Could Olumide Soyombo’s Voltron Africa be the most productive homegrown company on the continent for 2022? Below is a list and analysis of all 53 startups that Voltron has invested in.
Voltron Capital is a venture capital firm co-founded by entrepreneurs and angel investors, Olumide Soyombo and Abe Choi.
Before they came together to found Voltron, Soyombo and Choi had collectively invested in over 41 startups as angel investors. Soyombo has invested in 26 startups while Choi has invested in 15.
Launched in the third quarter of 2021, Voltron is on a mission to “support extraordinary entrepreneurs outside of Africa solving important problems in large markets.” Their investment thesis is to support interesting founders in large markets, where large markets mean large exits, and investing early means large multiples.
With the Voltron 1 Fund, they intended to invest $20,000 – $100,000 in 30 startups based in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and North Africa. But she is beyond that.
If you have a good reputation in angel investing, you will get a lot of money coming in and your initial outlook will stretch.
Of the tons of incoming merchandise Voltron received they were able to Meet with 500 companieswhich means that they met two startups every working day.
Including public holidays, there were 260 working days in 2022, and that’s after removing 53 Saturdays and 52 Sundays.
I asked Olumide how his team managed to achieve this and he explained that they had a really good signal. “Most of our deal flow comes from the founders we’ve supported and other co-investors,” says Olumide Soyombo.
By September 2022, Voltron Fund 1 closed having invested in 53 startups, an acceptance rate of 10% reminiscent of what we see from major business schools. In 2016, the acceptance rate for Harvard Business School was 12%, Wharton 9%, and Columbia 18.2%.
True to fashion 53 startups run by non-individual founders, with a total of 113. Thus, every startup Voltron invested in had at least two co-founders, one of whom was likely a technical co-founder. In February 2021, Olomide told Benjamindada.com that he would like to invest in a group of founders, which includes a technical co-founder. Here is an excerpt from this article:
What specific characteristics are you looking for in the founders you invest in? Are you looking for technical founders?
I usually like teams more than individual founders. And I think the technical founders are the key. I prefer tech co-founders/co-founders because it reduces the amount of raise. Imagine if you had to raise for your development and you outsourced it to a development shop or to India. This increases the amount to be raised for proof of viability. So yeah, we love the tech founders as part of the team.
Also, they backed all of these startups, but one, in the pre-seed stage.
It is the headquarters for all startups that Voltron has invested in Seven African countries– Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Morocco, Senegal, Rwanda, and Uganda.
The first three are members of the “Big Four,” which is to be expected. But it is interesting to find Rwanda and Uganda on the list, as they had very low startup funding activity in 2022. According to Africa Startup Funding Tracker, there was only one disclosed investment activity for startups headquartered in Rwanda and three in Uganda.
Voltron’s Fund 1 startups operate in 14 major industries Which includes financial services (43.4%), crypto (11%), education and healthcare (7.5%).
Comparing the proportion of investments in Voltron’s portfolio to the continent average, it was well in line with the rest of the industry when it came to investing in HealthTechs (7.5%). It aligns closely with EdTechs (5%) while it is very bullish on Crypto (3.9%) and fintechs (30%).
More than 30% of Voltron’s portfolio companies (portcos) have been accepted into major global accelerators such as YC and Techstars. Thus, attracting the attention of Tier 1 capitalists.
Learn about the 53 startups in Voltron’s first fund
The 53 startups are: