We have some exciting updates to share and also a bit of disappointing news.
Just over two years ago, we welcomed Uche to our team as our first Associate Principal, Investments and Portfolio Management. In the time since then, she has exceeded expectations and worked on quite a number of different transactions. More importantly, she displayed leadership in being an incredibly valued team member and mentor to our less experienced team members while making meaningful contributions to the portfolio, our founders and the ecosystem at large.
So when she voiced her interest in picking up operational experience, we were disappointed at the prospect of losing her but understood that going into the thick of things in a high-growth startup would only be beneficial to her long-term knowledgebase and the expectations for the evolution of her career.
We are sad to see her go but glad she will remain close to us as she will be joining our newest portfolio company (to be announced shortly) as their new COO. Our warmest congratulations on her new gig and we fully expect she will continue to make us proud.
Additionally, as some of you may have noticed, our team has grown quite a bit and we are thrilled to share more about our new team members and some slight modifications to our organization.
Legal, Compliance & Corporate Development:
As we have grown, and our full stack investing and portfolio management & development has dramatically increased, we identified the need to expand the internal legal group to incorporate these three activities. While possibly distinct, we believe it to be more efficient and valuable to have them coupled. In addition to beefing our in-house legal coverage (more on that later in the year), we are currently shortlisting talent that will help drive our corporate development activity. This will cover inbound and outbound M&A activity for portfolio companies as well as cross-border biz dev and transaction support.
Effective EOQ3, Dami will be Associate General Counsel and co-head of this group.
As many of you may be aware, we have been a thesis-driven firm from inception. Our theses have shaped our thinking re: market opportunities and we continue to highly value the approach. To augment our knowledge, and build out deeper insights into various sectors of interest, we saw a clear need to bring this capability in-house. We are thrilled to welcome Aima Nwafor-Ohiwerei to the firm to help drive this activity. She joins us from Singularity Investments and, prior to that, was at EY. Aima graduated from Bangor University, Wales.
Platform & Operations:
Following discussions we have had over the last year, we decided to crystallize some of our ongoing thinking re: how best to support each of our portfolio companies and, more importantly, help optimize their internal processes and operations while ensuring we could develop and deploy efficient line-of-sight infrastructure to obtain timely data and activity reporting.
We were incredibly fortunate to meet Deji Sasegbon who joins us as our new Director of Platform & Portfolio Operations. Deji previously worked at Total and has a doctorate in Engineering from Imperial College, London. He will be primarily responsible for building out the infrastructure to deliver high-octane support and empower portfolio company teams.
Investments & Portfolio Operations:
As we deliberately evolved into a more stage-agnostic VC firm, making investments that span seed-, early- and early growth-stage check sizes, we have experienced almost overwhelming deal flow. This has necessitated the urgent need to grow this side of the house.
Therefore, we are excited to welcome the following additional team members:
Taiwo Kamson Ketiku, who joined us from United Capital, is our Vice President, Investment & Portfolio Operations. She graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a Masters degree in Finance and Investment Management.
Tsendai Chagwedera, who joins us from TPG Growth as our Associate Principal, Investment & Portfolio Operations and Regional Head of East Africa. He will be based in Nairobi starting in the fall. Prior to TPG, Tsendai worked at ECP, H.I.G Capital and Blackstone. He has a BA in Computer Science from MIT.
Tito Cookey-Gam, who joined us from ARM and Crasner Capital, is our Analyst, Investment & Portfolio Operations. He graduated with a Bachelors degree in Biochemical Engineering from University College, London.
Saeed Seghosime, who joined us from Sahel Capital and Verod Partners, is our Analyst, Investment & Portfolio Operations. He has a Bachelors degree in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from the University of Huddersfield.
As our portfolio blooms, it has become necessary to expand the firm's base of operations. With several new additions to the portfolio, we have now reached a point where distributed physical presence to better support existing investments has become necessary. Consequently, we plan to open our first offices outside Lagos. Later this year, London and Nairobi will become part of our office network. As mentioned, Tsendai will be based in Nairobi to oversee activity along that geographic axis and he will be supported by a rotating analyst.
We are incredibly excited for the future and looking forward to building it with the very best Africa-focused entrepreneurs.
Thank you for all your support.
The EchoVC Team