We are an angel network venture capital firm with a focus on investing in innovative startups in the East African ecosystem. Besides capital, we support startups by making business introductions where necessary and being involved strategically in their growth plans.
The cofounders of ViKtoria Ventures, Stephen Gugu and Yaron Cohen, spent much of their early careers in roles that involved taking startups through investor-readiness courses, capacity building and building their knowledge of entrepreneurial finance. They then used this experience to branch out on their own and create ViKtoria Ventures with the intent of helping local entrepreneurs access capital. Their aim was to bring more investors into Nairobi, bolstering the city’s business ecosystem and introducing the concept of angel investment to Kenyan entrepreneurs.
In other countries, angel networks are a well-established business practice, but when ViKtoria Ventures was founded in 2012, they were not common in Nairobi. The country’s burgeoning tech scene and business community make it an ideal location for this model. ViKtoria Ventures is proud to say that it won’t accept any investor who would prioritize profit and portfolio diversity over the support the organization provides to its network. This means that the founders have carefully curated who to accept as a member and that they preferred to use their personal funds for early investments than take on investors who didn’t share their vision.
At the outset, ViKtoria Ventures focused solely on tech startups, aiming to support a generation of Kenyan innovators in that industry. As the organization and its connections have expanded, it has broadened its scope and is now agnostic about which sectors it invests in. The firm has also grown its network of angels to around thirty-five, many of whom are international. One of the advantages of ViKtoria Ventures for startups is the connection between company and investor. Many angels take the time to mentor founders, giving their informed insight and even providing access to their own personal network to encourage the success of the business.
- Have the beginnings of a track record.
We’re looking for companies that are at a post-prototype stage and are starting to build traction on their own.
- Understand the risks inherent to your industry.
We want to see a company’s risk profile before investing. They should have the capacity to execute on their vision and should have a suitable team.
- Have a plan for the future of your business.
We want to know what plans a company has to expand. We’re looking for scalable ideas that address an expansive target market.
- Express what makes you unique.
We want to see what makes a company stand out from the rest. Innovative and disruptive companies are more likely to pique our interest.
Applications can be sent via:
Main photo by Viktoria Ventures