Starting a $60m business from scratch – CNN Feature

Starting a $60m business from scratch – CNN Feature


my name is Bumi a Kia miju the CEO of venture garden group venture guardian group is a company that’s using payments and data to build efficiencies in in different sectors on the African continent like aviation power education and by doing it we help them in converting cash into digital forms of payments and we then collect a transactional fees for every payment that we process [Music] I was born in East Lansing and of course naturally I went back to Michigan State University for my education computer science computer engineering and while going to school I also joined a startup called Artemis solutions group and Artemis solutions was into providing software technologies for biotech DNA analysis and then we got into b2b payment as well I then decided to take those capabilities along with my partners to move back to Africa to help in the transformation of the continent [Music] running a business in Africa is is like a roller coaster you know the uncertainty is that you know house is gonna work especially I was living you know a comfortable life in Michigan so going back to Africa to start over again you know you kind of get that feeling but we decided in January 2011 to do a bit of a roadshow see if we can get some customers interested in what we’re doing and I remember very clearly meeting with the Vice Chancellor the president of a bottom Yolo University which is one of the top you know ranked universities in Nigeria telling them that hey you know we can help eliminate cash from how students pay the school fees and we said okay how about this how about we not only give you you know payments processing and data analytics but we can also actually digitize the whole university to create a digital university the way it’s being done in Michigan and other states that we’ve been a part of in the US and he said all right let’s do it so the next question became what how do you fund a project like this my brother-in-law worked at ExxonMobil so I went to visit him he introduced me to the CFO at the time of Exxon Mobil and when we described what we were trying to do he said I like what you guys are doing here’s a $100,000 check to get you started and so we were so lucky not just because he believed in us and supported or some validated our idea and backed it up with cash but because employees of Exxon Mobil said hey if our CFO is investing in this little startup we are also in so that was how we raised our first you know $500,000 in 2015 at this point we had now launched our education business that’s edgy tech we had launched a V Tech and we had launched power tech and at this point it was all about how do we scale so we figured that we really needed to raise some capital to scale this up and luckily we ran into convergence partners out of South Africa and as soon as we met them we connected it took us about 12 to 18 months to close the deal but eventually they decided to make the investment almost twenty million dollars on the basis of the investments the company will be worth almost sixty million dollars and for us that was exciting that we could essentially from nothing build almost 60 million dollar valued company at that time from the time of the investment which was towards the end of 2015 and now essentially we’ve been able to grow to about 250 employees our clients across the three sectors have grown to about 25 you

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

2 Comments

  1. wow. very clear and straight to the point on how you started. I would like to meet you sir. my name is Aham Uzoma

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