Waterhole – Savannah Fund http://www.pccmworld.com Tue, 10 Jan 2017 11:59:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.4 The Importance of Financial Statements for Startups in Africa http://www.pccmworld.com/2017/01/09/the-importance-of-financial-statements-for-startups-in-africa/ http://www.pccmworld.com/2017/01/09/the-importance-of-financial-statements-for-startups-in-africa/#respond Mon, 09 Jan 2017 14:05:45 +0000 http://www.pccmworld.com/?p=9359 One among the reasons why startups failed or unable to continue their business further is the non- presentation of financials and book keeping. We all know that the main criteria when performing due diligence before investing in a fundraising round is the verification of financials statements (Historical vs. Actual), metrics (CAC, margins, traffics, revenues, burn out, etc..), performing financials analysis and overall corporate governance.

Entrepreneurs always want to know what investors will look for in the companies they will be funding. Other than looking at the basic information of a company’s product and business model, historical financials are key supporting documents investor require in their underwriting process.

 

Reason why many companies failed during the due diligence process is because the entrepreneur is unable to produce financials evidences.

As an entrepreneur, you’re running fast, lean, and you’re resource-strapped. Having your financials cleaned up and organized in a certain way may not be your top priority. Plus, you may not have yet set up your accounting function.

But to be able to fundraise effectively, you’ll need to get your company’s financials in-order so that the potential investors can have an overview of the business and can digest the information quickly and easily. Not only are sound financial documents used for your terms and pricing, they also indicate how savvy you are as an entrepreneur, and how well you understand and operate your business function. Good book keeping helps you fundraise in the long run, and direct your business strategy.

Below are common issues we have noticed that prevent startups producing sound financials:

  1. Many Startups do not use accounting software.

Using accounting software helps you keep your income and expenses (Chart of Accounts) organized in a central repository. We often see early stage companies tracking financials in Excel. This may be fine when your business is just starting out and you’re not sharing detailed financial info with third parties, such as a VC, investor or lender. But as an investor, we need to be able to verify and reconcile your numbers from your bank statements, which creates extra effort for both parties. Using an industry-accepted accounting software package make verification and reconciliation a much more straightforward process.

QuickBooks (either Online or Desktop) is a recommended accounting software to early stage tech entrepreneurs. It’s a low-cost solution that is easy to use, and includes great features- allowing you to centralize payroll, bill paying, and tax filing capabilities.

  1. Projections are being sent, but no real financial data.

Investors always like to see actual financial statements instead of projections. Projections from early startups are 75% wrong since they have not yet penetrated the markets and their products are still not marketable. Historical figures are also very important. Presenting actual financials statements vs. historical financial statements ease the process of comparison.

  1. Incorrect financials.

Very often, when reviewing financials, they are just incorrect. The inaccuracy comes from mismatches between the accounting line items and the accounting method. When building up your financials, you should make an early decision whether you want to adopt cash or accrual accounting basis. The biggest distinction between the two is the timing in recognizing revenue. We have notice that the level of materiality errors are very high and errors in calculation of depreciation and revenues (According to the principle, revenues are recognized when they are realized or realizable, and are earned – usually when goods are transferred or services rendered, no matter when cash is received.

 

  1. Monthly financials are not generated.

Early Startups can produce financials on a quarterly or yearly basis especially when the business may not have much variability month-over-month. But, when you see that the business start scaling and seeking outside capital, monthly financials reporting is very important to investors. It shows that you are monitoring your business closely, and adopting the best accounting practice.

  1. Financials and Metrics are mixed up.

We have notice that many Startups mixed their financials and metrics. This is a bad practice since the metrics show the operational side of a business and the financials show the accounting side of the same business. Both reporting should be done separately and expenses are treated separately. For example, depreciation, accruals, provisions and prepayments are recorded in financial statements and not in metrics reporting. Metrics reporting should be sent on a monthly basis.

 


What investors want to see!

The purpose of financial statements is to communicate the state of affairs of your business. The three most common and important financial statements for a startup or any businesses are:

 

Balance Sheet. Balance Sheet A balance sheet is a financial statement that summarizes a company’s assets, liabilities and shareholders’ equity at a specific point in time. These three balance sheet segments give investors an idea as to what the company owns and owes, as well as the amount invested by shareholders. A number of ratios can be derived from the balance sheet, helping investors get a sense of how healthy a company is. These include the debt-to-equity ratio, working capital Ratio and the acid-test ratio, along with many others.

 

Income Statement. A summary of a management’s performance as reflected in the profitability (or lack of it) of an organization over a certain period. It itemizes the revenues and expenses of past that led to the current profit or loss, and indicates what may be done to improve the results. In contrast to a balance sheet, an income statement depicts what happened over a month, quarter, or year. It is based on a fundamental accounting equation (Income = Revenue – Expenses) and shows the rate at which the owners equity is changing for better or worse. Along with balance sheet and cash flow statement it forms the basic set of financial information required to manage an organization.

 

Decisive interpretation of the statement requires complete accounting of income, direct and indirect expenses, manufacturing expenses and other costs associated with operations of businesses, so as to determine the correct profitability. It is always advisable to account all transactions on chronological basis and the income statement should be prepared on monthly, quarterly and on an annual basis. This will help in assessing the financial implication of your strategies on the business.

 

Cash Flow Statement. This statement is a summary of the actual or anticipated incomings and outgoings of cash in a firm over an accounting period (month, quarter, year).

It answers the questions:

  • Where the money came (will come) from?
  • Where it went (will go)?

Cash flow statements assess the amount, timing, and predictability of cash-inflows and cash-outflows, and are used as the basis for budgeting and business-planning.

The accounting data is presented usually in three main sections:

  1. Operating-activities (sales of goods or services),
  2. Investing-activities (sale or purchase of an asset, for example), and
  3. Financing-activities (borrowings, or sale of common stock, for example).

Together, these sections show the overall (net) change in the firm’s cash-flow for the period the statement is prepared.

Lenders and potential investors closely examine the cash flow resulting from the operating activities.

One important example that I want to share: when a company makes a sale on credit this will be reflected as revenue in the profit and loss statement but the actual cash on that would be collected later. Thus, it will not be reflected in the cash flow statement. It is always advisable that cash statement should be prepared on a monthly basis to check the cash position at the end of each month for adequacy to meet the cash requirements for the following month.

