Briefcase VC

What’s briefcase VC?

In Kenya we are familiar with briefcase NGO’s and briefcase contractors. ‘Briefcase’ is a not so nice was of describe someone who has access to power but does not invest resources in business. A briefcase NGO has no programs or operations, and exists merely to solicit funds from donors, while a briefcase contractors wins government contracts/tender (through the influence of a power network) which he/she has no capacity to implement, then sub-contracts these to compete firms (without access).

A Briefcase VC (venture capitalist) is probably a tourist on holiday, who calls around or approaches vibrant local tech companies with unsolicited offers to invest in them – but has no funds or capacity (beyond a website) to do so and no recent deals to speak of, and unfortunately are able to put hungry young companies through hoops as they restructure and comply in the hope of getting funding that it unlikely to materialize.

One thought on “Briefcase VC

  1. m

    Some justify it by calling themselves “middlemen”. They get the deal from the local tech companies and then they go to look for funding. i.e acting as a go-between going between the two.

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