iYa Ventures


IYA refers to the name given to a complex of moats that surrounded the Kingdom of Dahomey (modern day Benin, bordering Nigeria). These moats were built before the use of modern earth-moving technology, and the Guinness Book of World Record deems it the largest man-made earthwork in the world. The iya moats were dug around the kingdom and filled with water, providing a means of defense and enabling the Kingdom to grow its fortunes.

African ingenuity enabled the construction of iya then,  allowing local entrepreneurship to flourish, protecting both economic and social innovation.  Today, African entrepreneurship is slowly gaining global prominence.  And savvy  investors are selecting promising companies built out of kanju, meaning “the specific creativity born from African difficulty,” (Yoruba term popularized by Dayo Olopade in her book, “The Bright Continent”)

At iYa Ventures, our origins inform our philosophy:  fortunes will be made by identifying, supporting and scaling the small and medium ventures borne out of kanju and possessing economic moats.

© 2013 iYa Ventures

Member of Global Impact Investing Network


The information on these pages is provided for informational purposes only. No material at this site should be used or considered as an offer to sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy an interest in any investment fund managed by IYA Africa Venture Capital, LLC Any such offer or solicitation will be made only by means of the Confidential Private Offering Memorandum relating to the particular fund. Subscriptions to the funds are on an invitation only basis and not open to the general public.