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Investors charge start-ups on originality

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Some investors have urged tech start-ups to ensure that their products were original so as to attract investments.

The investors gave the advice on Friday in Lagos during a panel session at the Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF) Disrupt 2019 conference, organised by Access Bank.

The theme of the discussion was: ”Securing Seed and Growth Funding for Start-ups in Nigeria and Africa’.”

Adedeji Olowe, Chief Executive Officer, Trium Networks Ltd, said there was mismatch with what was in the market and the value that some start-ups offer.

”We look at the competitors in the market. If what you are bringing is already in the market, we will not invest in it.

”You need to have expertise in the business before investors can consider funding the business,” Olowe said.

He said that it was necessary for a start-up to have a technical founder to be able to establish a business that could be invested in.

Bunmi Akinyemiju, Chief Executive Officer, Venture Garden Group, Nig. said that sometimes, start-ups jump into businesses too early, hence, the business might end up collapsing.

Akinyemiju said that investors were businessmen who cared about Return On Investment (ROI) hence, skeptical on the kind of start-ups to invest in.

He said that investors in Nigeria were not interested in long term investment, as they wanted quick ROI.

”There is not enough local funding. The investor who is giving you money wants to make profit.

”Working with investors is like a marriage and both the start-ups and investors must align on the same interest, and such alignment will create the needed profit,” Akinyemiju said.

The Chairman of Zinox Group, Leo Ekeh, urged start-ups to do self audit to know whether they have the capacity to be entrepreneurs.

”If you want to be an entrepreneur in Nigeria, you must have 40 per cent common sense, 20 per cent spirituality and 40 per cent knowledge of the business,” Ekeh said.

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