What Savannah Fund is offering…

Savannah Fund has launched its Virtual CFO Services in October 2016 – e SABU and is offering a wide range of services on preparing financial statements, operational reporting techniques, enable startups to better understand their business and consequently make better business decisions for growth across Africa and become more globally competitive and many more services.

To learn more, please connect on http://www.pccmworld.com/2016/10/07/announcing-e-sabu-cfo-service-and-govervance-platform-for-africa-tech-startups/#.WHM53FN96M8

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Press Release: Announcing e SABU CFO Service and Governance Platform for Africa Tech Startups http://www.pccmworld.com/2016/10/07/announcing-e-sabu-cfo-service-and-govervance-platform-for-africa-tech-startups/ http://www.pccmworld.com/2016/10/07/announcing-e-sabu-cfo-service-and-govervance-platform-for-africa-tech-startups/#comments Fri, 07 Oct 2016 06:08:50 +0000 http://www.pccmworld.com/?p=9305 Dubai, UAE from 3rd?Africa Legal Network Conference– Bridging the Gulf

accounting-africa

Savannah Fund today launches e SABU,? a virtual CFO service and Governance platform to allow African tech startups to access global standard accounting, reporting and governance to support growth. Africa Startups often start in one country and are limited by service providers who don’t understand startups or can afford them. Founders often have to wrestle with basic book-keeping, compliance to more complicated valuation to support fundraising. Working together with partners Wells Levitt and Axis (part of the Africa Legal Network), we also have a good relationship with Stripe for US jurisdiction setup and payments for global ecommerce. The platform aims to level the playing field for African startups who lack access or can afford such services vs their global counterparts . Like the accelerator, where Savannah Fund provides tech “soft infrastructure” in mentoring and guidance to startups across 4 cohorts and 14 startups across 6 countries, e SABU is a service created to support the startups vital business monitoring and reporting until they reach a level they can hire a CFO (beyond Series A).

We believe it’s an important service and support we can offer startups to improve not only their chances of success in addition to the work may others are doing in building out workspaces, incubators and accelerators to thrive and grow across a challenging and fragmented continent.

e SABU Service will also enable startups to better understand their business and consequently make better business decisions for growth across Africa and become more globally competitive. Such challenges we hope startup founders can better address include:

  • What is my current valuation and am I ready to fundraise? What is most compelling about my startup?
  • Am I growing fast enough? What is a reasonable pace of month to month growth for my B2C startup.
  • Which is the most attractive country to best enter to start scaling my business?outside of my home country? How has the Naira or Kenya shilling’s exchange rate going to affect my growth prospects?
  • Which jurisdiction and who should I work with to set up my venture for pan Africa growth??
  • What should I be communicating to my board and investors?
  • What’s the cost and impact of going B2B vs B2C in Africa?


The Service will be initially available for startups in our?portfolio companies in Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria in beta this year.?And we will open the service to select startups outside?the?portfolio. If interested please visit www.www.pccmworld.com/cfo

We seek to offer 3 levels of service:

  • CFO level Standard of Reporting and Governance: Because qualified startup CFOs are in short supply and expensive in Africa- e SABU will provide core financial metrics reporting and accounting to meet basic levels required for compliance and demanded by investors.
  • Support for Cross Border and Global Growth from Mauritius & USA: One of the biggest areas of learning?as a small fund operating for 4 years investing in over 20 startups on the continent is how to operate across 7-8 countries. We will help take startups from their home country, often small and lacking in appropriate legal framework to grow, and help with structuring to to US Delaware and/or Mauritius and setting up regional offices. Startups can directly tap our knowledge of working across 8 countries in Africa for growth- an example would be a Kenyan startup seeking to expand to Tanzania.
  • Fundraising and Valuation Support: Fundraising for African originated startups is extremely difficult especially for a Series A or growth round. We will begin to offer more support in not only connecting with foreign investors but helping build materials required such as financial models and valuation calculations.
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What It’s Really Like to Be Young, Black, and an African Tech Startup Entrepreneur (in Africa) http://www.pccmworld.com/2016/08/15/what-its-really-like-to-be-young-black-and-an-african-tech-startup-entrepreneur-in-africa/ http://www.pccmworld.com/2016/08/15/what-its-really-like-to-be-young-black-and-an-african-tech-startup-entrepreneur-in-africa/#comments Mon, 15 Aug 2016 15:12:54 +0000 http://www.pccmworld.com/?p=9277 Cross-posted from Wiza’s blog on Medium.

This post is going to read like a vaguely-connected set of thoughts and ideas. I have a habit of writing running sentences and occasionally going off-topic to introduce a new rant, mid the current rant that I’m ranting.

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while but haven’t been feeling quite confident about writing it, so a special thanks to Nigel, Hungai, Mbwana, Sam, Juanita, Swigi, Sam (again), Ndauka, Friday, Wusigala, my Dad, Michael, Aku and so many others for giving me the courage to do this.

Right then, back to the main topic. Being a startup founder anywhere in the world is incredibly hard, but in Africa, it’s a special kind of organised chaos.

It’s not pretty.

I’m nearly 24 years old, and over the last 8 years, I’ve built and launched 3 technology companies in Africa across different verticals in two countries. The first one when I was 16 years old?—?I didn’t even know that it was a startup at the time, and it failed.

A few years later, I built a web technology startup, got very limited traction that reached a plateau, so I converted it to a web hosting company for passive income.

In 2014, I co-founded a market research startup.

We raised $30,000 in venture capital from a Pan-African VC firm (Savannah Fund), went through an incredible accelerator experience, executed as best we could, but still faced incredible challenges.

I had thought that with such significant experience, maybe we’d be able to pull it off, but time and again, I got my ass handed to me by the business environment. It is relentless and unforgiving.

A few months ago I was down to my last 100 dollars, getting ready to sell everything in my apartment in Nairobi to raise airfare to fly back to my parents’ home in Lilongwe and call it a day.

It was over. I had tried and failed, and I had no more energy to keep trying. I’d spent the last 17 months working almost every single day to build Djuaji Research Limited?—?a platform to facilitate scalable survey-based research to help businesses obtain data at low cost by paying respondents with mobile money. It was a genius concept developed by my co-founder and classmate at the time, Hungai. I joined when it was just a concept while we were both studying at United States International University (in Kenya, despite the name), and we agreed to start the business together.

I turned down several decent opportunities with reputable local and international technology companies (including Google and Oracle) to do this, so it wasn’t easy but it was worth it.

