The single most crucial challenge facing most Nigerian startups is funding, and there seems to be no easy way out yet. However, there are several potential solutions with varying degrees of effectiveness, with one of them being having angel investors invest in your business.
Angel investors typically identify businesses with excellent growth potential for funding, either by offering them loans or equity packages. You should be relatively familiar with the idea of angel investing if you watch a show like Dragon’s Den or Shark Tank.
If you’re a Nigerian entrepreneur, you should already know both Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den are out of reach, so you need a more Nigerian solution. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of home-grown Shark Tanks in the name of angel investors in Nigeria, and this article will analyze some of them.
In short, this article will show you what angel investors are, how to get them to invest in your business, and the best angel investors in Nigeria to target.
Table of Contents
Who is an Angel Investor?
As the introduction briefly explained, an angel investor is usually a wealthy individual who provides seed funding for businesses they find promising, usually in exchange for an equity stake in the company. Angel investors typically don’t expect any return on investment unless the idea succeeds, which is one of the reasons they’re preferred over traditional means of financing for small businesses.
Interestingly, angel investors don’t profit from most of their investments, with most statistics suggesting that only 10% of startup ideas they funded by angels succeed. However, their successful investments typically make them a significant amount of money in the long term, balancing their sheets.
For the entrepreneur, turning to an angel investor for funds is one of the most stress-free ways to fund your startup, but it doesn’t come without its disadvantages. One such disadvantage is undervaluing a business idea, earning the investor(s) disproportionately massive returns, sometimes at your expense.
Why You Need an Angel Investor for Your Startup
Unless you have massive wads of cash stashed away somewhere to fund your business, chances are that you need the help of angel investors in Nigeria to fund your startup. Here are some reasons why you may want to pitch to angel investors in Nigeria, as opposed to conventional startup funding channels like banks:
1. They offer access to growth catalysts
Angel investors typically don’t take a hands-off approach after funding a business; they also provide the entrepreneur with other necessary resources to grow the business. Access to insider knowledge and industry contacts are two examples of growth catalysts that come with an angel investor’s funding, but they don’t end there.
2. You don’t have to pay back
Angel investors typically don’t give loans; they invest in your business in exchange for equity, which means they only make anything back if your business succeeds. In that sense, they’re more of a partner than a lender, so you don’t have to constantly stress about paying the money back.
3. They make your business look more credible
Businesses with angel investor backing can easily access more opportunities, as they’re generally seen as credible and more likely to succeed. Having angel investors in Nigeria contribute to your seed funding, however small, will almost instantly boost the startup’s image, allowing it access to even more funding and crucial industry contacts.
How to Get Angel Investors for Your Business
At this point, it’s clear that getting angel investors in Nigeria to invest in your business is a good thing, but that leaves us with another important question: how do you get angel investors for your business?
Here are tips on how to get angel investors to notice and invest in your business startup:
1. Launch the product
One common mistake entrepreneurs make is presenting business ideas and expecting angel investors to fund them. Most angel investors want you to prove that your business idea is viable in the real world, and the only way to do that is by starting the business and launching your product.
2. Craft a killer business plan
No angel investor will invest a dime in your business if you don’t demonstrate your business acumen and a clear path to your business’s success. The best way to do that is by crafting a killer business plan, even if it takes weeks or even months.
3. Perfect your pitch deck and elevator pitch
The idea of an elevator pitch is how you’d convince an angel investor to invest in your startup with limited time and space (in an elevator, for example). On the other hand, a pitch deck contains a detailed illustration of your business’s overview; from your strengths and weaknesses to your growth projections.
Getting an angel investor involves perfecting both, even if it means hiring an expert to help out. While it’s essential to impress investors, remember to be realistic; lying or exaggerating in your pitches might put investors off.
4. Pitch to angel investors
There’s no point in doing all of the above if you have no plans to pitch to an investor at the end, and that leads us to an essential question: how do you find angel investors in Nigeria to pitch your business to?
In the following section, we’ll list the best angel investors in Nigeria to help you find a recipient for your business plan and pitch deck.
9 Best Angel Investors in Nigeria
Here are the best angel investors in Nigeria across different industries:
1. Olugbenga Agboola
Olugbenga Agboola is one of the most recognizable names in the Nigerian startup sphere, partly because he founded and leads Flutterwave, and partly because he’s one of the most active angel investors in Nigeria.
With his portfolio comprising companies like Bamboo, Casava, and Remedial Health, the current Flutterwave CEO is not joking around with promising startups.
