Announcing FirstCheck Africa

Women are under-represented in African tech. We’re on a mission to fix that.

Through FirstCheck Africa, our female-focused angel fund, Eloho Omame (Managing Director, Endeavor Nigeria) and Odunayo Eweniyi (Co-founder & COO, PiggyVest) are investing in women in African tech.

Join Us

We’re looking for:

  • Mission-aligned partners that see the overlooked potential of Africa’s women-led startups.

What We Know

The early-stage funding ecosystem doesn’t work very well for women.

In 2019, less than five per cent of global venture capital went to female-led companies, and the trend is negative due to the global pandemic. This under-representation of women plays out as much in Africa as anywhere else.

Women in African tech are over-mentored and under-funded.

So many well-meaning programs offer female entrepreneurs mentorship, training and incubation. But this disproportionate focus on women’s capacity over our access to capital and networks ignores the consistent evidence that women-led startups tend to perform better and shifts the burden of fixing the problem to female founders.

Supporting female founders should be about economics, not social impact.

Women entrepreneurs are more likely to get funded by VCs if they amplify their businesses' social impact when pitching. Ironically, when female angel investor groups have stepped in to fill the early-stage funding gap, there’s evidence that the market interprets this as ‘diversity activism’, rather than as a signal of quality.

Women in tech should play a meaningful role in building Africa’s next generation of companies.

Entrepreneurship and technology are massive high-leverage opportunities for African women to build wealth and influence, not just as founders, but also as early investors.

What We Believe

Fixing capital access for female tech entrepreneurs in Africa needs an intentional, female-led approach.

We’re inspired by mission-driven, female-led investor communities like Portfolia, Operator Collective, All Raise and a growing list of women-led, women-focused VC funds. They’ve gone back to first principles, turning their direct experience and unique empathy for the problems that female founders face into a competitive advantage.

The solution lies at the very top of the startup fundraising funnel.

The African tech ecosystem needs to do three things:

  • Address the biases women face, and
  • Close the gender confidence gap, by making it easier for women to raise their first capital.

Role models matter.

There is strong evidence that role models matter in women’s choices to follow careers in technology or start venture-backed companies. While initiatives that amplify women in African tech, like Tech Women Lagos, are welcome and important, we need even more powerful representation, platforming female founders of scaling, venture-backed startups, in clear decision-making roles.

What We’re Doing

We’re putting our money where our mouth is.

We know we can generate solid long-term returns by investing in women, so we’ll write female founders’ first checks and be their earliest believers. We’re not afraid to invest “ridiculously early” in great women.

We will invest in up to six women in 2021.

FirstCheck Africa will invest up to $25,000 in each woman that we support, working to help her raise a significant pre-seed round within 12 months.

We’re building a women-led, women-focused investor community.

Our investor community is open to everyone but we will prioritise women that want to invest in tech by putting their dollars — small or large — behind venture-backed startups.

Our Vision

We want to make it easy for African women to raise capital and invest in tech.

Early believers for ambitious African women in tech. Co-founded by Eloho Omame & Odunayo Eweniyi. More at www.firstcheck.africa