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This has been traced to the under-representation of women in VC firms. According to Axios, women make up 12.4 percent of decision-makers at venture capital businesses in the United States. Moreover, Only 10% of West African firms with total funding of $1 million between 2010 and 2020 consisted of at least one female co-founder. To solve this problem, Yemi Keri, a woman passionate about empowering women, co-founded Rising Tide after witnessing, firsthand, the difficulties women face in the angel investing world. Rising Tide is a network for female angel investors committed to building African startups.
How It StartedPrior to angel investing, Yemi had a background in information technology. Naturally, she was clueless about the angel investing world. It was by becoming a part of the Lagos Angel Network by Tomi Davies that she began to have a grasp of what it was all about. After gaining some knowledge about the industry, she made her first leap by investing in the notable coffee house, Cafe Neo, and digital media company, Big Cabal. Yemi realised she had a passion for investing in companies that have value to provide, based on several factors including a passionate team, an impressive expansion model, or quality products and services.
Founding Rising TideYemi first came up with the idea of a female-focused angel network after observing the stark difference in the way pitches by men and women founders played out.
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In an interview with Techpoint, she said,
“Around 2016, I began to toy with the idea of having a female-focused angel network because many of the people who came to pitch were men who got more attention and interest than the few women who showed up. And this made me wonder. It wasn’t by design, but I began to notice that, first of all, the questions they asked women were kind of different. Secondly, the women were not communicating effectively to the investor team, and the kinds of businesses they pitched were slightly different. Women often do their businesses with a sense of passion…”She found that while some women founders offer quality products, they struggled to convey their value. By coaching and educating these women, she noticed a positive change in their pitching delivery and this led to successful negotiations. She teamed up with Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien and founded Rising Tide Africa to help more women secure funding from angel investors.
Achievements And MilestonesAs of 2021, Rising Tide had invested in over 20 startups. The company has also attained an average ticket size of between $50,000 to $200,000. It has invested in several thriving startups including Migo, Amayi foods, Big Cabal, Cafe Neo, Aruwa Capital, OZÉ, Kwik, Nature’s Bounty, Eden, Blackbet, and more.
How Rising Tide Works To Increase Female Participation In Angel InvestingRising Tide’s modus operandi is based on four main pillars, namely education, networking, mentoring, and investments. The startup first focuses on education. Through masterclasses and training programs for female founders and others in their ecosystem, Rising Tide enlightens founders about the investment ecosystem. For networking, Rising Tide creates avenues for founders to have access to investments. It achieves this by organising and attending events where entrepreneurs converge. When it comes to the fourth arm, mentoring, Rising Tide serves as individual mentors for its portfolio. The company operates on the premise that startups can benefit from investment opportunities, but they also need some mentoring if they want to be successful at pitching for investments. If you want to join Rising Tide as an investor, you can visit the website at risingtideafrica. Also, you can send your pitches to firstname.lastname@example.org. Featured Image Source: VC4A
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