Entrepreneurs! Looking for an investor to help get your killer startup idea off the ground?
Chances are that if someone interested in your idea exists, they’ll be listed in a new directory of funding organisations being launched by Allied Crowds.
Whether you’re a high tech, high growth startup or a small business just trying to get off the ground, there’s two things you should know if you’re operating in an African country right now.
Firstly, well done: we need lots more like you, and we’re repeatedly told you are the key to turning around our economies. Secondly, it’s going to be tough, especially if you need financial backing. Startup surveys in South Africa consistently list access to angel investors and venture capitalists as the biggest challenge faced by the likes of you.
We can’t promise that someone will to want to fund your “Uber-for-lion-sightings” or whatever it is you’re working on, but we can help you find potential investors by pointing you at Allied Crowds.
The platform was setup about a year ago with a plan to help startups in developing countries gain access to crowdfunding platforms, and to likewise help people find good ideas currently raising money in the same countries. According to Allied Crowd’s Anton Root, however, after working with the likes of the World Bank, UN and DFiD producing reports on crowdfunding, the general consensus was that “it’s not quite there yet”.
Instead, Allied Crowds has used that knowledge to build up a database of funding sources (including crowdfunding) outside the financial mainstream of banks and microlenders, which is searchable by location and the types of industry they operate in.
There area 217 funds, prizes, VC organisations, angels and more in South Africa alone according to the list.
Root says that the new version of Allied Crowds launched into beta at the end of June, and will be under development for a while yet. As far as we can see, however, it’s a pretty comprehensive and easily searchable list already.
[Image – CC BY SA Nick Roux]