What Investors Seek in Startup Founders – Yanmo

Yanmo Omorogbe, the Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Bamboo, recently shared her invaluable insights and experiences in startup fundraising during the second panel session, ‘Show Me the Money,’ at the annual Technology, Media, and Telecommunication (TMT) Business Law Breakfast Series 2024 hosted by Duale, Ovia, and Alex-Adedipe (DOA).

Bamboo Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Yanmo Omorogbe with other panellists

During her session, Yanmo recounted the journey of fundraising for Bamboo, a journey that began with just an idea and a fervent pursuit of funding. She highlighted the significance of leveraging personal networks for initial funding, drawing from Bamboo’s own experience with its pre-seed round, which predominantly sourced investments from family and friends. Yanmo encouraged aspiring founders to seize the early-stage fundraising phase as a pivotal moment in their startup journey, emphasizing the importance of networking and resourcefulness. She said ”when we started Bamboo, we had the idea and we did the pre-seed round from family and friends. And if anyone is a founder or aspiring founder, that is a good time to raise from people in your network”.

Moreover, Yanmo delved into the strategic endeavors Bamboo undertook to attract foreign capital, ultimately securing a spot in Y Combinator, a prestigious startup accelerator. She shared that Bamboo’s Series A fundraising, its third round of funding, was a particularly eventful endeavor that commenced early in 2022 and extended over several months.

Founded in 2019, Bamboo is the first online brokerage service that gives wealthy Africans and their wealth managers direct access to US and global securities. It is an online brokerage app that allows Africans to invest in real-time in local and foreign asset classes. Investing on Bamboo is simple, accessible, and affordable. Users can invest fractionable amounts in their favorite publicly listed US companies, from Tesla to Apple, ETFs, mutual funds, or fixed income products.

In addition to sharing her fundraising journey, she offered invaluable insights and lessons learned from her experiences. She highlighted the unpredictability of fundraising timelines, urging founders to prepare for longer-than-expected durations and advising them to double their initial estimates. Emphasizing the importance of aligning with investors who comprehend the business and its model, whether local or foreign, she advocated for persistent networking despite the inevitable rejections along the way.

In an exclusive interview with TAM, Yanmo elaborated on the key attribute investors seek in startup founders. She emphasized the paramount importance of revenue generation, as investors are fundamentally seeking opportunities for substantial returns on their investments.” I think it’s just important to remember that investors are giving you money in the hope of making a large amount of money and they’re looking for founders that they believe can run businesses that will deliver them returns.

Yanmo Omorogbe in an exclusive interview with TAM Correspondent

Yanmo stressed the necessity for founders to exhibit determination, resilience, and profound industry knowledge in navigating the challenges of startup ventures. Understanding the competitive landscape, assessing risks, and effectively monetizing the business model were also cited as essential factors for investor confidence.

She concluded by emphasizing the significance of integrity, highlighting its role in fostering trust and credibility in business interactions.

Panelists of the 2nd session “Show Me the Money” at TMT Business Law Breakfast Series 2024
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