8 Things We Learnt from Odun Eweniyi at Invest In The Future

8 Things We Learnt from Odun Eweniyi at Invest In The Future
April 8, 2021 Oreoluwa Aremo
Invest In The Future - Odun_Eweniyi

In 2020, we started Invest In The Future – a live podcast to learn from prolific angel investors who have invested in and built some of the worlds most impactful technology companies. In the second episode, we hosted Odunayo Eweniyi, who talked with our Principal, Adenike Sheriff, on building Piggyvest, startup failures, sexism in Nigeria’s tech industry and FirstCheck Africa.

Recognising and financing the best startup ideas is a significant concern for many founders and investors. For Odun and her team, getting funds at the early stages of Piggyvest was a tough one, but that didn’t stop them from building the company. . Odun is the co-founder and COO of Piggyvest – the largest savings and investments app in Nigeria. She’s also the founder of FirstCheck Africa – an early-stage venture fund investing up to $25,000 for women founders in Africa.

Odun shared a fun fact during this chat because she once applied for the Andela fellowship but didn’t show up for the interview as she figured being a startup founder was the next step for her. 

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

Here’s what we learnt from Odun:

  1. On startup failures: Failure isn’t talked about enough in the startup ecosystem. Innovators need to understand that everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Founders should embrace failures for all-round growth, reconcile themselves with failure and get comfortable with it. Keep building; keep improving on your product or services.

  2. On having a robust support system: The early stages of looking for investors can be difficult, especially for innovations that may not seem scalable at the early stages. Having a support system that will lead one to do more extraordinary things and grow fundamentally. She regards having a great angel investor with a strong network as one thing that has made Piggyvest successful.

  3. On sexism in the tech industry: Sexist behaviours aren’t as loud as one would think they are, but they are very much present. People will often bombard women in tech with questions and comments such as: ‘’Why aren’t you wearing heels to this event?’’, “Are you here to take notes?” For there to be a change, we need to speak more about these experiences and dismantle them.

  4. On finding the right time to raise funds: Odun advised founders to have a solid idea before they start raising funds. She also further advised founders to seek revenue at the early stages. Angel investors or strategic investors are strong contenders to help kick your idea off the ground. Women who are building technology startups for scale can reach out to FirstCheck Africa.

  5. On finding the right co-founder: Odun outlined the importance of networking, talking to people and making friends before choosing a co-founder. This gives enough room to meet more people with the potential of being a co-founder. She added, ‘’you can meet your co-founder by someone looking out of the window and calling you.’’

  6. On accepting or rejecting investment terms: Understanding the type of investor/founder relationship that works for you is key. At the early stage of raising seed or pre-seed funding, founding teams are advised to pay attention to the terms presented by investors’; make sure they are in line with the company’s vision and mission.

  7. On co-founding FristCheck Africa: In the tech ecosystem, representation matters. FirstCheck Africa wants to plug the funding gap for women by creating more opportunities for women & diverse teams to raise capital and encourage more women to invest in technology startups.

  8. On finding the best startups to invest in: According to Odun, FristCheck Africa is looking to invest in startups that are  1. scalable (approaching MVP, or at MVP stage) 2. Led by a woman or women. For FirstCheck, bridging the funding gap in African women-led startups is an important goal.

For the future, Odun shares her vision for FirstCheck Africa. She’ll like to invest in 20 women-led companies. With this, she hopes that within ten years, there’ll be a strong investment community that’s funding female founders; young women will come to terms with angel investing and the data around female funding and fundraising be consistent.


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