1

Djuaji Team at Pivot East 2015 (Finalists baybay haha!)

We built some incredible tech and actually made a lot of progress, but even then, it wasn’t enough. We were months away from a feasible MVP and burning cash way too fast with very few alternatives. Raising another round was not possible, we had traction but not enough to convince investors to inject more cash. We had a lot of interest from a global traditional research firm and we were working on a specific project with them that would open up a lot of doors, and potentially cash, if we managed to pull it off.

The problem was, however, that we just didn’t have enough time. We needed more time to build the product, deploy it in a pilot with the research firm and prove that the idea could work. But there was no time. To get time, we needed money, and we couldn’t get that either.

<rant>For as long as you aren’t yet profitable, time is the only resource you have as a startup. Every other apparent resource is just a factor of how you spend that time.</rant>

I thought deeply about the problem for weeks, and had a series of conversations with my co-founder. I ran the numbers, tried to cut costs and project for the future but time and time again, I found myself staring at an Excel sheet stating the painfully obvious to me?—?that there was no way of doing this without drastically cutting costs or finding a new revenue source.

Then it hit me. By virtue of being a foreigner in Kenya (I’m Malawian), I was the most expensive member of the team. Stipends and costs related to me were significantly higher than my co-founders’ and our team members.

When I ran the numbers again and removed all costs related to me, the company had enough time to attempt this project and hopefully survive.

I had a talk about it with my co-founder and we agreed that it would buy us time, but losing a co-founder would also put the company at significant risk.

I was the one who handled all of the business development at Djuaji, while my co-founder was responsible for designing and building the tech. We had reached a point where there was a viable business model that needed to be tested but we could not come to an agreement on what the best way forward was. I think that ultimately, we had different visions for what we wanted the company to evolve into and I believed that at that point, we could only execute one vision.

After a few more days of thought and discussion, I made the decision to resign from my position as co-founder and COO of Djuaji Research Limited.

It’s very easy to look at that decision and brand me a coward for it. It’s easy to think that I gave up too soon and let my team and my investors down by leaving.

The day I wrote my resignation letter was one of the most painful of my whole life, and I remember tearing up as I watched it printing.

It was the first time I had shed tears in such a long time.

Despite what you may expect from a decision like that, I honestly believe that my resignation saved the company from bankruptcy. I didn’t just pack up and leave. I did everything I could to make my departure as painless as possible and to put the Company in the best possible position to survive.

I made a lot of painful sacrifices and voluntarily gave up all of my hard earned equity, unconditionally.

2

Telling my team I was leaving was as difficult as you can imagine, but the really tough conversation that remained was with my investor.

I thought long and hard about what to say to Mbwana, the managing partner of Savannah Fund who had spent a lot of his own time and effort into helping us build the company.

I felt like anything I would say to him would sound like “Hey dude, thanks for the cash, it’s been real but this isn’t working for me anymore, so peace!”when the reality was far much complex.

I guess, when someone has invested money in you, there’s a slight temptation to always want to report the good news and downplay the bad so it doesn’t seem like you’re a clueless idiot recklessly playing around with money.

I didn’t get everything right during my time at Djuaji but one thing that I did get right that I’m very proud of is maintaining honest investor relations. We always were forthcoming with investors especially when we failed at something and that actually saved us a lot of time and worry. One of the hardest things for me was learning to accept failure as part of the process in a startup.

<rant>I think this is potentially a side-effect of African culture, you spend your whole life being punished and reprimanded when you fail and all of a sudden someone is telling you that failure is good. What do you mean?</rant>

I mustered up all the courage I had and scheduled a Skype call with Mbwana. When I first told him about my intention to leave, I expected him to be upset about it, but instead, we had a long and fruitful conversation about the nuances of running an African startup.

I’m happy to say that despite all of the above, I still maintain a very amicable relationship with both my co-founder and my investor as we all work collaboratively to improve the ecosystem as a whole.

It was really, really difficult to have that conversation with my investor. Before I did, I sent an email to 5 people who I thought would be able to shed a little light on what to do with my situation. I only got one response.

3

Sam Gikandi is the co-founder and CEO of Africa’s Talking, where I recently joined as a business development lead. My original plan was to clean up shop after leaving Djuaji, and then go back to my home in Malawi and develop bulk SMS applications on top of their APIs to raise money to try a few ideas I have with drones.

<rant>Aviation is my first love. Technology comes second. When I have enough money and experience, I’m going to learn how to fly so I can build aviation safety technology, and I will probably spend the rest of my life doing that. Till then, I’ve been teaching myself with consumer simulators. I have over 9,000 hours and can comfortably fly a manufacturer-certified simulation of the Boeing 737. Procedurally and correctly, from cold and dark to landing, even under instrument meteorological conditions. If you think I’m lying, ask me a question.

4

</rant>

At the end of that Skype call was a job offer.

I was really conflicted about it at first because I’d never been employed before and the thought of sitting down at a desk flipping through Office app screens all day makes me sick.

A few conversations later and a two week break later, I chose in.

5

After I had a chance to learn more about the company and the culture, I’m very happy I joined. It’s still very much a startup that’s at the scaling stage?and it’s been one hell of a journey.

6

Faizal Okhai (Access Malawi CEO), Me and Chrispin Kampangire (Access Malawi Core Network Manager)

In the few months I’ve been working with AT, I’ve established a Malawi office, pitched and won 4 telecoms companies, hired arguably the best person in the country to help me build the local office and travelled between 3 countries to try and get people to understand the vision and why we make the technology that we make.

Me + Africa’s Talking DemoPod at the GSMA Mobile 360 Africa Conference 2016?—?Dar es Salaam, TZ

Me + Africa’s Talking DemoPod at the GSMA Mobile 360 Africa Conference 2016?—?Dar es Salaam, TZ

I really love working at AT because I’ve been on the other side of the table. My first startup, MwTunes.com (2009), failed to take off or monetise because I couldn’t convince the Malawian telephone companies to give me access to their infrastructure for billing or ads. In their defence, I was barely 18 with bad hair and baggy trousers so maybe I didn’t inspire the most confidence.

If AT existed at the time, I’d have spent 15 minutes integrating their API with MwTunes and the job would be done. I don’t even like to think about it these days, because the pain is frustrating.

Whatever the case, I’ve started seeing the incredible power of APIs in Africa and I’m really excited to see what the future of African tech will develop into because of them.

