Lessons from Maya Horgan-Famodu on Overcoming Rejection and Funding African Startups with Ingressive Capital

Lessons from Maya Horgan-Famodu on Overcoming Rejection and Funding African Startups with Ingressive Capital
August 6, 2021 Oreoluwa Aremo
Invest In The Future with Maya Horgan-Famodu (Future Africa)

In the 7th episode of Invest In The Future, Olabinjo Adeniran, our Co-founder and Growth Partner, spoke to Maya Horgan-Famodu, Founder & MD at Ingressive Capital.

Invest In The Future is our live podcast series. We learn from prolific investors and founders who have invested in and built some of Africa and the world’s most impactful technology companies.

Listen to the entire conversation with Maya below. 

Subscribe to Invest In the Future wherever you listen to podcasts here.

Here’s what we learnt from Maya:

Overcoming rejection at the start of her career

1.Maya’s decision to leave New York for Nigeria with the hope of starting her fund was fuelled by focusing on the opportunities in the continent. 

2.One point that stands out remains her zeal to increase the resources for these opportunities. 

3.‘’In 2014, when I left corporate America and went out on my own, it was because I couldn’t do anything else. I was working in private equity research, assisting investors to come to informed decisions on opportunities with firms in the US, and we will be talking about infrastructures in the US or healthcare in the US… and I will be like what about youth population in Sub-Saharan Africa?’’ Maya says. 

4.‘’You know when you want something, and it is all you can think about, and you can’t sleep because you are dreaming about it or you are thinking about it at night and writing business plans,’’ she adds. 

5.There is a statement that goes, ‘’find your passion and live a more fulfilling life’’. With Maya’s story, we can only agree with the statement. 

6.However, finding your passion is one thing; making plans is another and following through is the most important. 

7.For Maya, starting her fund wasn’t a walk in the park, but that didn’t stop her growing.  

8.Persistence is probably one of the most admirable characters a person can possess.

9.Once you identify your wants and desires, you will have to determine your motivation, outline your action steps, and keep a positive attitude and mind. 

10.What this does for you is that even if they reject you a million times and feel let down, that won’t stop you from getting your wants and desires. 


Funding African startups with Ingressive Capital

1. After reading Andela’s seed raise story, Maya experienced a phase where she had ‘’crazy FOMO’’ that essentially led her to start working on Ingressive Capital. 

2.In 2014, Maya launched a Tour of Tech – curated on-ground market exploratory tours providing investors, multinational partners, and clients a first glance into the realities of doing business in Nigeria. 

3.It took about six months for her to get a group of 10 top investors. 

4.It took this long because of the fear of insecurities in the country; however, she could pull through with being Persistence. 

5.However, ‘’investors came; they only had a widely positive experience,’’ Maya says.

6.Interestingly, it took Maya two years to raise $10million for the Ingressive Capital fund. 

7.With this, the Ingressive team acknowledged a couple of things. 1. The fund was a first-time fund and testing their model. 2.  It took time to raise that money and find the startups required to produce outside returns to raise a second fund.   

8.Ingressive Capital is primarily looking to invest in infrastructure, tech, non-traditional industries. According to Maya, the fund is transparent about their thesis as there is nothing to hide.

9.An ideal theme they invest in are people who ‘’have their stuff together’’. They have someone who understands the technical side of what they are building and someone who deeply understands the target market. 

10.One of the red flags Maya has seen over the years of talking to founders are people who don’t take critical feedback seriously. 

11.Another red flag is when founders misinterpret their sector by not focusing on more than one monetisation solution. 

12.Another critical conversation about what startups to build and what not to build also came up in this conversation. 

13.Maya believes that there is a considerable market opportunity in women’s finances, health, and wellness on opportunities to build startups. 

14.‘’Half the continent is female, and then within those populations, it is seen time, and again there is a low default rate for loans and other credit services,’’ Maya adds. 

15.There’s no point in building something vastly available in the market, and users won’t experience it. 

Listen to the entire conversation with Maya below. Find Invest In the Future wherever you listen to podcasts here.

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