Eghosa Omoigui, is the only African investor in the Silicon Valley. He is bold, brilliant, entertaining, fast on his feet, but also generous with those less fortunate.
The Nigerian-born Omoigui has invested into tens of companies such as
Facebook, Pandora, Stipple, Retailigence, Namesake, SpeakerText, Sense Networks, Voxify, SmartZip, Yatra, BuzzInTown, Cerebra. and Bit.ly.
Omoigui is now said to be committing about $30 million into tech start-ups in Africa with focus on Consumer Internet & Services, Mobile, Digital Media, Content & Advertising, Software, Services & Infrastructure.
As for fact checking, his early-stage private equity investment fund, EchoVC Partners, has currently zero African startups in its portfolio, and from the 45 startups he has met recently in Lagos, during a short visit, he said none was good enough for his firm.
It still not very clear what are Eghosa investment plans into African startups, though his visit was met with high excitement and expectation from the Nigerian tech entrepreneurs.
Praveen Yalamanchi, Managing Director of Penfold Capital, said “Eghosa is one of the most helpful and patient venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. He really takes the time to understand rather than being quick to judge people, companies, or situations.”
Before founding EchoVc, Eghosa worked at Intel for nearly 10 years and as Intel Capital Director, he drove Intel Capital (the largest global tech corporate VC) focus onto next generation semantic technologies, smart data and the realtime web. Eghosa was personally responsible for (developing supporting theses for and) sourcing investment opportunities in various companies including AdMob, Jaiku, Powerset, Facebook, LinkedIn, Teracent and Pandora.
“He was one of the most influencial investors at Intel Capital. He left Intel to form his own VC company. Very smart guy!”, said Toby Ruckert
One great piece of advice any entrepreneur or employee can get from Eghosa is that “we are interviewed all the time”:
“You actually never know when you’re being interviewed. Everybody sees the process of an interview as a formal process. You see a job listing, you go in, you interview, but what you don’t really know is that, in many cases, for what are called non-published jobs, you are being ‘interviewed’ in every interaction. Every time you interact with someone who may or may not have influence, you’re actually in an interview. You just don’t know it,