Aniko Szigetvari & Ik Kanu on Early-stage VC in Africa
I’m delighted to kick off the podcast with Aniko Szigetvari and Ik Kanu.
Aniko and Ik are the founding partners of Atlantica Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on six of the largest markets in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Aniko has over 20 years of experience investing in emerging markets, of which over 17 have been focused on the technology, media and telecom vertical.
Aniko has been investing in Africa for the past 15 years and she has built up a wide range of contacts across the continent and other emerging markets. Prior to starting Atlantica Ventures (‘AV’) Aniko was the Global Head of the TMT group at the International Finance Corporation, where she managed a team of ~50 professionals who sat in eight regional hubs from Colombia to Singapore.
Ik has over 10 years of African private equity experience, with an additional nine years working in technology and consulting in the United States.
Prior to starting AV, Ik was a principal at Convergence Partners — an Africa-focused TMT fund — and before that he spent five years with Helios Investment Partners. At both PE funds, Ik was seconded to portfolio companies into temporary operational management positions where he troubleshot issues across different stages — from growth to turnaround. Ik is a Class 23 Kauffman Fellow, one of the world’s premier innovation, leadership, and venture capital-focused programs.
In our discussion, we talk about why Aniko and Ik decided to team up to found a venture capital firm, whether the continent is ready for institutional VC investments, how Africa compares to other emerging markets, and how Covid-19 is impacting the startup landscape in their target markets.
I hope you enjoy our conversation.
This podcast was recorded in April 2020.