Olumide Soyombo has today announced the launch of Pan-African VC firm, Voltron Capital, co-founded with Abe Choi, a US-based entrepreneur and investor. It is a pre-seed & seed firm for elite tech founders tackling critical problems in the continent’s largest markets.
Voltron will deploy capital in up to 30 startups across a range of sectors in a bid to “address the severe lack of access to early-stage funding for African tech companies.”
With a ticket size of $20,000 – $100,000 per company, the VC’s portfolio will primarily focus on startups in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and North Africa.
Soyombo is an experienced angel investor and founder. In 2008, he co-founded Bluechip Technologies — provides data warehousing solutions and enterprise applications to banks, telcos, insurance firms — with a friend, Kazeem Ewogbade.
In 2014, He ventured into tech once again, partnering with Ewogbade to found LeadPath Nigeria, an early-stage firm-cum-accelerator.
They planned to invest $25,000, take the startups through a three-month accelerator programme ending in a Demo Day. It was a Y Combinator of sorts, but they quickly discovered a snag in their plans.
Per TechCrunch, Soyombo found that getting investors to pitch to was a problem. They ended up funding the startups themselves and eventually began investing individually
LeadPath became a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the pair to carry out their angel investing deals. This sometimes involved calling upon High net-worth individuals (HNIs) not directly involved in the tech space.
With this, Soyombo has decided to formalise the funding process, bringing his access to non-traditional capital to bear.
He has a portfolio of 33 African tech startups, including Mono, PiggyVest, Spleet, Migo, TeamApt and Paystack, raising over $70m, ranging from pre-seed to Series A.
Choi, CEO and founder of Simple Dealer, has also invested in 15 tech startups — two of which have been exited, and collectively, the founders’ existing portfolio spreads across a vast range of sectors, including finance, energy, logistics, retail, and education.
Speaking on the launch, Soyombo says, “Voltron Capital is the beginning of another incredibly exciting journey for Abe and I, but it is also a celebration of the road Africa’s entire tech space has travelled to date.”
With their combined history, Soyombo says, “We want the next wave of African tech success stories to not only make an impact on the continent but to be truly global; through Abe’s strategic connections to the USA, we’re confident we can provide our portfolio with the best possible opportunities to achieve this through our US and global network.”