Tofino Capital – a venture capital firm has said that it is looking forward to investing into early-stage startups that need funding from the African continent, beginning from Nigeria and giving a wide spread to other African countries.
The VC has said that it is hoping to invest between US$50,000 and US$1 million in pre-seed and seed companies across all sectors, but with a particular focus on B2B. This is seen following its undisclosed amount in a pre-seed funding round in Nigerian human resource startup, SeamlessHR in 2019.
Founded by Eliot Pence and Aubrey Hruby, the firm has secured funding from limited partners that include large family offices, top-tier venture funds, and high net worth investors.
Pence and Hruby are also co-founders of public relations firm, insiderPR, which it says gives it early access to some of the fastest-growing startups in emerging markets.
Speaking on their decision for picking the African continent, Pence said, “We were driven by a question we didn’t think the venture community had answered. ‘Why do some of the fastest-growing markets have the lowest per capita availability of venture financing?’ Egypt, Philippines, Nigeria and Bangladesh, for example, have on average US$5 per capita of venture investment, whereas China is above US$40.”
“We were also inspired by firms like Founders Fund, A16Z and Derris, which emphasise the importance of the founder and the story they are telling. For many entrepreneurs in frontier markets, having an amazing story isn’t the hard part, it’s getting the story out there that’s hard. We feel we are uniquely positioned to help them do that,” he added.