We work with founders solving the most meaningful problems on the African continent. Our boutique is helping tech-enabled ventures build the foundation upon which Africa's new economies will be built.
Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, Amitruck is a digital marketplace for deliveries. The company connects cargo owners directly with transporters in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda in an efficient, transparent, and fair manner.
In 2019, Amitruck’s Founder & CEO Mark Mwangi was referred to us by a partner. Our initial goal was to grow Amitruck’s fundraising footprint through qualified introductions to aligned investors during an upcoming pre-seed round.
Founders have been known to drop everything to close a funding round. To take some of the weight off the shoulders of Mark’s new team, AFI remained on hand to optimise Amitruck’s investor materials before we started making introductions to early-stage investors.
At the onset of the pandemic, Amitruck’s priorities shifted from fundraising to operations. Despite the unprecedented, rapidly-changing market environment, the challenges created an opportunity for Amitruck to create significant value in a market traditionally dominated by third-party brokers. Across the initial 12 months of COVID, Mark and his team drove revenue growth of more than 300%, paving the way for Amitruck’s eventual $5M raise and further expansion into East Africa.
“Early on, I saw an opportunity to build the investment case for Amitruck – primarily to investors that were unaware of this unique opportunity.”
Soon, gaining investor visibility was no longer Amitruck’s main pain point; Mark was setting his sights on product-market fit.
In late 2021, preparation for Amitruck's seed round would see AFI in an even better position to provide value-added services. This enabled us to support Amitruck's growing value proposition within a $200B continental logistics market.
Practically, the size of the task meant remaining responsive to Mark and the feedback loop between his investors, board, and team. Close communication enabled us to curate strategy, content, copy, and design across a seed-stage pitch deck.
Next, our Data Room proved to be the more hands-on deliverable, requiring outreach to Amitruck’s key internal and external partners. Amitruck had a compelling case for investment, but AFI’s bespoke due diligence checklist and Data Room proved critical in building the trust and transparency investors need to secure a deal.
The result? An oversubscribed $4M seed round that reverberated across Africa’s tech ecosystem. While AFI’s technical support offered further "proof" for Amitruck’s investor network, it validated our enabling role in helping startups on their path to scale.
"Looking back to 2019, I am encouraged that Amitruck has illustrated the life-time value and potential of an AFI client, noting the calibre of, investors, accelerators, team etc. on Amitruck’s journey. More importantly, I'm thrilled for Mark and the team as they move onwards and upwards on the path to scaling their unique offering.” Gbenga Odimayo
LP Investor | Pan-African VC Fund
Since 2017, our connections with startups and investors have allowed AFI to unlock value on both sides of the deal.
Before the launch of the Nairobi office, we were introduced to an investor from the African diaspora at our previous base in London. Our new contact was keen to explore the African tech landscape as a complement to his existing portfolio on the African continent. Our network of associates was our primary means of supporting deal flow for our clients, underscoring a resource of trusted, meaningful engagements with partner organisations across the ecosystem.
Upon introduction, we were able to connect the London-based private investor with the right opportunities through various networks, including our relationship with an accelerator based in Cape Town, enabling access to early-stage deal flow through its several cohorts.
"You don’t know what you don’t know. Despite the ecosystem’s many well-publicised successes, we believe that a lack of visibility is still one of the main obstacles between investors, founders, and opportunities. No matter where you are in the value chain, Africa’s tech investment landscape is contingent upon working with the right partners to identify the bright spots and recognise your own blind spots."
While AFI sought to bridge the geographical distance between our stakeholders by opening our Nairobi office, it was COVID-19 that would define the “digital” divide. Amidst the uncertainty created by the pandemic, our in-depth conversations with founders, investors, and operators resulted in our report Finding the Frontier.
What followed was some handholding on our part as we talked potential investment partners through the changing ecosystem, supported by presentations and calls with startups.
AFI was not alone in knowing that the tech-enabled opportunity in Africa was on the rise.
According to research from Partech, VCs invested in 250 deals from 234 startups in 2019. In 2020, venture capital activity increased to 359 equity deals from 347.
As the landscape shifted, so too had the players. Our contact at the Cape-Town-based Accelerator was seeking to raise a Pan-African VC Fund. This would help to address a more significant funding gap in the ecosystem’s Seed-to-Series-A bridge, by unlocking arbitrage opportunities through attractive valuations.
One of our best assets at AFI is the diverse network we’ve built up over the years. In the case of the VC Fund, our matchmaking strategy identified a number of potential LP investors. Among these, the London-based investor was introduced to the VC Fund’s Managing Partner, having been granted access to the fund’s investment materials via AFI. In aligning both parties, we enabled an early LP investment into what is now arguably Africa’s most active early-stage VC Fund, and among the continent’s more attractive investment opportunities.
"I remain pleased to have grown the value of the professional relationship with the private investor to the maturity needed to get the right deal over the line. Working with the right partner networks helped to mitigate that risk in ultimately identifying better opportunities, more closely correlated with the best returns. Achieving this is core to the work of AFI."
“From our very first call, Gbenga had grasped what our requirement was, what followed was the most structured and meticulous approach to the task at hand and one that involved us really digging deep into our vision and mission, with a clear schedule involving all parties involved, resulting in a pitch deck which emulates our story concisely."
“Strong professionalism. Added tremendous value, being an interpreter between us and the graphic. Command of the language was impressive, while the ability to weave in storytelling was very good.”
“We needed to ensure our data room was professionally done and that absolute transparency for our potential investors was upheld and initial trust and credibility established. Gbenga at AFI did an amazing job ensuring this was the case, I cannot recommend him enough.”
“Gbenga impressed me with his professionalism, communication, high quality of work, and adherence to timelines. He was able to take on a herculean task with short notice and develop a finished product that exceeded all expectations. Gbenga impressed me with his understanding and creativity. He is a true wordsmith and was able to translate my vision into a beautiful finished product. I could not have been happier with our interaction and the outcome of the project. I would highly recommend his services without reservation, he will not disappoint.“
"AFI’S Pre-Investment Technical Support has been a great value-add, both to our startup and to me personally. I highly recommend and look forward to keeping the collaboration going even beyond investor readiness."
AFI is proud to bridge Africa's most innovative companies to the world's most forward-thinking investors.