Position Status: Full Time, 6-month fellowship with the opportunity to hire full-time post-fellowship;
Whether you have a burning desire to dive into venture investing or you already have some venture investing experience and are looking to hone your VC craft, this role is for you.
Join one of the most active global, early-stage impact venture firms, and help them find and back the most disruptive trailblazers in fintech, web3, climate-tech, and ag-tech across Africa and around the world.
This is the role for you if:
You have spent at least 2+ years working in investment banking, corporate finance, strategy consulting, venture building, or as a leader in venture-backed startups and are looking to join a unique and active team to deepen your expertise in venture capital
You are excited to dedicate the next six months (and hopefully longer!) to an intensive, up-close program which will allow you to dive deep into the industry and advance your journey into VC with a top-tier investor that is actively deploying and will give you significant transaction exposure
You are passionate about entrepreneurs and share the belief that high-impact startups are the best engines for driving sustainable, equitable, and resilient impact at scale
ABOUT VENTURE FOR AFRICA
Venture for Africa offers immersion programs designed to immerse top local and global talent in the African startup ecosystem.
We enable experienced talent who might be new to the startup space or the particular market they’re looking to enter, to soft-land and gain context while working with a startup or venture fund that's hiring.
ABOUT MERCY CORP VENTURES
Mercy Corps Ventures invests in and catalyzes venture-led solutions to increase the resilience of underserved individuals and communities. Founded in 2015 as the impact investing arm of global development agency, Mercy Corps, they've supported 41 early-stage ventures to scale and raise over $333.9 million in follow-on capital. The fund's portfolio is 51% female-founded and centers around resilience-building solutions in adaptive agriculture and food systems, frontier fintech, and climate smart systems, so that those living in frontier markets can withstand disruption and plan for the future. Through capital and support, piloting new approaches, action-oriented insights, and rigorously managing impact, we catalyze the ecosystem toward smarter, more impactful investments.
Select investments include Payhippo, Complete Farmer, Ndovu, Pula, Goldfinch, Ejara and two of Venture for Africa's startup partners, Wasoko and Turaco.
MCV has significant capital to deploy and the team is actively sourcing and closing new investments, with a target to close approximately 10 investments in 2023. They will also be launching new investment vehicles in the coming 24 months.
For more information, please refer to their Website, Annual Impact Report, Resilient Future Thesis, and Full Portfolio.
Mercy Corps Ventures is looking for an Investment Fellow to join its growing Investment Team. You will play a critical role in building out MCV's portfolios and be integrated into all aspects of the investment process from origination to closing.
During this engagement, you will work with the team's other investment professionals to screen, perform due diligence, negotiate, and close seed and early-stage direct investments.
While you will have access to venture capital training and resources over the course of the immersion experience to build out the essential competencies necessary to succeed in VC, the focus of the experience will be to provide you with live training through direct exposure to transactions as they progress in real-time.
This position is a 6-month, full-time fellowship program. You will be expected to commit to the entire 6-month fellowship, with the expectation that high performers may extend for an additional period or join the team in a full-time role.
MCV is growing significantly over the next 24 months, so there will be a variety of career growth paths within the fund.
The investment team is fully distributed and remote, so you should be comfortable spending a significant amount of your time working remotely and independently.
Pipeline Analysis & Due Diligence (75%)
You will support the investment team in progressing investments through the entire investment cycle, from initial screening to due diligence and closing. This includes:
Landscaping & Pipeline Analysis: Support the mapping of investment opportunities in specific priority sector(s) for Mercy Corps Ventures.
Screening: Support on screening investment opportunities through review of pitch decks, participation in live demo days, meeting entrepreneurs, pouring through data rooms, and management of our inbound deal flow.
Due Diligence: Support the investment team to conduct detailed data room analysis and interviews with relevant industry experts and partner investors to review and analyze business plans, validate assumptions, stress-test financial forecasts, gain an in-depth knowledge of a company’s unit economics, and address key due diligence inquiries and investment risks.
Investment Research: Conduct and present research as needed in areas such as analysis of market opportunities, threats, competitive differentiation, and potential headwinds to emergent sectors or markets, as necessary to support investment decisions.
Investment Documentation: Attend all investment team meetings and investment committees and support investment professionals to lead deals through the investment process, including drafting investment memoranda, identifying and explaining key investment risks, coordinating legal and financial DD, structuring and negotiating transaction agreements, and presenting investment opportunities to senior decision-makers.
Investment Recommendation: Support the investment team to make recommendations on and present investment opportunities to the Ventures Team, Investment Committee, and Board for debate and approval.
Deal Structuring and Execution: Assist in the preparation of investment documentation and other transaction documents, as applicable, and support the coordinated onboarding of closed investments into Mercy Corps Venture’s investment portfolio with applicable handoffs to the Platform Team.
Research & Insights (10%)
Pipeline & Partnership Development (10%)
Strategic Initiatives (5%)
Fellows will be paired up with a member of the Mercy Corps investment team at each stage of the fellowship in order to gain exposure to and have a chance to develop the full curriculum of skills needed to be an impact investing professional.
At least 2-5 years of business experience with a superb track record as a fast learner, quick starter, and action-oriented problem solver who has a background in corporate finance, investment banking, management consulting, or venture building.
You should possess an insatiable curiosity (and ideally some experience) in problem sets and solutions within fintech, web3, agtech, and/or climate-tech as well as a strong interest in venture capital in Africa. Knowledge of fundamental business concepts and a foundational grasp of the venture capital model is a plus.
Some connections with investors, angels, accelerators, and startups in Africa and excitement to support MCV in building our network of partners over time
Financial Analysis Ability:
A Foundational grasp of finance and financial modeling - comfortable navigating and summarizing complex financial models in excel
Fluency in fundamental financial terms, understanding of financial statements, and ability to evaluate a company’s financial performance and dissect a financial model with minimal oversight and guidance
Comfort assessing valuation methodologies and running valuation scenarios, stress testing model assumptions and running scenario analysis would be ideal.
Other important skills:
Strong strategic thinking skills. Able to navigate complex environments and develop a clear, focused, and ambitious vision.
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills - able to articulately craft an argument and defend a position.
Fluent in written and spoken English (French is a plus)
Venture for Africa is a fellowship program designed to fill talent gaps in Africa’s startup ecosystem by enabling top local and global fellows to access opportunities with leading startups in Africa. Our flagship 3-month fellowship program combines on-the-ground experience offering localized context, expert mentorship, and real project work at leading startups hiring now. Launched in 2020, our mission is to accelerate economic growth and technological innovation in Africa by mobilising the next generation of startup talent and equipping them with the experiences and context they need to meaningfully contribute to elevating businesses and livelihoods in Africa.