Here’s how Ayobamigbe Teriba discovers Africa’s most promising startups


When I was in my first year of studying history and international studies, we had a lecture that was meant to prepare us for opportunities to work in various fields. The lecturer began by naming a few of the positions we were capable of filling before revealing that we were qualified for the vast majority of positions that did not require specialized training.

The fact that Ayobamigbe Teriba, Venture Sourcing Lead at Founders Factory Africa, supports my lecturer's argument demonstrates that he was correct. Following his graduation from the University of Lagos with a degree in history and strategic studies, he found work at Ingressive Capital, where he worked his way up through the ranks to become an Operations, Fund, and Relationship Analyst. He also held other positions there.

During his time at Ingressive Capital, he was a member of the team that was responsible for conducting market research for businesses that were considering establishing operations in Africa. These businesses included Y Combinator, Figma, GitHub, and USAID. In addition to this, he assisted in the organization of trips for people who were interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the African ecosystem while simultaneously building some of Ingressive Capital's communities.

When you hear that someone works in the venture space, you might expect that they have some background in business; however, how does a graduate of history and strategic studies get into the space?

Teriba is quick to point out that the venture capital industry has a wide variety of roles, and anyone who is interested in entering the industry can choose a role that is appropriate for their level of experience and skills. According to him, education is the basis upon which one can construct anything they want.

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ayobamigbe teriba 852x682 0 1030Ayobamigbe Teriba, Venture Sourcing Lead at Founders Factory Africa.

"What I did at Ingressive exposed me to different parts of the tech ecosystem. This included building communities, managing communities, engaging external parties, participating in webinars, and learning about companies that you are familiar with today when they were just ideas."

He had to put in a lot of effort to get a handle on what his job entailed, despite the fact that his position at Ingressive gave him an understanding of the venture capital landscape.

A significant portion of that served as the foundation on which I built my understanding of the core components of the technological ecosystem. After that, I started challenging myself by reading material geared toward venture capital, and I also started reading articles and watching videos of MBA classes on YouTube.

" Although they were fairly technical, I was able to find a way to use the information provided there and ask the executives at Ingressive. I started going to places where there were people who knew more about the subject than I did, and I listened to them chat about it there.

The duties and responsibilities of a venture sourcing analyst

Building a successful venture capital firm requires a number of steps, including developing a fund thesis, identifying promising startups for investment, and providing ongoing support for portfolio companies as they grow.

Teriba's primary responsibility as a venture sourcing analyst is to locate startup companies whose investment theses are compatible with those of the company. Teriba explains how he discovers these companies, which are typically startups in the financial technology, health technology, and agricultural technology industries.

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No matter how early you want to get up, there are certain filters that you absolutely need to have. To begin, the methods of finding founders that have proven to be the most successful in my experience are inbound and referrals. Monitoring the news is another strategy that a lot of people use to discover new startup companies.

" Additionally, some individuals join forces with syndicates that generally arrive quite early. Recently, we have noticed an increase in the use of scouts who operate their own businesses in addition to interacting with those of other companies.

Why financial technology companies receive the most venture capital.

A user from Nigeria who uses Twitter asked the following question a few weeks ago: "Why is every Nigerian startup entrepreneur trying to create a fin-tech startup?" Why do I have to choose from a thousand different methods of payment for my plantain?

An examination of the responses to the tweet reveals that a significant number of individuals hold the opinion that there are already an excessive number of fintech startups in Nigeria. On the other hand, there are those who believe there is still room in the market for additional startup companies. Teriba explains that the reason financial technology startups receive the most funding is because people place a significant emphasis on their financial situations.

"When you want to start a new job, the next thing you get is an account to get paid into. This comes after you have received a letter of employment agreement. Once you begin working, it doesn't matter how skilled you are; if the work you do does not translate to value for you in the form of salaries and other forms of payment, you will become dissatisfied.

Building a community during the early stages of an ecosystem is one of the reasons why fintechs are so appealing to investors and why they receive ample funding. It is essential that we build the rails that enable people who create value to get paid, because those communities give birth to skill sets, and the next thing you want to do is offer those skill sets for money. Therefore, it is essential that we build those skill sets.

Although financial technology companies continue to receive the most funding from investors, he believes that as these companies demonstrate their value in the market, it will open the door for other industries to shine.

" As fintech starts to show that the money it has gotten over time is worth something, you'll start to see other people pick up huge checks, and you're already seeing them.

What factors are considered when valuing companies

During the interview process, one of the questions that we ask founders is where they see themselves in the next five years. They almost always mention that they want to construct unicorns within the allotted time.

The valuation of African startup companies has become a point of contention among local investors as a result of the increased interest in the funding of African startup companies; many investors are critical of the high valuations. Teriba explains that the valuation of a startup company is typically the result of a combination of a number of different factors.

The majority of the time, when people look at valuations, their first thought is, "Why is this company valued at this amount?" However, they are not considering the value that the company provides to its customers. This discussion can be viewed from a variety of perspectives. Some people believe that business valuations should be reflective of where the business currently is, while others believe that valuations should be reflective of where the business could be once its potential has been unlocked.

Although he has no problem with high valuations, he emphasizes that it is essential to make sure that valuations are reasonable and come as close as they can to accurately reflecting reality. Companies that might be interested in acquisitions will not be discouraged from proceeding in this manner.

Developing for markets all over the world

Over the course of the past four years, African start-ups like Paga, Swvl, MFS Africa, and Lidya have begun to investigate the possibility of expanding their operations to countries outside of Africa. Many people are now questioning the reasoning that went into these choices as a result of these moves.

Others believe that this is because there is sufficient potential on the African continent, in contrast to those who believe that this is because of the size of African markets. Teriba is of the opinion that the latter is correct, but he does acknowledge that there is nothing inherently wrong with serving people in other parts of the world.

There are 54 countries in Africa that have a population of over a billion people, and our continent is on track to have the youngest population in the world. Why do we continue to focus on the international market when there is so much potential for value creation on the continent?

On the other hand, developing a product that has applications in multiple countries is not a waste of time. Why not give it a shot if you're going to build something from here that has the potential to scale in other countries? To put it simply, I don't believe that we should let it take our focus away from the people of Africa.