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Trevor Noah, venture capital and investments in African startups

According to various sources, Trevor Noah, the South African comedian, actor, television host, and radio DJ has a networth of $100m.

Trevor earns an estimated $15m-$20m annually coming from his pay as the host of the daily show (estimated at $8m) as well as standup comedy tours, book royalties, TV royalties (such as his Netflix specials) and several other streams of income.

He may be a comedian, but his networth is no joke!

Trevor, the Angel

What you may not know is that Trevor is an angel investor. Most angel investors are relatively wealthy individuals who are looking for a higher rate of return than can be found in more traditional investment opportunities. They search for startups with intriguing ideas and invest their own money to help develop them further.

According to the GetFundedAfrica Research database, Trevor has invested in 5 startups. A cursory review of his angel investment activity shows that he tends to invest in more mature startups. For example he invested in 1Password a startup that operates as a password manager for documents, credit card information, and addresses. 1Password raised $620million in a Series-C investment round which Trevor participated in.

Other companies Trevor Noah has invested in and the stage of investment include Reprise (Series B), Squire (Series C) & Impossible Foods (Series E & F). Trevor’s earliest stage investment was a Series A investment in Jinx, a dog wellness brand that raised $28 million.

Trevor and Investing in African Startups

Why should Trevor invest in African startups and how should he handle his investments?

Well, investing in African startups is currently one of the most profitable ways to grow long term wealth. African startups are usually well priced and have over 1.5 billion people to provide goods and services to. In addition, having toured many parts of Africa, Trevor has first-hand experience of many African markets.

The only thing is, the venture capital landscape is still relatively new on the African continent, about 7 years in. This means most startups are still in early stages with a limited number of startups in post-series A (I have used a lot of ‘series’ terminology in this article and commit to writing a separate one explaining what it means).

Trevor’s Investment Vehicle

So, what should Trevor do? (Sounds like a game title, I call dibs)

In my opinion, there are three options.

  1. Invest as an angel in post-series A, African Startups and bring celebrity attention to these organizations
  2. Invest as a limited partner in an African focused fund who would invest across various stages (I am happy to recommend a few)
  3. Form his own venture capital firm. Trevor is global, so his VC would need to invest globally. However, his VC firm can have an Africa-specific fund (Maybe call it Patricia Fund after his mum) focused on early to late stage African startups.

Finding startups would not be an issue. GetFundedAfrica has an app called the investor Finder where about 18% of African startups are listed. Every startup has a ‘investor readiness rating’ and investors can use this to find startups that meet their investment criteria. 

To Trevor, looking forward to your continued success. Cheers man!

About GetFundedAfrica

GetFundedAfrica (GFA) is a technology company focused on building cloud-based software apps that solve access problems faced by African businesses, making it easier for them to grow, tell their stories and to get funded.

The GFA Investor Finder is an AI-enabled CRM for fundraising and helps African founders discover, engage and streamline the fundraising process.

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