Europe-based, African-run firm The Founders Hive is expanding its operations in Africa, bringing advisory services to startups as the company moves towards profitability by the end of the year.
The Founders Hive was founded in 2012, and aims to provide “wingman” services to small businesses in various stages of the business cycle. It has also run the #MVPDemoDay and #ViableTechDemo events in London (UK), Birmingham (UK) and Budapest, and is looking to expand its services into Africa.
“Over the past two years, we’ve worked with a lot of startups,” co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Sean Obedih told HumanIPO. “We’ve helped launch companies, scale companies, and build viable products. We’ve helped put together compelling business development deals, and we’ve developed solid strategy and marketing plans. We have been called the Accenture for startups.”
Obedih said The Founders Hive, which gains revenues through a negotiated combination of equity, retainer and deferred compensation, was founded by a group of Kenyans, Rwandans and Ugandans and was slowly making inroads into their home continent.
“We have worked with companies in East Africa, and have also worked with some in Nigeria and Ghana. We are currently exploring opportunities in Zambia and South Africa,” he said, adding the company was looking for a partner to run their events in Africa.
“The company hasn’t raised any outside funding so far but we plan to raise funding to expand our operations as we are gearing to scale our activities significantly especially across Africa and the EMEA region,” he said.
Obedih said the inspiration for The Founders Hive came the co-founders’ previous experiences of launching companies, when they noticed a need for a service to help early stage companies and provide support for a longer period than an accelerator programme.
“The user experience of a founder really sucks,” he said. “Large companies and governments heavily rely on the expertise that comes from large consulting firms like Accenture, PWC, Deloitte and KPMG, however startups can’t afford their fees.
“That’s where we thought we could make a difference. Accelerators and incubators have done a great job in helping some companies that need some help but they are in the business of accelerating growth and only pick a small percentage of companies that are formed every year.”
He said seeing so many good companies failing due to being rejected by mainstream accelerators or not having a structured approach, had inspired the launch of the company, which seeks to lower the mortality rate of startups.
“We see our job as simplifying the formation of viable and scalable companies. Most startups face similar challenges, the need for quality people who join the founding teams at the embryonic stage. It all comes down to execution,” Obedih said.
“Most African startups tend to think locally, our job is to help them to see the bigger picture and inspire them to create world class products.”
The Founders Hive mainly focuses on strategy, fundraising and help with executive search and recruitment, while in Africa its work has thus far been around strategy and finance.
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