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  • Sunday, June 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

ODBA: Pushing boundaries of what’s possible in African startup ecosystem

Founders with hands-on experience in launching, managing, and expanding businesses possess the keenest insight for investment. This is the firm belief of ODBA which boasts of portfolio investments in 19 technology companies spanning 10 countries, generating more than 1,500 direct jobs.

People grow businesses not money…

The firm believes businesses are grown by people not money. It also believes that growth comes by obsessing over the challenge and the journey. This is also in addition to its belief that only regions without problems are without entrepreneurs. ODBA’s portfolio companies are founded and led by people whose stories they admire, visions they share, and efforts they back.

Read also: African early-stage startups to get $10m support amid funding drought

“People are at the heart of everything we do. We don’t invest in ventures, products or ideas, rather we invest in the individuals who build them. As founders ourselves we invest in people like us: wherever and however we find them,” Gbite Oduneye, founder and Managing Partner at ODBA told BusinessDay recently.

Redefining the future of African startups on the global stage

Oduneye, who recently joined the likes of Christophe Viarnaud of AfricArena and Abi Ajayi from the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) for the opening of trading on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) described the event as a symbolic act that could very well redefine the future of African startups on the global stage. It was not just a routine event but a momentous occasion that brought together prominent figures from the financial ecosystem to set a new course for African innovation.

The London Stock Exchange’s opening bell marked a turning point for African enterprises, signalling new horizons and opportunities for growth and innovation.

The collaboration between African startups and global financial markets holds immense promise, and the vision set forth by these trailblasing leaders resonates far beyond the trading floor. The LSE’s opening bell echoes not just in London but across continents, signifying a bright future for African businesses and their role in the global economy.

As the world watches, African entrepreneurs are poised to make their mark, proving that financial autonomy and strategic partnerships can indeed shape destinies and drive progress on a global scale.

“At ODBA, our passion lies in championing the extraordinary founders who harness technology to weave incredible stories and reshape the world. We’re honoured to support these trailblasing individuals, whose stories inspire us, visions align with ours, and determination knows no bounds,” the ODBA founder and managing partner said.

“ODBA champions visionary founders who leverage technology to craft extraordinary success stories. Our portfolio boasts investments in 19 technology companies spanning 10 countries, generating more than 1,500 direct jobs and serving a vast community of over 8 million users and customers. We take immense pride in the profound impact our portfolio companies have already achieved across the continent and eagerly anticipate future contributions to the transformative landscape of Africa,” Oduneye noted.

Read also: Nigeria to revive abandoned US property as startup hub

Africa needs more capital…keep telling the stories

During the opening of trading on the London Stock Exchange, Abi Ajayi, representing the LSE’s 300-year legacy, spoke of the exchange as a fintech powerhouse, while also casting a vision where the LSE serves as a nurturing ground for innovative African startups. The idea of dual listing with local African exchanges was particularly striking, suggesting a new era of interconnected financial opportunities.

Also, Christophe Viarnaud of AfricArena emphasised the need for more capital in Africa and the importance of storytelling. He stated, “Africa needs more capital, and we have to keep telling the stories that attract it.” His words echoed the sentiment that financial investment and narrative play crucial roles in shaping the continent’s economic landscape.

Also speaking on the LSE outing, Oduneye, a key player in this narrative, shared profound insights on the significance of financial autonomy: “Who finances you controls your destiny. It’s a powerful truth that underscores the importance of self-reliance and strategic partnerships. We’re at a pivotal point where African companies are poised to take control of their futures by seeking listings on prestigious exchanges like the LSE, Lagos, and New York. This movement is not just about gaining visibility; it’s about affirming our place in the global economy and steering our destiny towards unprecedented growth and innovation.”

Furthermore, Gbite Oduneye expressed optimism about the future: “I look forward to the day when African startups will be ringing the bell in Lagos, London, and New York.” At ODBA, they back founders who use technology to create improbable stories, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the African startup ecosystem.

He noted that at ODBA, they are eager to embark on transformative journeys with visionary founders and collaborate with investors who share their core principles. “If you’re one of these exceptional individuals, we invite you to reach out to us and begin this remarkable journey together. Let’s combine our strengths and passion to make a powerful, lasting impact on the world”.

Read also: Startups raise $75m in April as funding woes persist — Report

Approach and focus…
“At ODBA, our primary focus is on the individuals driving the venture. We seek out and invest in visionary entrepreneurs with the passion, determination, and skills to turn their innovative ideas into groundbreaking companies. By empowering these exceptional founders, we enable the creation of impactful businesses that redefine industries.

“Recognising that financial requirements differ across ventures and development stages, ODBA offers versatile funding options. From seed capital to Series A investments and follow-on funding rounds, we ensure that our portfolio companies have the necessary resources to evolve and scale their businesses effectively,” ODBA noted.

“We encourage and support our founders to leverage emerging technologies and cutting-edge solutions to create disruptive, transformative products and services. Our expertise in technology trends and innovation enables us to help founders stay ahead of the curve and drive market-leading advancements.

“We offer dedicated, customized support to each founder in our portfolio, understanding that their needs and challenges vary. Our experienced advisors and industry specialists work hand-in-hand with founders, providing tailored guidance, actionable insights, and strategic direction to help them navigate the complexities of building a successful venture,” it further said.

According to the firm, “Being part of the ODBA family grants founders access to our wide-ranging network of industry pioneers, fellow entrepreneurs, and strategic partners. We actively foster connections and collaboration, opening doors for knowledge-sharing, mutual growth, and the forging of valuable partnerships”.

Not just investors but partners

For ODBA, they are partners and not just investors. They are passionate partners committed to fuelling the visionaries who dare to disrupt industries. ODBA focus lies in empowering the audacious entrepreneurs, those dedicated to constructing transformative companies that redefine the norms. But its commitment doesn’t stop there. It takes immense pride in championing women leaders, those game-changers who are not just building businesses.

“ODBA is committed to building lasting relationships with the founders we invest in. We understand that the journey to success is often long and complex, and we stand by our entrepreneurs every step of the way, providing continuous support, resources, and encouragement to help them achieve their vision”.

It further noted that it is deeply committed to embarking on transformative journeys with the innovative founders it invests in, supporting their growth every step of the way. ODBA is also fervent about nurturing entrepreneurs who leverage cutting-edge technology to build game-changing ventures that redefine industries and elevate lives across Africa.

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