2. Jason Njoku
Jason Njoku is the brain behind IrokoTV, a brand you’re likely very familiar with if you watch a lot of Nollywood content on YouTube. In 2013, Jason launched Spark, a $2 million fund for Lagos internet startups, and Spark went on to make significant investments in several companies.
Hotels.ng has been Spark’s most successful investment over the years, with ToLet.ng and Drinks.ng being some of their other major investments. While Spark is no longer actively investing in businesses, Jason Njoku never stopped, and he’ll be willing to take a look at your business idea for a possible investment.
3. Kola Aina
Kola Aina co-founded Ventures Platform and has always been one of the most prominent angel investors in Nigeria. Apart from angel investing, he’s into founder mentoring and has dabbled briefly into politics as a Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Job Creation and Youth Employment.
He’s on the boards of several Nigerian startups, including Reliance Health, MDaas Global, and Edu Platforms, mostly through his investments. Kola Aina is also a part of several Nigerian angel investor networks, including CrowdForce, Lagos Angel Network, and The Ventures Park.
4. Olumide Soyombo
Olumide Soyombo is also one of the most respected angel investors in Nigeria, best known for leading Piggybank.ng’s $1.1 million seed funding round, among other highly successful investments. Other companies in Olumide’s portfolio include Paystack, Wealth8, and Intelligra.
A serial entrepreneur himself, Olumide Soyombo co-founded Bluechip Technologies after securing a $40,000 investment from his dad at age 24. Now, he has no use for his father’s money anymore; rather, he’s using his to grow promising businesses, making him one of the most respected angel investors in Nigeria.
5. Iyinoluwa Aboyeji
Iyinoluwa Aboyeji is a young serial entrepreneur who co-founded Andela and Flutterwave and is generally interested in projects aimed at developing budding startups and entrepreneurs. Like Kola Aina, Iyinoluwa dabbled briefly in politics in 2019, when he served as the Deputy Director General of Oby Ezekwesili’s Presidential Campaign Committee.
He’s mostly interested in tech startups, with a specific focus on enterprise software, logistics, and financial services. Some of his more recent investments include Afropolitan, GitStart, and Stitch, and he’s currently showing no signs of slowing down.
6. Babs Ogundeyi
Babs Ogundeyi is the founder and CEO of Kuda, one of the leading digital banks in Nigeria. What most people don’t know about Babs is his several investments in many promising Nigerian startups, from Curacel, his most recent investment, to Zazuu, Edukoya, Klump, and Casava.
His February 2023 investment in Curacel is enough proof that he’s one of the most active angel investors in Nigeria. However, he hasn’t demonstrated a lot of interest in funding companies at their seed round, so you should have a compelling business at hand to pitch Babs Ogundeyi.
7. Maya Horgan Famodu
Maya Horgan is a 24-year-old Nigerian-American entrepreneur who founded Ingressive Capital, a VC fund for African tech companies. Her fund only targets startups in tech or that use tech solutions, with at least one technical founder.
Ingressive Capital’s portfolio comprises a diverse network of companies, including Reliance Health, Bamboo, Tizeti, Paystack, Fuelmetrics, Send, Complete Farmer, and Healthtracka. If your business is loosely similar to any of those mentioned above, you can always apply to join Ingressive Capital’s portfolio.
8. Idris Ayodeji Bello
Idris Ayodeji Bello is often described as an Afropreneur, but he’s more of an Afrovestor, as he’s better known for his several investments in tech companies. He co-founded Wennovation Hub, a startup growth vehicle that provided funding for 12 startups across different industries.
Currently, he has significant investments in Jem, SimpliFi, Bata Shoe Organization, and Simulon, among several other promising Nigerian startups. Undoubtedly, Idris Ayodeji Bello is one of the best angel investors in Nigeria open to investing in startups across any industry.
9. Opeyemi Awoyemi
Opeyemi Awoyemi is a serial entrepreneur who founded Jobberman and WhoGoHost, both of which have become market leaders in their respective industries. Now that his focus is no longer on building companies, he’s now one of the top recommendations for angel investors in Nigeria.
Opeyemi founded Fast Forward in 2016, a fund that aims to end youth unemployment in Nigeria by funding startup ideas by Nigerian undergraduates. However, you don’t have to be an undergrad to have Opeyemi take a look at your promising startup!
Getting angel investors in Nigeria to take a look at your business plan is hard, but it becomes impossible if you don’t even pitch them in the first place. This article lists the nine best angel investors in Nigeria to pitch for a decent chance at an investment in your company.
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