Building technology for Africa is hard, and no I’m not just whining about it. I’ve spent most of my life doing it, and I think I’m fairly well qualified for it to.

One of the biggest problems I see at present is the lack of true African stories. Everything you read online about startup success is typically about a white male who dropped out of an Ivy League school, raised a ton of money and built a company with it. Where are the African stories? That’s why I’m writing this blog.

Secondly, the global media has such a pessimistic narrative of Africa as a continent. I was so surprised when I woke up last month in my hotel room in Dar es Salaam and this was my view.

Fun challenge: spot the poverty in this picture

Fun challenge: spot the poverty in this picture

I think the world is really changing and Africa really is rising, despite what the media says. The solutions for Africa, solving African problems will come out of Africa and be championed by Africans. This is the future I see.

Over the next few months, I hope to write more about my experiences and learn from anyone who wants to share. Please share this post if you found it worthwhile and follow me on Medium for more of these posts. I’m also looking for people to help read and edit these before they go live, so if you’re interested and actually have experience writing, please get in touch.

]]> http://www.pccmworld.com/2016/08/15/what-its-really-like-to-be-young-black-and-an-african-tech-startup-entrepreneur-in-africa/feed/ 2 Stripe Atlas in Africa – Building a Global Business from Africa http://www.pccmworld.com/2016/04/17/stripe-atlas-in-africa-building-a-global-business-from-africa/ http://www.pccmworld.com/2016/04/17/stripe-atlas-in-africa-building-a-global-business-from-africa/#comments Sun, 17 Apr 2016 11:17:22 +0000 http://www.pccmworld.com/?p=9257 Last month, Stripe announced Atlas, a product designed to give entrepreneurs everywhere access to the basic building blocks for starting a global internet business, including an incorporated U.S. business entity and bank account, a Stripe account to receive payments from anywhere in the world and $15k in credits for Amazon Web Services.
stripe-presents-atlas-for-international-startups-to-found-business-in-usa-01

While on paper this may seem like a simple set of services, anyone who has ever attempted to set up a foreign business entity or accept payments from around the world, will have an acute awareness of the expense and complexity involved.

 

Processing online payments in Africa has always been an area that startups have struggled with. I personally experienced this firsthand when I tried to launch the first Tanzanian travel e-commerce site in 2009 that targeted global tourists.  As an investor today, I still see many startups in our portfolio struggle to accept payments online. In many cases, they decide to build their own payment tools which is a huge distraction from where they should be focusing their efforts: on growing their core business.

ecommerce

Ecommerce in Africa snapshot from Afrikoin 2013

Africa is going through an e-commerce revolution with both large and small players establishing themselves across the market from Nigeria, Kenya to South Africa. While each market will differ slightly in the levels of infrastructure, trust and general maturity, it’s fair to say the overall African market can be tough to navigate. On the infrastructure side, e-commerce or SaaS startups are often stifled by local payment solutions whether that be due to high fees, cash flow being held for weeks, ease of use or fraud.  Companies also have to deal with uncontrollable macro events in Africa that make doing a business a big challenge; such as capital and exchange controls. This was recently apparent in Nigeria where, due to the demand management policy on foreign exchange, startups found themselves in a position where they couldn’t pay for Mailchimp credits or Facebook ads as they’d reached their dollar spend limit.  While being dollar dominated on revenue can help African startups to hedge against currency fluctuation, in many countries in Africa it’s impractical (and in some cases, illegal) to bill in U.S. dollars. By having access to a U.S. Stripe account, African startups will be able to instantly accept payments in over 130 currencies and a number of alternative payment methods, including bitcoin, Apple Pay, Android Pay and China’s Alipay.

Payments, however, are only part of the equation. Setting up a global business is not a task to be taken lightly and Stripe has partnered with PwC and global law firm, Orrick, to help entrepreneurs navigate the legal and taxation complexities involved — something many companies in our portfolio struggle with, especially at the Series A level. It should also be highlighted that Stripe Atlas is not replacing the local African entity.  In fact, the whole rationale behind Atlas is that entrepreneurs in markets without great banking and business infrastructure, shouldn’t have to relocate overseas to access a global market. It’s common practice for global companies to set up multiple entities as they grow to suit their needs and business environment — and, with Atlas, African startups can maintain their local entity while using their U.S. entity to extend their global reach. For example, maintaining a local entity will enable you to hire locally and satisfy local regulations and payment methods, such as mobile money or local bank transfers; whereas the USA has proven itself to be a leading jurisdiction to set up a global tech company. Many startups in our portfolio have opted to re-incorporate in the USA or were incorporated there to start with for a number of reasons, including:

  • Better access to funding and a stronger positioning for exit
  • Access to a large market beyond their home market
  • Access to infrastructure including services like Stripe, a U.S. bank account, and merchant registration on the Google Play and Apple app stores in the U.S.

These factors combined enable an African startup to compete more effectively with their international peers at both a local and global scale. As the COO of Microsoft once said in a meeting I will never forget: “Don’t bring a butter knife to a gunfight”. Startups in Africa can make themselves more attractive to investors and grow the pie for everyone when they start to behave more like global players expanding from their home country. While that may start with funding and infrastructure, it can also extend to setting up an office and placing talent abroad. Has an African startup ever set up a Valley office? European, Latin American, Chinese and Indian ones certainly have!

The journey to build a global startup with a U.S. presence is often daunting when it doesn’t have to be. Startups often spend months and thousands of dollars on the task, including travel to the USA, expensive legal fees and a mountain of confusing paperwork; or they join accelerators for mentoring and fundraising as part of the process. While Savannah Fund often lends cash to startups in our portfolio (Cardplanet and Podozi so far in 2014 and 2015) to get them up and running; there are some things we can’t control: like battling with the U.S. visa process. If these startups were U.S. incorporated it wouldn’t matter where they were from. With Atlas, applying for a U.S entity is possible with just a few clicks and a $500 fee.

At Savannah Fund, we will only endorse startups that are in our portfolio or are members of our accelerator to join the Atlas program. However, other startups should follow this quick checklist to figure out if Atlas is the right option for them:

  • Is reliable internet and payments infrastructure critical to your business?  This starts with secure payments and reliable cloud services, but extends to equally important areas, like currency hedging, that can be limiting in your home country.
  • Do you wish to address a global market from the very beginning?
  • Do you have ambitions beyond Series A funding to have a U.S. presence in order to better compete?

If the answer to these simple questions is yes, you should consider the program. More information can be found at stripe.com/atlas.

