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Raise, a Private Equity Exchange Simplifying the Future of Fundraising in Africa Opens Access to Beta Platform.

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Last updated on October 28th, 2023 at 08:50 pm

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Raise, a private equity exchange simplifying the future of fundraising in Africa has opened access to its Beta Platform.

For some tangible reasons, its usually cumbersome for startups to navigate the process towards a successful funds management after raising funds. 

Raise, a Nairobi-based startup has created a solution for founders who may find it hard to successfully achieve their goals following a fundraise.

With Raise, a digital equity management platform, built as a meeting point for founders and investors to start and finalise fundraising activities, it is now achievable.

Raise wants to “bring security, transparency and simplicity to the African venture capital space,” according to Marvin Coleby, Raise co-founder and CEO. 

Fundraising has always been cumbersome to achieve in Africa, with some deals taking up to a year. 

Raise sees the present inconvenience at the moment as an opportunity to speed up growth in the VC space by making the investment process swift for founders.

How Raise works:

Raise is a seamless web-based equity exchange platform that allows startups and companies to receive private investment.

It allows the project founder to set up the company’s profile with all relevant due diligence information.

The founder can now set up a private virtual deal room, through which they send an investment invitation to prospective investors with whom they are already in active talks with. 

Source: Raise

The prospective investor will receive an email notification, after which he logs in and is taken to the company’s dashboard.

Both parties can now activate the fundraising procedure in the deal room. There is a possibility of issuing electronic share certificates after finalizing all needed agreements. 

Invitations can be sent to multiple investors while the Founders monitor the interaction through their company dashboard. 

Each potential investment amount agreed on, the Raise platform generates the equity implications for the parties.

The Raise equity management platform is currently in the beta version. 

“At the moment, investors are not able to make direct payments on the platform. Payment integration will come in the product’s later stages,” Coleby says.

According to Raise, the focus at present is to make the fundraising process a swift process for startups unlike the elongated traditional styles of fundraising. 

Founders can join the beta program, as a founder, you’ll get access to free consultations and digital tools that will simplify your ongoing fundraising journey. 

As part of the program, you’ll get a free trial to the Grow package, with features that are built to simplify and speed up your fundraising.

Making the process an easier one for startups, Nichole Yembra, managing partner at Chrysalis Capital, an investment management firm whose portfolio includes Helium Health, says most of their companies and advisory business clients use Raise for different purposes. 

She is a pre-seed investor in the platform and has served as an advisor after first meeting Coleby and his co-founder, Eugene Mutai, in December 2018.

“What I loved about Raise was that they were not just trying to solve the problem but also wanted to do it with elements of the blockchain as well,” Yele Bademosi

Raise was part of the beneficiaries of the the Binance as one of 13 startups to join Binance Labs (the crypto platform’s venture arm) in 2019. 

Afterwards, they launched in private beta in January 2020 and claim to have enabled transactions worth over $20 million.

Raise is not a matchmaking platform. It’s not a place for making first contact with investors or for crowdfunding investment.

The objective is to help founders formalize the fundraising process, especially startups transitioning from offering convertible notes at seed stage to offering preferred shares (which give investors more privileges) as Series A companies.

“Our job is to create more Series A African companies. There’s a lot of convertible instruments floating around but many aren’t converting,” Coleby.

This is where Raise plans to add the most value “because that’s where diligence is most painful on both sides,” he added.

“It’s a system of fundraising that will present African companies as trustworthy and ready for transparent interaction with global players in the tech ecosystem, ” Yembra says. 

“We are definitely looking to help the company scale across Africa and we are excited to continue working with the team,” added Bademosi.

Marvin Coleby (CEO), Eugene Mutai (CTO) and Tina Nyamache (Chief Growth Officer) make up the core product team at Raise.

Marvin Coleby is looking to launch a ready public version around September.

Asides Chrysalis Capital and Microtraction, Raise has Nigerian fintech and Kenyan law firm Anjarwhalla and Khanna as its partners and clients.

At it’s early days, Coleby, who is from the Bahamas, describes his company’s ambitions as a “300 to 400 year vision” for Africans.

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By Tony Chimdiuto

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