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Hello from Series V

Whilst Nigeria is still agog with the outcome of the recent presidential elections; we are reminded of a few lines from the Roman poet Horace’s Odes — “Strain your wine and prove your wisdom; life is short; should hope be more? In the moment of our talking, envious time has ebb’d away. Seize the present; trust tomorrow as little as you may.”

This year seems to have descended really fast like Zeus thunderbolt and it’s startling to imagine we are already approaching the last month of Q1. We apologize for delivering this edition later than usual. In 2019, we look forward to continuing sharing our thoughts, updates from our portfolio and general musings on what we consider important lessons. Going forward, we will be publishing Series V once a month, and hope you still find it super insightful.

Each new year at VP, we take stock of the past year; assessing things we are excited and grateful for and also highlighting a few things we could have done better and our top goals for the new year. One key question we ask ourselves at the beginning of the year is “How can/would technology impact key sectors across Africa at scale over the next 5 years”? We are definitely not an arbiter of the future and we realize the future can be quite surprising, however asking this question helps us envision a new Africa and helps shape our investment outlook as a firm.

2018 saw us making some interesting investments in companies like; ThankU cash, Piggybank and MDass — pushing the edge of what’s possible in Health care and financial services and we are committed to backing more founders solving critical problems on the African continent.

The year further reminded us that the market is the arbiter of truth for all startups. “When a great team meets a lousy market, market wins. When a lousy team meets a great market, market wins. When a great team meets a great market, something special happens.” — Andy Rachleff.

Drawing from this, the goal for every startup must be to address a big enough market that really wants your product. With this out of the way, even if you screw up a few things with execution, success is still possible. On the other hand, even if you are really great at executing, but the market isn’t — ready/willing/able — to buy what you are selling, you stand no chance at winning. So market comes first, second and maybe third.


Portfolio Chatter

We are super proud of some of the milestones our portfolio companies hit in 2018. To name a few;

  1. ThriveAgric crowdfunded north of 11,000 crop farmers and their poultry farmers reared over 1,000,000 birds.
  2. PiggyBank now PiggyVest users saved N4.5 Billion.
  3. Wesabi grew its revenue by 67%
  4. Printivo became cashflow positive.
  5. Kudi processed $153million across 4.3million transactions
  6. Paystack raised $8m from Stripe and Visa and helped over 30,000 businesses collect $40 monthly.

Inside VP

  • We remain keen to work with bold founders working hard at building the future of Africa. If you have built an MVP and have a clear path to revenue, we would love to speak with you. You can get in touch with us by clicking this link.
  • One of our partners is conducting a survey that would help them better serve entrepreneurs, please take out 1 minute to fill the survey here
  • Know how we can be better, do better? Please drop us a line at [email protected]

Cheers!

V.


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