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What should Startups Learn from Africa Bank Failures http://www.pccmworld.com/2016/04/11/what-should-startups-learn-from-africa-bank-failures/ http://www.pccmworld.com/2016/04/11/what-should-startups-learn-from-africa-bank-failures/#comments Mon, 11 Apr 2016 08:22:11 +0000 http://www.pccmworld.com/?p=9247 End of last week we saw Chase Bank in Kenya, taken into receivership by the Central Bank. There is plenty of good reading from both a local and international perspective and I am sure we will learn more in the coming weeks and months- its an important story to follow especially if you are operating in the “financial services” or “fintech” sector in East Africa and as we know, most choose Kenya as a testing ground particularly building ontop of M-PESA for everything from payments, lending to remittance. But in spite of the mobile money success we should be reminded that a stable banking sector in a country is important- even M-PESA itself relies on banks to function.

I wouldn’t be writing this post if it was just any bank, after all there have been 3 bank failures in the last year in Kenya and we should expect more or consolidation as I believe there are too many in Kenya. You might even interpret Barclays’ broader exit out of Africa as a recognition they couldn’t focus on the continent given their global scope and intense the competition despite their strong brand. There are plenty of strong banks in Kenya, Equity Bank has proven itself to be solid as well as innovative. What makes Chase Bank interesting is that it was a preferred banking partner of many fintech startups operating in Kenya– they had build some good API integration with Safaricom’s M-PESA for instance that I know remittance companies and lending companies were using to get broader distribution within Kenya. In asking Kenyan startups in our portfolio over the weekend, at least one startup had their operating account with Chase Bank affected and one has had a client’s account with Chase and owes about 300,000/- to the startup. So the impact is both revenue/payments and assets- many Kenyans and businesses will know someone indirectly affected.

Should Bank stability affect startups ability to innovate in Kenya?

Some say the need for stability is an excuse for banks to not innovate and offer poor customer service whilst others like myself would say that stability in banking services is important for startups. This is especially true when in the last year all sorts of banks from Barclays, Chase to Interswitch have been setting up “fintech” hubs, funds or both to position themselves in the global fintech scene. Africa focused fintech startups need the banks as partners to reach scale or just comply with regulations across the continent.

With over 40 banks in Kenya, I believe we might have more bank consolidation and even failures to come – its important not to gamble your startup’s chances of success by not understanding the implications of working with any bank. I am particularly worried of startups that spend endless amounts of time in business development with banks who don’t really have the DNA, never mind systems and culture to innovate or move quickly and waste startups valuable time.

Bank Account for Asset stability and Operating to Innovate

  • The biggest advice I have for African startups is to assess the risks of using a bank like any other partner or investor. Work with a top tier bank if you need assets such as investors funds or hard earnt revenue protected that have strict controls- and sometimes this might not even be in your home country- for example a bank account in Zimbabwe is probably more risk than one in Kenya which is in turn more risk than one in Mauritius and then again one in USA (Govt offers protection with FDIC). I have nothing against Zimbabwe or Kenya, there are good startups operating there- they have more of a chance if their funds are in stable bank accounts just like good roads and electricity are important for operating a business (it can be viewed as infrastructure- more on this in a future post when we talk about our partnership with Stripe)
  • You can then open an account for operating if your tier one bank is not giving you the services you need (good forex, bank fees, online payments, APIs etc…) to operate or can move faster but make periodic transfers back to the safer bank (net of paying any local taxes if collecting revenue locally and moving money overseas). This might be a bank such as Chase that is more mid tier and had a reputation of working with startups on innovative solutions- but if it does run into trouble its not your main assets.

Do you have a CFO (seriously)?

The above advise is very basic and for some companies things might get a lot more complicated- in fact once you are a Series A funded startup and maybe operating in more than one country you may end up having multiple entities and accounts and the next best advise is to make sure you hire a competent CFO or outsourced CFO that can handle your business. This should also be a good time to upgrade other important and related aspects of your business- your Governance structure and protocols which will include financial. Doing so before things go wrong will not only protect you but enhance your startups reputation with investors for further funding- but more importantly, protect assets in an often risky African environment.

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Stanford GSB case Study on Bitcoin published http://www.pccmworld.com/2016/02/14/stanford-gsb-case-study-on-bitcoin-published/ http://www.pccmworld.com/2016/02/14/stanford-gsb-case-study-on-bitcoin-published/#respond Sun, 14 Feb 2016 09:48:47 +0000 http://www.pccmworld.com/?p=9226 The Stanford Graduate School of Business has published a Case Study that is freely downloadable.

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5 Africa Tech themes to Watch from 2016-2020 http://www.pccmworld.com/2015/12/31/5-africa-tech-themes-to-watch-from-2016-2020/ http://www.pccmworld.com/2015/12/31/5-africa-tech-themes-to-watch-from-2016-2020/#comments Thu, 31 Dec 2015 08:00:48 +0000 http://www.pccmworld.com/?p=9077 2015 was a fascinating year in tech on the continent for both startups and big companies alike as the ecosystem starts to mature, here are some of the most important tech trends to watch in the next 5 years.

 

  • 1) China’s Tech Influence continues to challenge the West with more activity in Software and Services.

When Savannah Fund started, it was almost impossible to convince American techies that Smartphones were going to take off in Africa because they imagined iPhones and Blackberries as the primary devices at a time when feature phones vs Smartphones were distinct low and high end segments (admit it: Do you still have that idealized view of a Masai holding a feature phone checking market prices popularized by the media?). Chinese firms running Android such as Tecno and Huawei that have taken on this challenge to sell Smartphones in Africa not only in the sub $100 segment but also in competitive middle end range between $150-300. Chinese OEMs made dual simcard phones the standard and companies like Xiaomi have customized Android with MIUI to make compelling devices who made their Africa debut this year.

