Whenever I tell someone about Fundz, they always ask me, where did a guy like you come up with the idea of creating a crowdfunding platform for emerging markets?
The fact is, I have always been interested in emerging markets.
About 15 years ago I was on a trip to eastern Ghana. We lived in mud dwellings and took bucket baths for four weeks. I was in this village that had no connection to the outside world, but what was interesting was that beneath their disconnectedness they yearned for connection They couldn’t afford electricity, but they spliced into the main line running through the village. They had a local entrepreneur who brought in malt, Coca Cola, and other products. The people of this village wanted to travel, to grow, and build. It is the human condition.
Right now Fundz is focusing on Africa. There is tons of stuff going on across the continent. Kenya is doing incredible stuff with payment gateways. Rwanda is putting together a fascinating startup scene and of course Lagos is humming.
Despite the growth, the ecosystem needs to be nurtured. Right now there is a lot of outside investment from Europe and Asia. It’s sort of top down. I am not against it, but the communities need more. Part of why I believe Fundz is important is that we are offering startups that have an MVP (minimal viable product) and perhaps have gotten some money the chance to raise more money from interested investors. The real paradigm shift is that these investors, or sponsors, are funding our startups through recurring payments for the right to get positioned to make the first equity investment when the startup is ready.
Another thing Fundz has is a growing community. This community includes startups, investors, and mentors. This is the hidden jewel. Even if a startup needs funding, its the advice they can get on Fundz that will be far more important.
Crowdfunding is big and yet the emerging economies like Africa, South America, and parts of Asia will be the most transformed by it. When this happens great ideas and driven teams will impact the world.
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