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How Nigerian Woman Started Ingressive Capital, A $10 Million VC Fund Supporting Startups

 

Raising venture funding remains a challenge for many African startups. This has resulted in stunted growth of many startups in Africa due to a lack of money to expand their business operation. One Nigerian entrepreneur has stepped in to address the funding gap in the startup industry.

Maya Horgan Famodu is the founder of VC firm Ingressive Capital, a $10 million fund, based in Lagos, Nigeria, to support startups in Africa. According to CNBC Make It, since its launch, Ingressive Capital has backed some promising startups on the continent, including Paystack, a Nigerian fintech firm that was recently acquired by Stripe.

Horgan Famodu’s decision to start a VC firm stems from her own experience of not getting backers when she first relocated to Nigeria to set up her own fund. Also, her upbringing contributed to her determination to start and make it in the venture capital industry.

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“Feeling of knowing you have capacity, knowing you have the determination and the grit to do something but something outside of your control, access, is taken away … I hate that feeling so much that I just don’t want anyone else to go through that,” she told CNBC Make It.

She initially started Ingressive as an investment advisory firm and solidified her reputation in the industry and then launched Ingressive Capital in 2017 when she was only 25 years. Horgan Famodu is thought to be the youngest to have started a tech fund in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is also the first woman to do it alone in Nigeria.

Nigerian-American Horgan Famodu grew up in rural Minnesota. She started her career working at mortgage banking at JPMorgan Chase and in private equity research in New York. While working in the U.S., Horgan Famodu became interested in entrepreneurial development in Africa.

She was disturbed by the fact that many African startups could not raise funds to scale up their businesses.

“We started leading global investors to Africa before tech was a thing here, back when questions were less ‘how many M&A deals have occurred in the African market this year?’ and more ‘do Africans even have internet and electricity?’ It was necessary to not only change the Africa narrative to focus on its incredible innovations and opportunities, but also sell a future few imagined. I knew I had an obligation to use my access to empower the next generation of African innovators,” she explained to Forbes why Ingressive Capital was a necessity.

Aside from Ingressive Capital, Horgan Famodu has a non-profit which provides micro-scholarships, technical skills development, and talent placement for young people in Africa.

The 30-year-old was recently featured among the 30 under 30 in Technology by Forbes Africa. She attended Pomona College and proceeded to Cornell University for her Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental sciences. She also did a Prelaw Program at the university.

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Written by PH

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