Xiaomi in Africa

Xiaomi Launches the Redmi 2 and Mi4 Smartphones low to middle end segments $100-300. Both handsets support 4G networks

In the next 5 years, expect to see more innovation from Chinese firms. Wechat being the best example, important to watch what they are doing in South Africa and whether they will bring their innovation across continent. In 2015 they pushed aggressively their “messaging apps as a Platform” strategy introducing Picup Delivery Service and Mobile Payments as well as launching a VC fund to support African startups.  With the hardware battle pretty much won by China- Messaging platforms will take centre stage. WhatsApp/Messenger will be forced to open up more in Africa to compete if Wechat continues to push their more open platform. Lets not forget that Wechat has links via Tencent and Naspers which in turn has the MultiChoice satellite/cable empire in Africa they can leverage. I also predict we will see more Chinese firm entrants, Alibaba and even Alipay may see lucrative opportunity in Africa- if Zimbabwe recent adoption of the Yuan says anything this year is that China might be pushing much harder than you might think in countries where Governments roll out the red carpet- why not the fintech/e-commerce space where they have a comparative advantage? Instead of spending too much time looking at the West, its important to watch Chna’s influence with many African countries as they push their One Belt, One road” (Maritime Silk Road) extending into Africa. A China slowdown will be felt, but less so in technology.

  • 2) Corporate Venture Capital increases but most still figuring out strategy in the next 2 years:

In 2015 we saw more momentum in Corporates entering the VC space. The best area to observe this is the traditional “fintech vs banking” battleground. Safaricom made their first investment out of their Spark Fund together with us in Sendy in Kenya. Interswitch (Banking) also invested in the logistics/cash on delivery sector in Nigeria with Africa Courier Express. Barclays is bringing Techstars to South Africa, whilst RMI (the insurance giant) launched their Alphacode workspace (where we held our 3rd fintech conference, Afrikoin) in Sandton this year which also comes with a Fund. What is encouraging is the diversity of approach not just beyond funds but in some players investing in the ecosystem with workspaces, accelerators and often supporting/pushing innovation on their platforms (e.g. Wechat Africa Fund?). However, I believe most of the new entrants will take at least 2 years to figure out if their fund and innovation investment strategies are panning out for the long term, an economic slowdown or increasing competition might make banks and telcos more cautious and may pull back their experiments or “CSR” pet projects. Entrepreneurs should watch to understand which Corporate VCs are playing the long game vs short term projects, because in the end startups are 5-10 year long journeys to achieve full potential. Expect to see exits where startups sell out early via Corporate VCs on the continent, not necessarily a bad thing if there are limited options for growth or further funding. Outside the Fintech sector, Microsoft with 4Africa initiative made an investment in Wifi, Facebook will push their Free Basics initiatives soon supported by a fund are further examples in this trend and almost every month I hear of a corporate planning a Venture Fund or to “support African innovation”.

  • 3) Pan Africa trade enabled by Tech begins to move in the right direction but still remains tough.

Many startups will struggle to reach multi-country scale, Africa’s share of global trade still remains low at below 4%. One of the biggest stories towards the end of this year is how Safaricom and Central Bank in Kenya edged out Bitcoin companies such as Bitpesa and Kipochi and one of the best narratives that Bitpesa has maintained is that they are pan Africa and don’t just depend on Safaricom M-Pesa for distribution in Kenya, even though it might be the best for reach currently. This narrative is already playing out with many firms that have succeeded from Cellulant, KopoKopo and MoDe who are often operating in 15+ countries and even expanding to Asia. The number one advice I give entrepreneurs is to think Pan Africa. It’s hard to find a tech startup worth more than $100M in the last 5 years that has remained in its own country. Growth is elusive. The single country risks in Africa are real and beyond the usual political stability but now include monopolistic incumbent players, Non Market and even Currency risks- at the extreme startups are often better being offshore to hedge even though their primary market is Africa. In our portfolio of 21 companies, 4 companies are registered outside of Africa and we can expect each year a few to reincorporate overseas picking friendly and stable jurisdictions. As an example, take Nigeria, where recent Government moves to restrict use of USD on debit/credit cards and I have heard Nigerian startups complain they can’t even use their local cards to settle Facebook ads or Mailchimp credits spending.

  • 4) Talent remains a big constraint for Africa startups at all levels

From entry level developers to Product Manager and CEOs, COOs there is one universal agreement by most that the talent market is tight on the continent. We saw companies in our portfolio take up to 1 year to find executives or middle management or experienced technical hires that are essential in taking a startup to the next phase. (often from Product Market Fit to Growth or Post Series A). Coding schools have started to thrive recently and we will continue to see them accelerate in 2016 – examples include Andela (Nigeria), CodeX (South Africa) to Moringa School (Kenya) covering East, West and South Africa.

Africa's got talent? How is is IT engineering talent nurtured

Africa’s got talent? How is tech talent nurtured?

As you go up the talent stack you start to see diaspora increasingly filling the talent void, but its still incredibly tough to convince African Diaspora say post business school or even with some experience to leave the US or UK behind in a strong economy to return to Africa despite the opportunities. Foreigners are hence necessary but not all countries are welcoming as they should be. To make matters more complicated, top “global” accelerators may add to the brain drain from 2016 when you consider that the founders may decide to explore markets beyond Africa by joining accelerators in Silicon Valley (YC and 500Startups accepted African startups this year) or London to hire talent abroad as well as access to further capital. The best startups will likely organize themselves to get the best of both worlds especially when you factor in cost of the talent, infrastructure and legal jurisdiction advantages- in other words expect to see more “Nigerian startup that went to a top US accelerator, re-incorporated in US Delaware and Mauritius and has a development team in Cape Town.”

  • 5). The convergence of Energy and Telecoms/Internet to define Opportunities for the next 500M users in Africa. 

Finally the break out successes of solar financing and installer companies M-KOPA (Kenya) and OffGrid Electric (Tanzania) in what is considered one of the most important markets in Africa today in reaching the bottom of the pyramid to both transform lives whilst also saving the planet from climate change will lead to hundreds of millions of Africans getting connected with clean energy which in turn will support use cases that begin from charging millions if not billions of smartphones by 2020. The other side of the equation is can these new consumers, often bottom of the pyramid afford the internet? From Internet.org (renamed Free Basics) to Project Loon and even more local projects such as Mawingu Networks in Kenya that combines solar with broadband Wifi or even BRCK that is extending its “backup generator for the internet” paradigm into schools.

Solar Powered internet school built on containers

Solar Powered internet school built on containers

Who will be the winners in this push for  internet access in the last mile? Facebook’s Free Basics approach may win where they partner with operators that have a substantial marketshare already such as Tigo in Tanzania. Government obviously have a role to play (especially in preserving Net Neutrality Principles- just look what happened in Egypt after India already) and never has their been so much choice and variety or approaches to promote the internet. Mobile Telecoms and Governments more than ever have the opportunity to take Africa to the next level here given their combination of reach and influence. Bringing internet is only the beginning, with the right approach maybe thinking progressively such as looking at the Blockchain to extend to smart contracts, identity and land title deeds may unlock the biggest opportunities of them all on the continent that may happen without mobile operators or Governments.

