Gideon Dada’s guide for getting into venture capital


A brief while ago, Gideon Dada and I had the opportunity to have a conversation. A daily trip to the gym, which he made sure to maintain in order to keep in shape while working from home, had just ended a few minutes before the call came in.

Metis Capital Partners is the family office of Nigerian businessman Hakeem Belo-Osagie, and Dada serves as an Investment Associate there. After working as a member of the wealth management team at Sankore Investments, where he was responsible for improving the efficiency of the wealth management process, he left that company in December 2021 to join the company.

Family offices assist families with significant wealth in the management of that wealth. Traditionally, family offices were responsible for managing the wealth of a single family; however, many family offices in operation today serve more than one family.

In the year 2021, he received a message on LinkedIn from a person at Metis Capital who was conducting a search for new employees and wanted to know if he was interested in the position.

Before that, she had a conversation with his older brother, Benjamin Dada, from whom she had received ringing endorsements. After reviewing the qualifications needed for the position, he submitted an application and then went through a series of tests before being hired.

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But I don't understand why he would give up a job in a well-organized setting for the uncharted territory of venture capital. For Dada, the opportunity to work with his current superiors at Metis Capital was the primary motivating factor in making this decision.

" For me, the opportunity to work with these guys and learn from them was the most valuable aspect of the internship. Without a shadow of a doubt, I had a good job in asset management; however, when the opportunity arose to learn from these guys with a background in consulting, I just had the feeling that it was the perfect opportunity for me. Since I began in December until now, I can truthfully say that I have not experienced any disappointment.

In addition, one of the most alluring aspects of venture capital was the element of unpredictability.

When you come to venture capital, you won't look through the same deck twice because it's much more flexible. So, I'm going to take a look at something related to the infrastructure of Bitcoin wallets today. The following day, I will be looking at data infrastructure and fintech. You have to educate yourself in order to take advantage of any of the opportunities that present themselves to you.

Getting a job in venture capital

Dada believes that he was headhunted for the role because of a few qualities that helped him stand out from the crowd.

" To start, I'd like to consider responsibility. Due to the fact that it is a family office, I am typically in charge of directing conversations regarding the VC aspects. You want someone who will not make you feel like you have to chase them on Monday morning, at midnight, or on Friday. You want to be able to rely on this person, so you want to make sure they are available and willing to take responsibility for the task you have given them. [You want] someone in which you can have complete confidence that they will carry out your responsibilities.

He is also of the opinion that his LinkedIn profile contributed to demonstrating his experience as well as his capacity to manage expectations.

" If you look at my profile on LinkedIn, you'll see that it basically just shows my work history. Consequently, ever since I was in the 200 level, I've held a job on the side. Therefore, this demonstrates that you are able to effectively manage your time.

img 0173 852x682 0 1138Gideon Dada, Investment Associate at Metis Capital Partners

He revealed that it is extremely important for students and recent graduates who are interested in entering the field to demonstrate their value to potential employers and to build their networks.

Dada disclosed that Metis Capital could only invest in a select few of the startups that they come across, which is common practice among investors operating in Africa. However, they also share investment opportunities with other members of their network of investors.

Because of financial constraints and the fact that it is still a new space, we are still taking it easy. However, one out of every four of those would be really interesting for us. After that, we bring in our value after giving out small tickets ranging from $10,000 to $25,000. We have made investments in approximately 10 percent of the new businesses that we have been presented with.

Metis Capital invests in startups where they can add significant value, including regulatory guidance and market entry strategies as two of their strengths, according to Dada, who disclosed that Metis Capital is an investor that is not sector specific.

We look for opportunities to invest in businesses where we believe we can provide significant value addition. Due to the fact that our chairman has a great deal of experience in the financial technology industry, we have completed a few deals in that sector. We are also interested in assisting individuals whose businesses are already well-established in countries other than Nigeria but which are seeking to break into the market in Nigeria. You'll find that after businesses have completed their research, they get in touch with us and say things like, "Oh, whatever ticket size you're looking at, we're happy to have you on our cap table, even if it's less than the minimum ticket."

The most exciting industries for Gideon Dada

In light of the fact that technology is disrupting a variety of industries, Dada has identified three that particularly stand out: the financial technology industry, the health technology industry, and the eCommerce industry.

I believe that there is still a lot of excitement surrounding fintech, and that it is still the most exciting industry on the continent; there is still a lot of room for development. I say this because we are barely scratching the surface in this office right now; 95 percent of transactions are conducted in cash, which means that only 5 percent of transactions that take place on the continent have been digitized.

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" Not only that, but there has also been a lot of innovation in the medical field, particularly after the COVID incident. Therefore, I enjoy the innovations that are currently being developed in that sector as well. The final one would be e-commerce, and I envision a future in which the majority of our daily necessities, including our groceries and everything else, would be delivered to our doorsteps.

What kind of business owner should stay away from venture capital funding?

Even though venture capitalists typically put their money into tech startups, not every company's leaders are cut out to be investors. According to Dada, one of the reasons for this is a reluctance on the part of business owners to communicate the current state of the company to venture capitalists.

“ Off the top of my head, I’m thinking, if you’re a bad communicator or you don’t do well with feedback and just keeping people posted, you should stay away from accepting investors’ money because whoever is investing wants to know how their funds are faring, as often as possible, or at least have an idea of when to expect an update.”

In addition to this, he is of the opinion that part-time business owners should not seek venture capital investment.

" If this is not your full-time job and you are not devoting one hundred percent of your efforts to the product that you are developing, you should not pursue venture capital funding. In other words, it would be brought up during the course of the necessary research. If you are not willing to give this one hundred percent of your attention and effort, I will not invest in you.

On the other hand, he explains that founders looking to raise from VCs need to be clear on what they want from these investors. For example, founders can have a mix of foreign and local investors to enable them to access capital and expertise respectively.

The part that financiers play in the formation of robust cultures

Startups have been lauded for espousing what many consider to be a better workplace culture. However, culture goes beyond new MacBooks, gym memberships, and remote work options. However, investors can assist in areas where many new businesses lack either experience or examples of productive workplace cultures.

Repeated education, according to the Dadaist point of view, is the answer to many of the mysteries surrounding workplace cultures.

It is very important to properly sensitize even the most experienced people, and continuously hammering on these things helps with that. In the case of the founders, the focus should be more on consistent follow-up and checkup calls.

Due to the fact that many Africans are unfamiliar with the concept of venture capital, Dada shared that the most common misunderstanding is the belief that one must have everything figured out before entering the field. He also mentioned that venture capitalists are always trying to improve their skills.