When the worldwide COVID19 lockdown went into effect in February 2020 the challenges of fundraising increased exponentially. Entrepreneurs, especially in emerging markets could not meet investors due to travel restrictions. Amid this uncertainty, The Nest, an online Zoom based shark tank, was born. The Nest is a platform that connects entrepreneurs in emerging markets to angel investors worldwide.
The weekly show has attracted the attention of entrepreneurs, investors, and audiences from around the world bringing together diverse backgrounds and creating a new forum for remote investing. The Nest is hosted by UNTAPPED, a fund that creates opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship in emerging markets through asset financing.
The idea for The Nest is simple: leveraging low-cost technology – Zoom – to connect entrepreneurs both seasoned and aspiring to eager investors. Every week, two entrepreneurs pitch to three angel investors who listen to the pitches, inquire about the models presented by both founders, and choose whether to invest or not.
Since it’s inception The Nest has facilitated more than $2M in commitments for more than 20 startups from over a dozen countries in Africa and Asia. The show has grown to introduce a French vertical to cater to Francophone countries in Africa and around the world. More than a 100 participants attend weekly, turning the zoom chat box into a networking hub. Hundreds more view the recorded program on UNTAPPED’s YouTube channel after each show.
The pandemic has created an opportunity for VC funds and angel investors to innovate around funding and The Nest is leading the way. They urge VC’s and angel investors to focus on what matters most in the industry – the founders, and their bold innovations. The founder-first approach adopted by The Nest ensures a steady flow of capital to early-stage startups during the lockdown. Jim Chu, Founder of the program and CEO of UNTAPPED, says he’s“very pleased to see The Nest pulling together a fragmented ecosystem,” and that “we plan to continue running The Nest indefinitely after travel restrictions are lifted.”.
“It’s about what can we do right now to support entrepreneurs in emerging markets. “ say’s Kyane Kassiri, Co-Producer at The Nest.
The Nest will be holding one of their weekly Shark Tank episode this week, Thursday, October 1st at 5pm London time. Two companies; Bankly, a Financial Technology company providing cash digitization services in Nigeria and FinAccess a digital finance infrastructure company for microfinance institutions in growth markets in Kenya will pitch to a panel of angels. Register to watch Live