[Interview] Francis Vesta, Senior Investment Analyst, Itanna, Nigeria
Francis Vesta is Senior Investment Analyst at Itanna, an offshoot of the Honeywell Group in Nigeria.
Could you introduce your company?
Itanna is the Venture Capital arm of Honeywell Group. At Itanna we invest in early stage and growth stage technology enabled businesses across Sub Saharan Africa.
We do this in two ways. The first is through an Accelerator Programme where selected investment companies receive both financial investment and hands on advice from business experts to accelerate their business growth over a period of 4 months. The second way is through a Direct Investment scheme where we provide strategic investments to growth stage companies.
Where is Itanna located?
The Itanna Enterprise Factory is located at No 2 Abebe Village Road, Iganmu, Lagos Nigeria. The work space is centrally located in the heart of Lagos and is accessible within 15 minutes from the Island and the Mainland - so an ideal location.
When was Itanna founded and by who?
Itanna was founded by Honeywell Group in 2017. Honeywell Group has built a solid track record in the Nigerian business environment successfully establishing thriving, world class companies which are market leaders in their respective sectors. The Itanna initiative is an extension of Honeywell’s mission of “using enterprise to make our world better”.
Who are your clients?
We work closely with Technology Startups solving interesting problems with market relevance in the African ecosystem. We provide both financial investment as well as business support and Mentorship to the startups in the Accelerator Programme. In itanna, we are truly committed to the success of every business we work with in our Programme.
What are Itanna's Unique Selling Points?
Honeywell Group has over 40 years of experience building and scaling businesses across different sectors. At Itanna, we’re tapping into Honeywell Group’s extensive network of experienced entrepreneurs and mentors to impart their knowledge and industry experience to the businesses that are a part of Accelerator Programme.
How has the market responded to your services?
The reaction has been great so far. There has only recently been an increase in interest by Big Corporates in the Nigerian tech ecosystem. We have had favourable interest from potential partners/sponsors who have an interest in Itanna’s vision for the Nigerian ecosystem.
What are the ambitions of Itanna as a company, long and short term?
We want to continue being a part of the local tech ecosystem and doing our part to grow businesses that are providing solutions that make the lives of Nigerian and Africans that much easier.
Long term, it is our ambition to have helped build an ecosystem of strong companies within our portfolio that are not only innovative in terms of their business operations and value creation, but which can also compete on a global scale in terms of market valuation.
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