KAIN partners with Investment Clubs to invest between $10k – $100k in Uganda’s early-stage startups

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Yesterday, Kampala Angel Investors Network – KAIN, launched KAIN DEAL Day. They are organizing it with support from Africa Business Angels Network – which KAIN is already a part of.

According to CK Japheth, from KAIN, this is a “quarterly engagement between investors and entrepreneurs with a view of investing in early-stage entrepreneurs”.

“[This is a collection of] select investment clubs that are tired of traditional investment options of land and property. We haven’t deliberately recruited investors but have been overwhelmed by the interest making the move inevitable,” CK Japheth

The event will see, as Japheth put it, “select investment clubs that are tired of traditional investment options of land and property” invest between $10,000 to $100,000 in a couple of early-stage startups that’ll have a chance to face the investors and come out successful.

Founded in 2016, KAIN has been engaging different investment clubs to interest them in investing in early-stage startups. An area many had ignored due to the high risk associated with it, preferring the traditional modes of investment like Agriculture and real-estate.

Given that different communities and ecosystems have different understanding and meaning of different words and phrases. We, therefore, asked Japheth to clarify on what, as KAIN, they imply by early-stage startups, to which he said that they are “recently founded startups looking with proof of concept preferably with some capital”.

Currently, they don’t have a complete and final list of startups to face the investors for the deal day. However, Japheth is positive that this isn’t the biggest challenge as they “have criteria of application and all Entrepreneurs will be vetted before they meet investors. The business and operating model must be viable”.

On top of that, KAIN is currently planning to enrol various entrepreneurs in their master classes to get them investor ready.

“Most of them are not yet ready to face up with investors. We shall run Masterclasses before the Deal day and select the first 10 that will get a chance to meet our angel investors,” CK Japheth said.

KAIN has been open to applications from entrepreneurs and startups looking for funding since 2016. So far, they have over 40 applications. Though, they are looking at more applications.

“We have received applications from 43 since 2016. And are still calling for more since this is quarterly,” CK Japheth.

Though Japheth did not disclose who the investment clubs are, he informed us that they are 10 in number. And, they are looking at invest in with ticket sizes ranging from $10,000 – $100,000 per startup. Though, he added that a current collaboration with BiD Network might see that figure go higher.

“We are looking at anywhere between $10,000 to $100,000 but our recent collaboration with BidNetwork means we have access to their Angels who are looking to invest up to $2.5M,” CK Japheth.

KAIN isn’t the first to organize a deal day on the continent. In 2016, Nigeria’s Lagos Angel Network launched their quarterly Deal Day. However, little is known about the impact. Others are already doing it but behind closed doors. (See also: Why BMCE’s AEAwards launched an Angel Investors Network, African Entrepreneurship Angels).

It should, however, be noted that investment, not only from angels, is an entirely new concept in Africa. A continent where most people started businesses for subsistence rather than commercial purposes. This implies that one had to plan with what they had at their disposal.

Yet, it is interesting how it is fast becoming part of the daily vocabulary. But, it also seems the rate is as fast as the demand. For example, despite the fact that Africa Business Angel Network has over 60 members (some actually inactive), very few have registered tangible successes. Those few being Cairo Angels in Egypt, whose investment in Orcas last year was their 20th and Viktoria Ventures in Kenya who made their first investment last year.

Though, one would argue that actually, even the results being achieved by Cairo angels could be accrued to the fact that it is also a member of the Middle East Angel Investment Network (MAIN).

In June last year, David van Dijk, the Director-General of African Business Angel Network, in his “A Look At The State Of Angel Investing In Africa” argued that “it is still early days for angel investing in Africa” and admitted that the “Capital deployed is marginal”. Which is true.

But, we need to get past launching angel networks and start closing deals as well as establishing solid mentorship programs to help the entrepreneurs.

According to ABAN, Uganda has 4 angel investment networks; Angels Initiative Uganda, Kampala Angel Investment Network (KAIN), Uganda Business Angels Network (UBAN) and Jamani Ventures. However, some are not active (something David van Dijk admitted), while others – like Angels Initiative – pivoted their business model. In fact, in the past year, you can’t point beyond among the active ones.

This Deal Day will shine a light on Angel Investment not only in Uganda but Africa. However, it shouldn’t be the end in itself. There should be tangible results out of it.

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