Mustard has announced the launch of a £4m investment vehicle to build narrative-led technology ventures from the very start, with like-minded founders and investors. Through this investment model, Mustard will play the role of both investor and builder from the earliest stage possible. Mustard will identify visionary, veteran, and influential individuals with ‘globalisable’ venture ideas, and provide the capital and expertise in engineering, design, and storytelling to explore them before a company has even been incorporated. If the venture idea and founders are deemed viable, Mustard will go on to invest further capital and expertise to take the venture through to launch and early customer traction, before seeking an exit in a Series A or B round.
This model is distinctly different from the typical 10-year returns approach of African VC firms. African VCs most often invest in several companies during their growth stage and take a hands-off, advisory role in their portfolio companies. Mustard aims to get fully involved as a builder from the venture idea’s formulation, do so with around 3-4 companies per year, and aim to provide its investors VC-type returns in approximately 5 years.
For Mustard’s new venture agency model its founder Ndubuisi Kejeh, has brought in renowned advisers in the areas of venture capital, growth, brand narratives and talent management, namely: Parminder Vir OBE, an award-winning film and TV producer and the former CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation; Chris Williamson, MD of Mpesa at Vodacom, Eunice Chou, of the Africa VC firm EchoVC partners, and Dudu Sarr, long-time friend and manager of Grammy-award winner Youssou N’dour.
Seni Sulyman, founder of BlackOps and former VP Global Operations at Andela, said:
“Right from the first time I came across Mustard’s thesis and idea-stage investment approach, it sounded really powerful. I am keen to see what comes next from the Mustard team because I want to see African brands go global, which will not only mean massive changes for the continent, but also for its place in the world.”
Eghosa Omoigui, General Partner of EchoVC Partners, said:
“Mustard’s expertise in venture building at the earliest possible stage coupled with a strong philosophy on brands has resonated with us for quite a while. African startups and their brands need to go out to the world for many reasons, among which include access to broader consumer markets. Mustard’s idea-stage investment approach is uniquely different, and highlights why a mixture of approaches is what a growing startup ecosystem needs.”