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MAYA HORGAN-FAMODU, H’17

Accelerating the Demand for Investing in Africa
According to the World Bank, the rate of return of foreign investment in Africa is higher than any other developing region, and yet venture firms and tech companies often view investing in Africa as a challenge. Nigerian-American Maya Horgan-Famodu saw an opportunity in this challenge and launched Ingressive as a firm that would bridge the gap between investors, global corporations and African businesses, particularly within the growing African tech sector. With thousands of African businesses reached and millions of dollars invested, Famodu is on track to secure Ingressive as the key adhesive force between foreign investors, corporations and Africa’s “Silicon Valleys”. Since building Ingressive, she has also launched Ingressive Capital, a $5 million early stage VC focused on tech-enabled businesses across Sub-Saharan Africa.

“I want to ensure that every brilliant person has the resources they need to build wildly scalable businesses.”

Investing in Africa

THE CHALLENGE. Venture capital investment in Africa has seen a substantial rise in recent years, with a 14 times growth multiple since 2012. In 2018, investment in Africa was at an all-time high, with approximately $725.6 million raised across 458 deals. While this is cause to celebrate, the amount of investment still pales in comparison to other markets. For instance, in the United States alone, startups received $100 billion from investors in 2018. This disparity across markets creates an imbalance of opportunities for businesses, with most African businesses still struggling to compete in the global market. However, as several successful African businesses have demonstrated, the quality of entrepreneurs in Africa is just as valuable as entrepreneurs in other regions. The main challenge is connecting investors to African entrepreneurs and guiding the process so that the exchange can be mutually beneficial and properly drive success. Global technology companies and investors want access to African startups and the technology ecosystem, but have limited understanding of how to enter or forge essential relationships with African businesses.

THE PROCESS. Famodu’s father and his brothers all moved to the US for higher education. Most of them stayed in the US, and some returned home after, including Maya’s own. She witnessed the contrast between those building businesses in the US versus those in Nigeria, and became acutely aware of the challenges West African entrepreneurs had to face. She was inspired by the fact that, although they had 20x the challenges, those back home built equally high growth, profitable businesses. There was something truly special about the African “super” entrepreneur.

Famodu herself spent most of her time living in the US and pursued a career in private equity research and banking. While she was working with major international firms, helping them come to informed decisions about investment opportunities, she repeatedly saw them overlook some of the key sectors and industries in African countries.

To solve these challenges, Famodu launched Ingressive, a market entry and market operations firm that assists global investors and corporations to enter and operate across Sub-Saharan Africa’s key tech ecosystems. They now operate across Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa and Rwanda, providing resources and capital to tech communities across all of these regions, and assisting numerous businesses to make Africa their highest growth region in the world.

With her experience in multiple markets and sectors, Famodu had the skill set required to make Ingressive a success. The company holds market research trips across the continent for investors and the world’s top tech companies to understand the African consumer, invest, support, and grow locally. Her firm also runs organizations’ Africa strategy, and has built programs to develop tech ecosystems including Ingressive Campus Ambassadors, a program that provides funding, technical tools, mentorship and access to developers at every major university in Nigeria, as well as in Rwanda, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa.

In addition to being one of the few active seed stage VCs in the region, Ingressive Capital (IC) leverages their global network to assist with growth and scale. They plug startups in to new major clients, new investors, talent, and provide financial support. Through IC’s network of limited partners (investors in their fund) including those who run Y Combinator, Techstars, and WTI and over 10 other top funds and accelerators, they help companies get follow-on funding from abroad.

THE RESULT. Ingressive has worked with over 50 clients who have made 35+ venture investments in the region. Their clients on market entry or market operations have included Y Combinator, USAID, GitHub, 500 Startups, Techstars, Facebook for Developers and many more.

Ingressive Capital, the company’s VC arm, has invested in the likes of Paystack, Tizeti, AwaBike and many more, and operate a model where 80% of the fund investors run later stage funds, accelerators, incubators and banks, providing Ingressive Capital portfolio companies with access to later stage international financing, business development and partnerships.

Famodu’s vision for Ingressive in the next decade is to look back at the GDP growth rates of the major African countries and know that Ingressive had an impact on that growth, especially through the investment into early stage entrepreneurs that grew into billion dollar businesses.

LEARN MORE ABOUT INGRESSIVE & INGRESSIVE CAPITAL

Ingressive is a market entry and market operations firm for local and global enterprises seeking expansion and growth in Africa. In addition Ingressive provides sponsorship, technical tools, mentorship and access for developers, designers, and tech founders across Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda and South Africa.

Ingressive Capital (IC) is a venture capital fund committed to supporting the next generation of African innovators. IC invests $50k to $100k checks into Pre-Seed to Seed, tech-enabled companies based in Sub-Saharan Africa and provides follow-on funding with their own investor base, who run some of the leading funds in the world. IC look for post-launch founders with a great product, solving a big problem, and work with them on ways to grow and scale through business development, partnerships and financial support.

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SERVANT LEADERSHIP

ABOUT MAYA HORGAN-FAMODU

Committing to a Cause that is Bigger than Oneself

Maya Horgan-Famodu holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science from Pomona College and completed the Cornell University Prelaw Program. Upon graduating, she observed and analyzed processes within New York Federal Courthouse and then proceeded into private equity research. It was during this research that she realized she could be the person to fill in the gap between investors and African businesses. Famodu also grew tired of seeing her friends and family, brilliant entrepreneurs with viable business ideas and technical expertise, not gaining access to available markets due to financing and support.

She launched Ingressive as a solution in 2015. Famodu had an “ache” to get back to Nigeria and help build the tech ecosystem there, and it wasn’t until she pursued her work with Ingressive and moved back to Nigeria that she felt this ache subside. Ingressive offers direct access to a wide network of tech talent, founders, and other local partners and offers clients a guided view of doing business in “Silicon Africa”. Ingressive has expanded to include client services for local banks and similar organizations, as well as foreign investors and tech companies. Committed to serving the new generation of African innovators, she co-founded the High Growth Africa Summit in 2016, which has had over 750 founders, engineers, and investors in attendance.

“Servant leadership to me is a fundamental commitment to a cause that is bigger than oneself, where you have the skill sets and the experience to make a serious impact and you dedicate your human capital to whatever space you are most passionate.”

Famodu sees herself with Pan-African investment tourism, leading partnerships and Sub-Saharan African investment for many of the West’s top investment and tech companies as they enter Africa. She also plans on running the most successful early stage tech investment fund on the continent through her most recent venture, Ingressive Capital.

I AM A HARAMBEAN

Maya Horgan-Famodu joined Harambe because it is a network of people who are committed to changing the future of Africa:

“As I started building my network across the continent, I found that the top entrepreneurs I met were Harambeans. I wanted to be closer to this interesting group of global change makers.”