Nigeria’s Future Africa is among the several well-known African start-ups that have successfully gone through the DAI Magister Academy, a customised, free service aimed at helping early-stage start-ups that are poised for success. The Academy was founded in the summer of 2022 by DAI Magister, a boutique investment bank offering full advisory services for transactions within the climate, fintech, tech-enabled commerce and communications sectors.
The Academy is an extension of the advisory work DAI Magister is doing in the market. It is aimed at a few elite organisations that have already raised at least $2 million, and who are looking to raise a larger round but are not yet ready for formal DAI Magister support.
The same senior investment professionals that work on recent deals in Africa, such as Twiga, M-KOPA, CloudFactory, Baxi, d.light and Cellulant provide limited, time-bound support to start-ups free of charge. The Academy has already successfully steered its first cohort of African companies through the process, including Future Africa, Tingtel, Mobile Power, Box Commerce, Releaf, Finclusion, Wyzetalk, Omnibiz and the Asante Finance Group.
Lyinoluwa Aboyeji, Founder and General Partner at Future Africa said: “It’s been a huge privilege to work with the team at DAI Magister through the DAI Magister Academy. The team really took the time to understand our mission and vision, as well as our positioning on the market and financials. In addition, DAI Magister provided adept advice on how to adjust our business model and position ourselves given the reality of current market conditions.
“The application process was simple, and the amount of support and insight we received throughout the journey has been invaluable as we look to scale up Future Africa.”
The DAI Magister Academy focuses on three core areas: reviewing and challenging equity stories; looking over the company’s financial model and suggesting improvements; and reviewing and expanding target investor lists.
Victor Basta, Co-Head, DAI Magister Ltd, added: “We’re thrilled to have supported a number of superstar start-ups on their road to raising. It can be a daunting time for many leaders, particularly in emerging markets, so we hope to be helpful on the most important things a company needs to get right before it raises a successful larger round. This means working with businesses as unique individuals to provide tailored support.
“While there are a number of local and regional incubators and accelerators across key markets that have been created in response to a knowledge and experience gap facing emerging markets founders, they can only do so much. They deliver relatively generic services to early-stage companies and don’t typically have the network value an early stage company needs.
“We’ve understood from start-ups that they need expertise and advice on an informal level to poise them for success, and we’re delighted that our cohorts have had a fantastic experience at our Academy. We look forward to welcoming more shining stars of the start-up world into the fold.”
DAI Magister provides support separately to each individual company in the Academy, spending time with the team to understand the business and its focus, as well as analyse how it performs against the three-core metrics. The output is a specific customised confidential feedback report.
Plans are now advanced for expansion in Africa and a roll-out into other emerging markets such as MENA and Pakistan. In addition, DAI Magister is looking at starting the Academy in Europe, particularly for companies targeting climate change where it has deep expertise.
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