the spot. They are given max. 24 hours to express interest in which Startup they would like to invest in if any. NABAN will then facilitate the due diligence process and investment negotiations. If successful, the Startups will receive a cash injection from the angels in exchange for a stake in the Startup. The new shareholders will then also act as strategic partners to the founders, supporting them for example with strategy advice, and contacts and helping with important negotiations.
Chairperson of NABAN, Josephat Mwatotele commented after the event:” The quality of both ideas being communicated and the presentations showed a remarkable improvement from other pitch nights that I have attended. It was a very encouraging event for the local startup scene.”
The NABAN angels, some of whom are successful entrepreneurs themselves, understand that early-stage funding such as angel investing is the door-opener for Startups. It helps them to fine-tune their business model, acquire first clients, form partnerships and generate revenue.
“NABAN plays a critical role in the development of the local start-up ecosystem. Not only does angel investing fill a widely recognized funding gap in the local market by providing needed early-stage capital, but it also helps the Startups g in the form of mentoring and access to various business networks. These factors often play an even bigger role in the success of a start-up.” said Mwatotele.
Gideon de Klerk of DigiHealth Solutions Namibia commented on the state of early-stage funding in Namibia: “Before NABAN, we haven’t been able to secure funding through angel investors as it was difficult to make contact with them. So this pitch event was our first real opportunity. It would be great if this incentive could continue for start-ups – it empowers people to start fresh ideas and create job opportunities.”