Fidelity Bank says it banks on startups developing solutions that adress lifestyle and consumer behaviours because they offer future growth potentials.
Mr Gbolahan Joushua, Chief Operations and Information Officer, Fidelity Bank, who hinted this during a panel session at the Tech Money Africa event held at the University of Lagos, sees businesses in these sector having the potentials to scale in the nearest future.
“From a retail perspective, we like companies that are into lifestyle and consumer behavior. So from a data analytics perspective, we are looking for people who generate data. We are looking for people to partner with and lend to people who play in that space”, the Fidelity Bank exec says.
“We want to lend to people we are building platform businesses, that is, the business model itself involves generating a lot of data and that data in future, that business can be monetized. We like those kind of businesses because we believe that in future those are the businesses that are going to scale”, he adds.
The Tech Money Africa that featured a number of panel sessions and exhibitions was held at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) in Lagos. The event offered a unique opportunity for business leaders and students to network with the industry’s brightest lights, discover cutting-edge insights into the latest tech trends and share valuable experiences with them.
During the panel discussion that focused on how start up can raise capital, the panelists which include Eric Idiahi, Co-Founder and Partner, Verod Capital Management Limited; Gbolahan Joushua, Chief Operations and Information Officer, Fidelity Bank; Olayemi Anyanechi, Managing Partner, Sefton Fross, shared a common position that a mix of good character and a good business model is key to attracting funds from prospective investors.
“For me, it’s the character. What’s the character of the people behind the business. Secondly, the business model and that will determine if the money is coming back and the third is how the money is going to come back”, the Fidelity Bank Chief Operations and Information Office says.
According to him, “the money might be able to come back, but if the business model is wrong and the character of the people are flawed, so how do you get the money?”
“I think character is very important. So for me, the key things we look out for to invest in is character, then business model and thirdly how the money is going to come back.
“Another thing is the structure needed on how to get the money back. If you come to us to invest in your business, we look at the structure on how to get the money back. Maybe you need us to give you an overdraft, we structure it in such a way that you don’t run into problem.
“Finally you need to have a track record. But if the business model is right, we might overlook the business model for the track record”, Joushua says.
For Olayemi Anyanechi, Managing Partner, Sefton Fross, ”I always tell my clients, before you go and raise money, do an audit on yourself and I advise get a good lawyer because when you put your acts together you get a better valuation.”
The truth of the matter is investor wants their money back and they will want to control your business to get their money back. They have the ability to take decision you can’t take without them”, the Sefton Fross Managing Partner says.
Dr Akintoye Akindele, Managing Partner, Synergy Capital Managers also tells the Tech Money Africa attendees that many startups don’t get investors because “people don’t know their onions. When you are going to raise money, do a research on who you are going to meet; what does he like to finance. For instance, if a bank you trying to raise funds from likes investing in oil and gas and you take fintech to them, that might probably not fly.”
According to Dr Akindele, “the business model is good but if you are pitching a wrong product to them then, you might not get the necessary backing from them.
“Secondly ask who they have done business with in past, so you know what to expect from them. Then, don’t go to try to overcomplicate your pitch. Make it very simple. If you can’t explain it to a five-year old guy, then it means it is complex.”
He tells the Tech Money Africa attendees that “a lot of you that I have seen come with so many complex pitches and I get so tired and bored of it. So I will advise to go in strong and clear.
“Then something important that don’t expect a ‘yes.’ Go in and expect a ‘no.’ No is a great answer to get. When you get a ‘no’, you ask yourself why no? You learn from every experience.”
According to him, “Lastly never raise money when you don’t need money and what does that mean? Begin a conversation with who you want to pitch to. Take for instance, if it’s a bank you want to pitch to, you begin by opening an account with the bank . Let them see your cash flow. The more they understand you, the more their willingness to invest in you.”