Known for being a big-time angel investor in tech startups in Nigeria and Africa, Olumide Soyombo has invested in more than 30 startups across Africa including big names such as Piggyvest, TeamApt, and Stripe-owned Paystack. He has been in the game of investing in startups since 2014 and has rightly earned the title of angel investor.
On Monday, the angel investor announced that he’d be launching his venture capital firm called Voltron Capital. Voltron Capital is a Pan-African venture capital firm that Olumide Soyombo has co-founded with US-based investor and entrepreneur – Abe Choi.
With Voltron Capital, Olumide Soyombo alongside Abe Choi, plan to provide funding for African startups. The firm aims at providing funding mostly at pre-seed and seed-stage levels and is doing this in an attempt to “address the severe lack of access to early-stage funding for African tech companies”. The funding is aimed most especially at startups located in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and North Africa, and ticket sizes will range from $20,000 to $100,000.
Despite his company not being the conventional VC-supported startup that the world is used to, Olumide Soyombo remains one of the formidable founder-cum-investors that Africa has seen and produced. Bluechip Technologies, his enterprise company which he co-founded with his friend Kazeem Tewogbade in 2008, provides data warehousing solutions and enterprise applications to banks, telecommunication companies, insurance companies, and what have you. It wasn’t until 2014 that the duo decided to try a new path of investing in tech startups. They invested in startups via LeadPath. This was an early-stage funding firm they launched in Lagos, Nigeria. The idea behind LeadPath was to invest the sum of $25,000 to startups while also taking them through a three-month accelerator program – the idea was therefore to run LeadPath like Y Combinator but unfortunately, this didn’t go as planned.
Compared to when he started investing in tech startups in 2014 and now, the tech startup (and startup) sector has grown tremendously. According to Olumide Soyombo, in recent times, the acquisition of Paystack by Stripe has shone the light on the tech startup space in Africa. He believes that other African startups have huge potentials such as the ones that are already in the light. One of the biggest problems of these startups, which constitutes the reason why a handful of them either fail or take time to flourish, is the lack of seed funding and angel investors.
Olumide Soyombo plans on filling the gap created by this challenge the best way he can with Voltron Capital by making seed funding accessible to startups that desire them.