GFA Attract Series (VC Edition): Interview with Jonathan Berman (Africa Innovation Partners)
In this episode of GFA-Attract (VC Edition) we discuss with Jonathan Berman, Managing Partner at African Innovation Partners (AIP), a venture capital/asset management company with $500m in assets under management. AIP invests in early stage technology companies focused on emerging markets and is a member of the US Council on Foreign Affairs.
In this interview, you will learn about:
* How Jonathan, an American, found himself in remote parts of Equatorial Guinea
* How Nigeria changed Jonathan’s view on Africa
* Why African stories aren’t told in the global community
* Importance of developing a counter-narrative about Africa, contrary to the “happy depressed people” story
* Jonathan’s book, Success in Africa: CEO Insights from a continent on the rise
* How Jonathan got into venture capital
* AIP’s investments in value creation through digital transformation.
* How African business executives are probably some of the best in managing uncertainty
* Why Jonathan thinks Mitchell Elegbe of Interswitch is probably Africa’s most successful software CEO
* His thoughts on “familiar founders” ie investments into Africa going to white founders or African returnees
* Importance of considering Africa, not as one country but a differentiated whole
* Importance of market research in providing transparency in Africa
* How an understanding of deals, deal sizes, valuations and competitive landscape are important to venture capital firms and how this can help atrract more investment into Africa
* Why AIP likes to invest in companies that have cross-boundary activity
* AIP’s investment in MIGO Money
* Jonathan’s view of Mo Ibrahim as a successful African story
* Average size of investments from AIP
* Advice to entrepreneurs in Africa
GetFundedAfrica’s mission is to uplift people and economies in Africa through entrepreneurship; helping companies find funding, grow, create jobs and solve society’s greatest challenges
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill.