“The Lagos Angel Fair Network is a group of current and retired senior executives in industry who come together on a monthly basis to look at start-ups within the Lagos terrain in view of investing anywhere from half a million to five million naira to get them started,” Tomi Davies, CEO of TechnoVision and a member of the Lagos Angel Network told CNBC Africa.
According to him, the 20 businesses that were chosen were selected from a combination of all their angel networks in the West African region such as Ghana, Benin Republic, Cameroon and Senegal.
Last year, South Africa hosted the network’s first fair in Johannesburg with 23 business owners and 72 investors present. Nonetheless, at the two days West Africa inaugural fair, only 20 investors were chosen to pitch to investors.
“One of the critical components of being an ‘angel’, is the ability to mentor and spend time with a particular investment, so that’s one of the critical selection criteria,” he explained.
Estimates have shown that 100 billion naira has been invested in developing and sustaining technology ventures in Nigeria over the past three years. However, with the huge number of tech start-ups in the country, a lot more is needed going forward.
“We are looking for four critical things. The first is, the kind of value you are creating within the market, so the size of the market you are chasing, the second is your organisation, the kind of people on your team, because at the end of the day, it’s the people that make the ideas work,” he said.
As online retailers in Nigeria continue to gather incredible successes, technology start-ups in the country are seeing a fresh wave of further investment. Online sales in the country grew by 25 per cent in 2011 to 62.4 billion naira, up an additional 12.5 billion naira from 49.9 billion naira in 2010. Thus, there is increasing investor confidence in tech start-ups.
(READ MORE: Is online shopping the next big trend for Nigeria?)
“Then we also look at the financials so, how you intend to return the investments that are being made and finally, we look at where you are in the process, where you are today and how far you have to go,” he added.