Eunice Ajim here, you might know me as the Founding Partner of Ajim Capital, an early-stage VC fund investing in Africa’s pre-seed and seed high-growth tech startups.
About 1.5 years ago, I launched Ajim Capital publicly and raised money from strangers on the internet to invest in African tech companies or what I like to call “Funding Africa’s Future.” I genuinely believe that the continent’s future lies in the hands of entrepreneurs.
I thought long and hard about what I would call this newsletter. In fact, my top/favorite pick was going to be “The African Capitalist”. I even posted about it; many said you could see yourself as an African Capitalist.
I recently read The Dotcom Secrets and Expert Secrets. Russell advises picking a name you believe would be the start of a movement and strongly advises against using your name when launching a newsletter. I’m a rebel and don’t abide by the rules.
Just like launching Ajim Capital, when I told people I trusted and respected about launching a VC fund to invest in African startups, I got a lot of comments like “Nobody would ever invest in you, and even less in Africa.” Still, I’m typing this newsletter today with 20+ investments and many LPs who found me online and decided to invest.
I’m originally from Cameroon and always knew growing up that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I moved to the United States 11 years ago as an International student. While in school, I started a few businesses to help pay for my education in the US. My dad told me I was on my own after sending me to pursue an education.
After graduation, I got my first job at Apple, but very early on realized that the corporate America 9-5 life was not for me, so I quit that job and decided that I wanted to be an entrepreneur, this time it’ll be a tech company because that’s what all the billionaires I knew of were doing (Hi Uber and Airbnb).
Like these marketplaces, I built mine to bridge the gap between data science professionals and SMBs. I’ll call it DataGig because the GIG economy before the pandemic was already sexy. 🙂 Unfortunately, as many founders realize after launching their company, it’s not easy. You have to build a product that has never been built before, find customers, attract the right team members (with no money), and even convince crazy investors like me to invest.
Before you realize it, the road becomes long and lonely. I became homeless, my car was repossessed, I lost many friends, and I had to think outside the box to survive. But I didn’t give up; I woke up every day, put my make-up on, wore my suits (yes, I didn’t start wearing cool suits today), took the bus, and showed up!!
I found an investor who believed in me, saw my potential, and asked me to join him on a new adventure. This was the turning point for me, another startup, but with experience co-founders, where I learned how to build a scalable startup. We raised significant VC funding in two rounds and grew the company to multi-million dollar in revenue.
But then, in 2020, when the pandemic hit, layoffs happened, and no one wanted to return to work, I convinced my co-founders to hire software engineers in Africa. With a lot of doubt, they agree, and I found the engineers. When we broad them on board, we started facing other challenges like payroll and cross-border payments. I started asking myself, there must be a better way to work with our employees on the continent, and I started looking for solutions to fix the problems.
The more I looked, the more I got plugged into the African tech ecosystem and started angel investing. When I spoke to founders, they always complained about the lack of funding across the startup ecosystem. I have always had 100 ideas on how to impact Africa, but I always knew there was no way I would ever build all those companies myself. After digging and realizing that there weren’t many investors investing in Africa, I made it a mission to bridge that gap between access to funding in Africa and the rest of the world (mainly the US).
Crazy Eunice then launched a VC fund to invest in these 100s companies. We will discuss how I did it in another post, but I thought I’d share some background stories and be as real as possible because we’re keeping it real over here. OK, this is becoming an extremely long newsletter, and I commend you for reading this far. 👏
So, why did I call it the Eunice Ajim Newsletter instead of the African Capitalist? For a start, it doesn’t put me in a bracket of one singular thing we can chat about. Yes, there’ll be plenty of Investing in Africa posts and growing successful African startups. Still, there’ll also be mindset posts, growth hacking, building a brand, and my journey as I continue to grow this fund into a Billion dollar VC fund solely focused on Africa (Yes, I’m thinking BIG) and many more.
Why am I doing this newsletter? At a large scale, Ajim Capital is the reason. At Ajim Capital, we have two customers: investors and founders. I firmly believe that given my unconventional approach to managing my VC fund, I’ve always put community and brand building first. That’s the best way for my targeted customers to find me.
Another reason I’m doing this is that I get, on average, 50 to 100 inboxes per week of people trying to pick my brain. As much as I’ll love to help you all individually, I don’t have the time or energy to do so. So I’ll create as much content as possible to share my thoughts on the things I get asked often.
I have mastered the game of writing tweets and LinkedIn posts. Newsletter writing is new for me, and I want to ensure it’s personal and relatable. The first few posts will mainly be our most recent social media posts that performed well over the last few months. I hope you enjoy them. Until next time, happy investing.