Having built a vibrant business, South African entrepreneur, Sheraan Amod returned home from New York and founded RecoMed, one of the largest and fastest-growing health care marketplace.
Business Elites Africa sat with Amod on a series of crucial issues in Africa’s health tech industry. You can read the full interview HERE.
BEA: What was it like raising funding in the early days?
Sheraan Amod: I remember the first was a friend and family angel round. And it started very small. This is a lesson for entrepreneurs because I think our valuation as a business is now tens of multiples higher than when we started to fundraise. We began with a modest valuation.
Our first funding was about 300,000 us dollars. And then, a year and a half later, we raised another 250,000 and then over a year later, we raised 400,000. Each time we raised funding, the number got a little bit higher.
And recently we the equivalent of a Series A round of $1.5 million this year from some international investors. But the story is a simple one. You start small with friends and family. You move to the angel investors. Then from the angel, you move to the early stage seed venture capitalists, and then to the growth stage venture capitalists.
One interesting thing from when I founded RecoMed in 2013 is that there’s much more venture capital activity in Africa now than there was back then. So there are many more funds and investors in the space. I think it’s now easier to raise capital than at any other previous point in time.
BEA: What’s your advice for entrepreneurs who have the odds stacked against them?
Sheraan Amod: The key to success is persistence and resilience. Don’t quit. Don’t take no for an answer. We’re now the market leader, but every single customer that RecoMed has managed to procure in our sector said “No” atleast one to three or four times over the years. And we just kept pitching and kept saying, “…but we think we can help. We’ll see you in six months. Maybe you’ll be interested in it”.
And sure enough, the window of opportunity opens and we were there to help when that happened, but we must assume that the default answer is “No” Because this is new and innovative, and people are not going to necessarily understand.
So when the entrepreneur assumes that the answer is going to be “No”. And it’s believed they were actually just building a relationship and that eventually these guys, the customer will get on board. It makes things much more fun because then it’s just a number and the time game.
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH SHERAAN AMOD BY CLICKING OR TAPPING HERE!