I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and look forward to another year of tech progress in 2016 on the continent. Special thanks to our investors and 21 portfolio companies in 6 countries we have the privilege of working with.

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Afrikoin: Going Pan Africa, 3 events in 3 cities: Joburg, Accra & Nairobi http://www.pccmworld.com/2015/12/01/afrikoin-going-pan-africa-3-events-in-3-cities-joburg-accra-nairobi/ http://www.pccmworld.com/2015/12/01/afrikoin-going-pan-africa-3-events-in-3-cities-joburg-accra-nairobi/#respond Tue, 01 Dec 2015 15:03:06 +0000 http://www.pccmworld.com/?p=9069 I founded Afrikoin ?in 2013 in Nairobi as a small event for innovators in the financial services or “fintech” space in Africa that spans emerging and fast growing digital finance sector. The inaugural event held the first bitcoin panel on the continent but also discussed the challenges and opportunities in online payments, prepaid debit cards, mobile money, remittances to Somali Hawala Networks. The event is a gathering for networking, sharing ideas and working around the challenges innovators face in the financial services sector across the continent and is limited to about 60-80 participants/panelists to encourage high quality interactions- it is hence a paid event. Find tickets for Joburg,?Accra and Nairobi.

Afrikoin

This is the second time Afrikoin will be held in South Africa. In 2014, it ?was hosted in Cape Town in conjunction with a financial services Private Equity Fund, Apis Partners and host partner 22Seven (part of Old Mutual).

afrikoin image

On December 3 & 4th 2015, the 3rd year for Afrikoin will take place in 3 cities focusing on a pan Africa theme. I believe this?is the first time a fintech gathering has been attempted across the continent in 3 regions- East, West and Southern Africa in the same week. Countries represented inc. Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Zimbabwe, South Africa.

  • In Johannesburg (3rd December 2015): Partnering with new sponsors, Barclays Bank, Thomson Reuters and Alphacode (backed by RMB) community and workspace to bring a full day event to Johannesburg for the first time. Panels include payments (ft. Snapscan, PayNow and MFS, recently ft. in WSJ), bitcoin & blockchain applications (ft. Bankymoon, Zapgo and Bitfinance) and lending platforms (Rainfin). There are also panels on compliance and data analytics that are of increasing importance in today’s financial services environment that will be touched by bank inc. Barclays, FNB, RMB and Thomson Reuters. Savannah Fund and Barclays will also hold pitch event for fintech startups seeking seed and growth funding. Full Agenda and Tickets are available www.afrikoin.org/johannesburg
  • In Accra (3rd December 2015):?We?partnered with MEST graduates Dave Osei and Paul Damalie to bring the gathering to West Africa for the first time. The event will feature 3 panels on payments, alternative banking and regulations as well as 2 product demonstrations, inc. recently seed funded Zeepay. The central bank of Ghana, Airtel, Stanbic Bank and Fidelity Asia Bank are amongst the participants. Agenda and Tickets are available www.afrikoin.org/accra
  • In Nairobi (4th December 2015): The event returns to the iHub in Nairobi and will be a half day event starting 2pm featuring 3 panels on Lending (ft ex Kiva CEO and founder of Branch, recently ft in WSJ in pioneering mobile lending as well as a new form of branchless banking), Bitcoin (ft. Bitsoko) as well as Payments (3G DirectPay). We also highlight important intersections in fintech and machine to machine payments/internet of things and the prepaid economy with Angaza Design in the prepaid solar space (recently raised $4M). Tickets and Agenda are available on www.afrikoin.org/nairobi

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Kenyan Logistics Startup, Sendy, Receives Funding From Safaricom’s Spark Fund http://www.pccmworld.com/2015/11/04/kenyan-logistics-startup-sendy-receives-funding-from-safaricoms-spark-fund/ http://www.pccmworld.com/2015/11/04/kenyan-logistics-startup-sendy-receives-funding-from-safaricoms-spark-fund/#respond Wed, 04 Nov 2015 09:59:42 +0000 http://www.pccmworld.com/?p=9231 http://www.pccmworld.com/2015/11/04/kenyan-logistics-startup-sendy-receives-funding-from-safaricoms-spark-fund/feed/ 0 Lessons from the Savannah Fund Accelerator – Perspectives from Djuaji Research http://www.pccmworld.com/2015/09/11/lessons-from-the-savannah-fund-accelerator-perspectives-from-djuaji-research/ http://www.pccmworld.com/2015/09/11/lessons-from-the-savannah-fund-accelerator-perspectives-from-djuaji-research/#comments Fri, 11 Sep 2015 11:40:47 +0000 http://www.pccmworld.com/?p=9048 When my co-founder Hungai?first told me about his idea for Djuaji, I was blown away. It seemed like it could answer a lot of questions and solve a lot of information problems for the average SME owner in Sub-Saharan Africa. Pairing mobile money with smartphone technology, and the right team to build it, he envisioned he could develop incredible survey and product trial applications to help change the way market research and testing is done in Sub-Saharan Africa.

We knew that we had the expertise, willpower and experience to develop such a complex product, but we had knowledge gaps in as far as creating a sustainable business was concerned. Building a startup can be incredibly difficult, and we knew that building this type of business successfully would need input from people who had a lot more knowledge and experience than us, to save us from making mistakes that could ruin our vision.

We needed help, and we decided to get it as early as possible to save us time and effort. Both Hungai and I had done startups before, and we both had varying levels of success and failures.

One of the hardest lessons to learn as a young technology entrepreneur is that things never, ever go exactly according to plan. One of the key factors that underscore the success of a tech startup, especially in Africa, is adaptability. Being able to react quickly and effectively to a multitude of changing variables in your environment can make all the difference in your business.

Having the right knowledge is critical to building capacity to adapt to the rapidly changing environment that is a startup company. This was our primary motivation for seeking external support and based on recommendations, we thought Savannah Fund’s Accelerator would be a great fit.

We were right.

Getting into the Savannah Fund Accelerator would provided us with the knowledge, connections and resources needed to make a lot of headway with our product. Further yet, it provided us with much needed capital to handle operating expenses for the first few months. It was an intensive learning experience that was as challenging as it was rewarding.

