South/South East Angel Network (SSEAN) has made its first set of investments, financing two startups – agritech startupAlphotazi Farms and Greenage Technologies. Alphotazi received NGN 2 Mn (USD 5,555) to build modular processing plants for cassava, while Greenage received NGN 7,200,000 (USD 20 K) to automate its production.
We are happy to announce the conclusion of the first set of investments by our members – less than a year into our existence.
We set out in 2018 as a group of professionals to invest, mentor and support Startups in the South-East/South-South of Nigeria.— SSE Angel Network (@sseangels) March 14, 2019
Twitter announcement by SSEA
Alphotazi Farms is a modular cassava processing company currently operating out of a village in Benue State but is based in Nsukka, Enugu State. Nigeria is one the world’s largest cassava producers, with most of the production done manually by rural dwellers.
The company is one of the incubatees of Roar Nigeria Hub, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Some of their clients include boarding schools and bulk buyers, which is serves with advanced plans for packaging and distribution through supermarket chains. They also run garri.ng – a portal via which the public can order their products.
“Alphotazi Farms is excited for the funding we got from SSEAN. We have been bootstrapping for a very long time until we got investment from the angel network. This, for us, means we can now install the require machinery for our operations”, co-founder Ugochukwu Utazi told WeeTracker.
Alphotazi runs a service based on cassava processing plant in rural areas to enable rural cassava process their cassava more efficiently and connect them to high value markets. According to Utazi, the SSEAN support has enabled them to launch Garri.ng “To help deliver our cyanide free Garri. We are committed to creating value for both farmers and consumers in the cassava value chain.”
Going forward, the brand wants to have its product in all parts of Nigeria. “Meanwhile, the business is not just about garri, but also about the entire cassava value chain. We are targeting to launch a quality cassava starch processing line to serve the pharmaceutical industry and the textile industry. We will also process the cassava peels into animal feed”, a statement read.
Greenage Technology is an inverter and solar panel original equipment manufacturer based in Enugu. They produce and distribute high-quality inverters and already have a distribution partner that’s supported by a major Nigerian bank.
The company which was started by five friends who met as undergraduates at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is already a leading local manufacturer of critical components for off-grid power solutions to close the energy gap in the country.
The funding comes with great meaning for the company, who told WeeTracker that: “First, it gives us reassurance that people believe in hardware. We’ve been through a lot to prove to people that we can stop importation of hardware electronics and use our high population as a workforce to make production do high that we will aim at exportation. The belief is truly in the right direction.”
Greenage Technology, who has now raised approximately USD 55 K, has made investments to increase its production capacity. “We want to exist competitively in the Nigerian market and then grow”, an exclusive statement read.
According to an ABAN Angels report published last year, Lagos Angel Network, which mostly invests in agritechs, ICT, business services and retail, is the most active angel network in Africa, reportedly facilitating 32 deals.
Another network known as CoCreation Hub (CCHUB) who after Mark Zuckerberg’s visit, revealed that it has invested in 16 early-stage ventures transforming the business status quo in Nigeria. While there are many others, it’s worthy of mentioning that Africa Angel Network (AAN), a 2013-launched group founded by Pule Taulabong that has invested in 18 high potential startups across 8 African countries.
SSEAN was set up in 2018 by a group of professionals to invest, mentor and support Startups in the South-East/South-South of Nigeria. Commenting on the investments, Charles Emembolu, CEO of Crestsage Ltd said, “I believe the teams are solving global problems with local resources and will scale with the right support, mentoring and a more inclusive ecosystem.”
Seconding, Owanari Batubo, CEO of Cobbs Engineering, advised post-traction startup founders in the region to take advantage of the network. He called on experienced business people in the region to join the network and help entrench innovation/entrepreneurial culture in our society.
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