Frequently asked questions
What happens on the scale program?
What do we look for?
We invest in seed stage technology businesses in the health and fintech sectors. These businesses should have:
- Strong founding team with relevant sector/industry knowledge or expertise
- Product in market with user traction
- Validated revenue model and customer pricing
- Growth, marketing, partnership channels and strategy
- Three (3) years financial model and unit economics
- Minimum 6 months runway
How much do we invest?
We invest USD$300k in cash and services ($100k cash and $200k services). The value of these services are non-negotiable.
How much equity do we take?
We prefer to invest in unpriced/convertible instruments (e.g. SAFE with an appropriate valuation cap, no discount) and help you achieve a priced round that minimises your dilution by maximising your future valuation. This means our implied equity stake will be determined by your valuation cap. Our typical implied equity range is 5%-15%.
How do we evaluate valuation?
We evaluate valuation based on the milestones your business has achieved and your benchmarked your valuation against recent market investment data for businesses at a similar stage to yours. Our expectations on milestones is aligned to this Briter Bridges report which looks at investment trends and benchmarking in Africa.
Summary of startup valuation in relation milestones and stage.
Beta & User Testing
Validated Value Proposition
|Up to US$1m|
All pre-seed milestones +
Revenue Model & Pricing
Early Product Market Fit (User Traction)
|Up to US$4m|
All pre-seed & seed milestones +
Customer Acquisition Growth
Product & Market Expansion
|Up to US$15m|
What will the deal terms look like?
The Founders Factory approach to investment is founders first. We keep things as simple as possible. Standard SAFE note, no discount, no special rights and no liquidation preferences on exits! We come in on the same terms as founders and are committed to the same journey as you are. If we love your team/business, we are happy to co-invest or come in as a single investor. We will take direct equity stakes if required, though we prefer not to attribute valuations too early if there is limited information available
What does services entail?
FFA's operational team specialise in Business strategy, User experience and Product development, Engineering, Growth marketing & demand generation, Strategic partnerships and Fundraising. Our goal is to help you go further and faster with proven repeatable methodologies that are designed for scaling businesses.
The program is bespoke so we tailor our support to the specific needs of each business. Startups can expect anything from weekly product coaching sessions, setting up your growth infrastructure, helping you design pilots, to supporting you to develop, implement and validate your commercial strategy and understand how to build deep and successful relationships with corporates
In addition to these things, startups will also get access to premium tools, discounts, and offers from top tier providers including AWS; receive free desk space at our Johannesburg offices and preferred access to our network of angel, venture and corporate investors.
How will corporate partners support my startup?
Our corporate partners offer different types of support. These include access to experts who can support you with validation or technical challenges you might be facing alongside exploring whether or not your business might be a potential commercial partner they can work with. The FFA Partnerships team will work with you to understand the support that is right for you based on the stage of your business. Based on what you need FFA will support you either by engaging with corporate partners - or exploring alternative channels to secure what it is you need.
Will we sign an NDA?
No, we won't sign an NDA. Our global reputation is based on our ability to work with a diverse portfolio while maintaining strict confidentiality with every venture.
What is the selection process and timelines?
|Application & Screening||
Applications are considered on a rolling basis, however, we highly encourage startups to submit applications on/before 31st December to be considered for Q1 2021 intake.
Applications submitted by 31st December will be screened on a rolling basis and we’ll be speaking to the most promising startups up to 29th January 2021.
|Qualifying & Selection||
Final selections of startups take place at our Investment Committee (IC). Ahead of the IC, the FFA team and our corporate experts will conduct interviews with shortlisted startups.
Our next IC will take place in February 2021.
|Pre-Scale||Once due diligence is completed and the agreements are signed, you’ll begin engagement with our team on a pre-scale sprint to help us understand where your business is at.|
|Scale Program||The scale program runs for 6 months .The program is bespoke to each startups with needs defined in monthly sprint planning sessions and execution through regular coaching with experts across Product, Engineering, Growth, Strategic Partnerships and Investment Readiness.|
Can we apply if we’ve participated in another accelerator program?
Yes that's not a problem. However, we prefer startups not to be on other programs whilst participating in the FFA scale program. Your resources are already lean enough and we’ve found that startups struggle to juggle.
I have a great idea for a startup. Can I apply?
Scale program is designed for businesses with products already in the market. Check out our Build Program if you have an idea stage business/concept.
What have previous participants said about the program?
"FFA's venture scaling program is certainly one of the best accelerators in Africa. They provide access to growth experts, product development experts, partnership brokers, and access to a superior investor pool. Forget internet access, office space and all the cheap stuff on offer elsewhere. This is à la carte venture scaling. You go in, rub minds, get some coaching, grab what you need, and run!" - Foodlocker, Nigeria.
"FFA runs a versatile program that can and has catered to healthcare companies in South Africa, they are among the few entities that will provide actual traction to these companies." - Foodlocker, Nigeria.
"The FFA program is a well thought out one with quite an impressive team there for technical support, partnerships and supporting you to charge up your start-up. Their knowledge of the African start-up and business scene is very relevant for start-ups looking to grow in the African Market" - Akili Labs, South Africa.
"Joining FFA was one of the best things that happened to our company in the middle of a pandemic. We couldn't be happier with our growth and the shape of our company post-FFA" - MVXChange, Nigeria
"The FFA team are incredibly skilled and excellent at helping you focus on the key drivers for growth and relentlessly helping you to execute" - Wellahealth, Nigeria.