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🌱 Early-stage Startup Funding: An opportunity for Mauritius 💼

Unleashing Potential Through India-Africa Partnerships

Reflecting on our participation in the India-Africa Entrepreneurship & Investment Summit 2023, an engaging initiative by the Economic Development Board Mauritius and the India-Africa Entrepreneurship Forum, we foresee Mauritius as a strategic bridge for India-Africa synergy.

Our focus is on driving angel-investing collaborations among India, Africa, and Mauritius, with an emphasis on the dynamic role of early-stage startups in fuelling innovation and growth. At our investor meetup for the 10th Africa Early-Stage Investor Summit, the theme revolved around ’10x-ing early-stage investment in the continent.’ This collaboration with ABAN and VC4A aligns with the topics we explored.

An opportunity lies in addressing the gap between public and private sectors to mitigate the risks tied to early-stage startup investment. Innovative funding models such as subventions, matching grants, and catalytic funding within Mauritius are being explored. In conversation with Tomi Davies, ABAN’s President, we explored the concept of a collaborative catalytic funding model for the country. We have engaged discussion with key stakeholders and public-private institutions to bring this to the table to fuel startup growth and drive positive change in our ecosystem.

Enhancing the Mauritian Legal & Financial Instruments for Startup Investment and Possible Avenues

Ken Poonoosamy, CEO of EDB, highlighted that Mauritius has earned its reputation as a reliable and trusted hub for trade and investment, playing a pivotal role in investment structuring across Africa. However, high operational costs associated with investment vehicles, like SPVs, act as a barrier to attracting angel funding. To address this, we can explore innovative solutions. In Europe and the US, syndication platforms like AngelList, Vauban from Carta, Leva, and Odin have simplified angel investing from KYC to exits. Could Mauritius adopt similar models?

Existing financial instruments are too costly and complexed in Mauritius for early-stage investment. A few avenues we could consider🔍:

  1. Waiving license fees for the initial 2 or 3 years to encourage cheaper SPVs.
  2. Streamlining regulatory requirements and offering standardized SPV formation templates.
  3. Drawing inspiration from Singapore’s Variable Capital Company (VCC) structure to create cost-effective and flexible investment vehicles.
  4. Exploring Protected Cell Companies (PCCs) for enhanced flexibility and risk mitigation.
  5. We should focus on creating startup-friendly regulations. Simplifying licensing, registration, and compliance processes in collaboration with regulatory bodies will attract more startups to incorporate in Mauritius. Furthermore, extending tax relief to entities predominantly owned by private individuals, as opposed to the current regime, will promote startup growth and investment.
Our co-founders Isabelle de Melo and Michel Cordani, along with our partner Brigitte Baumann from efino, met with key representatives of the Ministry of Financial Services and Good Governance convening to explore opportunities for Mauritius

🏛️Engaging with the Financial Services Commission, Mauritius, Economic Development Board Mauritius, Mauritius Research and Innovation Council, Mauritius Investment Corporation, African Development Bank, Agence Française de Développement, would amplify our impact. Industry associations, academic institutions, chambers of commerce, and private sector entities, your partnership is crucial in fostering support.

🤝Together, we shape the startup landscape and make an impact. Join us to explore innovative pathways for early-stage investments and design empowering financial solutions.

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