Lesson 1: Investor Relations & The Investment Process

2015-05-26_1432647284

Investor Breakfast with Sandhya Hegde

Our first few sessions in the accelerator program were meetings with different investors, typically over breakfast or lunch. Coming out of a world where all of our expectations about investment and venture capital were influenced by TV shows like Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den, we expected the investment process to be relatively simple and straightforward (hint: it’s not). It’s fairly simple in principle: Party A has a business or an idea but no capital, party B has money. Party B gives Party A their own money in exchange for part ownership of Party A’s business.

However, there is a lot more to it than that, the investment process is particularly involving, with even small rounds taking between 2 – 6 months to close. Finding the right investor is pretty much like finding the right marriage partner, it shouldn’t be rushed. We learned how to engage with investors, present our pitches, demo our product and start the conversations for fruitful relationships well in advance. Getting VC funding in Africa is particularly difficult, and investors need to have a lot of confidence in you, your product and your team before they put pen to paper. Investors often need a long history of progress updates, well organised and managed records and evidence that everything is in order well before any money is released. We’ve already started talking to investors now for rounds we haven’t planned for, that’s how important this is. We will soon be setting up a dedicated investor relations portal, in addition to our monthly updates just to optimize the process for the future.

We also learned about the very lengthy legal processes involved in closing an investment deal. We spent a lot of time looking over term sheets, share subscription documents, cap tables, vesting schedules and founders agreements and having them thoroughly checked by our lawyer and counter checked by Savannah Fund’s lawyer to make sure everyone was all on the same page for the investment. It was extremely beneficial for us to have a dedicated lawyer working on these for us throughout the process and greatly reduced the time needed to close the round. I’d strongly advise any early stage startup looking for VC funding to have identified and agreed terms with a lawyer even before looking for funds.

Lastly, we also learned the importance of having a good pitch. You never know when you’ll find yourself in a room with a big investor and you only have one chance to pitch your business. First impressions are crucial and can make all the difference in whether or not a conversation with an investor will even continue. Almost every session in the Accelerator began with all of us pitching our businesses to a variety of audiences and this got us a ton of much needed practice.

Lesson 2: Valuation for the African Startup

One of the key sessions from the Accelerator class was with Mbwana Alliy on Valuation for the African Tech Startup. We learned about the key factors that would help drive valuations for our business to enable us to raise the funds we would need to grow. We also learned about mastering the tricky balance between creation of wealth and loss of control in a VC-funded company. This session gave us a strong foundation for kick starting money conversations with investors and we strongly recommend it for any early stage startup in Africa looking for VC funding.

Lesson 3: User Experience (UX) Lab

ux-lab

Wiza drawing a user journey diagram at the iHub UX Lab

Part of the Accelerator class included a two-week training session with one of the foremost local experts in the UX industry, Samantha Merritt.?She leads the iHub UX Lab and together with her team, trained us on the principles of UX research, design and implementation. This was important for us because we made a lot of assumptions about how small businesses would typically carry out market research. We also made assumptions about what the biggest customer pain points were, and all of this was disproved with a bit of UX research.

The UX Lab allowed us to learn how to systematically and continuously draw from the experiences of our potential customers to design and deploy improved product iterations. Even though UX is typically overlooked in most early stage ventures, I think a lot more startups would benefit from learning how to do it properly. This saved us a ton of time and money.

Lesson 4: Pitching Your Story

One of the most interesting sessions was with Nisha Ligon of Ubongu Kids. As an expert on storytelling, she showed us how to turn plain and bland pitch decks into vivid stories to captivate audiences and communicate messages more clearly and effectively. This session allowed us to redesign our pitch decks to be more story-oriented, which was important for arousing the interest of both investors and potential customers. Lessons from this session allowed us to reach the finals of the Pivot East 2015 pitching competition, where we pitched to an audience of a 100+ investors, industry leaders and startup supporters in Nairobi. The resulting networking session got us talking to some of our first potential customers, and got us the?meeting we needed with a payment provider to complete our MVP.

Lesson 5: Marketing & Growth Hacks

One of the last important meetings was with Christina Lin of Google Kenya, she spoke extensively about digital marketing and growth hacking strategies that we could use in our business to drive substantial growth. Drawing from her experiences at Airtel International and?L’Oréal, she had some key insights into how best to select digital marketing options and how to leverage affiliate marketing and developing a brand persona. Her inputs helped us design an on-boarding strategy for Djuaji respondents that has been quite successful, and very cost effective.

Lesson 6: Demo Day

Hungai and Wiza preparing for SF Demo Day

Hungai and Wiza preparing for SF Demo Day

All of the training and practice sessions were very beneficial, but were almost always in a ‘safe’, controlled environment where everyone was aware that we were early stage startup founders with relatively little experience. Nothing can substitute being put on the spot to pitch to a group of investors and business owners who don’t know who you are or care how you feel. This was definitely the case with the Savannah Fund Demo Day where all the startups in the class had an opportunity to pitch to some of the biggest players in the industry. Taking advantage of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit week, Savannah Fund invited investors and staff from funds and companies all across the globe to come and listen to our pitches at an exclusive cocktail.

It was intense to say the least, as we had to answer some tough questions from both investors and potential customers, with no second chances. Fortunately, we were adequately prepared and managed to exchange contacts with several dozen high profile individuals, including the country head of a multi-billion dollar company?interested in using our product extensively.

It would be impossible to summarize all of the lessons we learned from the 4 months we were in the Accelerator (I actually filled up an entire A4 size college notebook with notes from various sessions), but both Hungai and I feel that it was one of the best decisions we made, especially at the pre-revenue stage.

Armed with this knowledge and more, we’re working very hard?to build the product and take on the market and we feel exceptionally confident now that we’ve ironed out some of the knowledge gaps that could have been our Achilles’ heel. The Savannah Fund Accelerator provides a great introduction to the VC and startup ecosystem and suffice to say, the investment money was probably the least valuable thing we got out of it.

About Djuaji Research

djuaji-logo-corporate-small

Djuaji Research Limited provides?a platform that allows businesses to create and deploy digital surveys or product trials and send them to smartphone users who share the same characteristics as their ideal customers. In return, these users are rewarded with mobile money. Djuaji has?a growing database of respondent candidates and collects a lot of information about them in order to better match them to product trials and surveys, which enables more reliable data from even a small sample size.

Sign up at djuaji.com or try a survey on your smartphone right now at?try.djuaji.com. Get in touch with the founders through the contact form here.

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