Please tell us about your background and how you got into this field?
I am a creationist at heart and I love creating something out of nothing. It is what gets me so excited and why I am involved investing in the startup world. Technology has the ability to not only shift the way business is done, but also open people up to a world of possibilities not yet imagined. Investing in startups allows me the opportunity to be part of a team that reimagines the future.
My introduction to VC investing began a little different to most entrepreneurial VCs. I was raising capital for my own startup when I realized I could raise more than what I needed. I also realized I was a better business builder than a product developer and so the idea of investing into other peoples dreams allowed me to take their product and help build it into a business.
After raising our first fund and investing into 10 startups we’re now raising our second fund and will be investing into another 50 startups.
In the next five years, what are the most important things to keep and eye on in your field? Why?
Fintech and health: 2 biggest verticals in emerging markets. As smart phone penetration increases, data and data rich platforms will play an increasingly more important role. I expect to see more robust use cases of blockchain technology to come to the fore and central to that will be the decentralisation of users financial information. This will also dovetail nicely into the insuretech space.
Digitalization of health will improve the transferability of data. And the free flow of data will allow for greater transparency between patients, service providers and medical practitioners.
Who (person or company) do you feel is doing exciting stuff in your field? Why?
In the investment space - there are a handful of individuals, backed by some VC firms, that are investing into emerging tech but there is still only a very small amount of capital dedicated to the emerging market sectors. Africa is a continent with a huge young population, and with tech, emerging markets have the opportunity to leap frog more developed markets.
How do you hope Tulip Conference will be better than your typical event/conference? Why?
I know this conference will profile the role of tech for solving real-world problems; many of which can be easily identified in emerging markets. I hope for this event to start the initial conversations of long term relationships with potential partners across the investment landscape that are equally interested in investing into these startups.