Our Group CEO Fope Oluleye purpose is to build a set of organisations focused on reaching the zenith of their sectors. Fope has had experience in building ground-breaking companies from the age of 21. He and his companies have been the recipient of over 10 international awards since he started.
Innovation, ambition and dynamism have been the key actors that run through the Group’s endeavours with the underlying theme to excel and build leading and defining companies.
The origins of Zenith – History
Our origins date back to 2011 from the founding of our UK company and we have rapidly grown into a dynamic set of businesses across three different continents across the world; Europe, Africa and North America. Zenith Guild Group is a collective set of private companies focused on investment across real estate, venture capital, renewable energy and other industries.
We are a firm that is in absolute pursuit of excellence.
The founding of our VC arm T Bridge Venture partners was in 2017 to invest in pioneering and gamechanging companies globally and providing private equity to companies. Alongside investing proprietary capital from our group level we also partner with family offices, wealth management and funds into co-investing into our chosen sectors and companies.
The T Bridge approach - Strategy
T Bridge realises that building successful firms means infusing them through both active collaboration and investment that will ultimately steer them onwards to growth and success. We want to create an ecosystem where our companies can thrive. Fope Oluleye describes a three-step process for identifying businesses that fit T Bridge VP’s investment profile.
1. Potential for viable high transformative growth through tackling a key problem in our chosen sectors.
2. Founder team with knowledge and understanding of the addressable market to execute its vision.
3. The company has a clear identity of where they sit within their sector and how they can impact it.
Most importantly, he recognizes those founders with boundless energy, untiring commitment to reaching their goals, and a deep desire to win as ones most likely to succeed. Through co-creating and fostering an environment that allows portfolio companies to shape their brand identity along with best in class resources T bridge believes they can further accelerate their growth.
The industry – VC & Portfolio Companies
The venture capital industry remains a very exciting space. It is the main source of capital to revolutionary businesses that seek to address prevalent problems. T Bridge aims to further add value by focusing on early-stage companies and founders that have enormous potential to disrupt current inefficient norms or create new innovative pathways and create lasting value for potential users and society as a whole. Within our portfolio we have invested in companies and funds in the cleantech/renewable energy, fintech, SAAS, consumer retail and health tech and have a number of companies raising in 2022 with some impressive updates;
EleXsys is an advanced power electronics device with a suite of AI applications enabling smart grids. Our investment into this company recognises the changing dynamic and incorporation of renewable energy to provide power to businesses and homes.
The ground-breaking solar and battery microgrid being built to power the Adelaide store of Swedish furniture giant, IKEA, has reached a major milestone, after the rooftop PV component of the project was energised (turned on) in January 2022. Over the next year it plans to commence a number of partnerships and projects that incorporate battery storage and solar technology with the ability to trade two ways into the grid.
Velocity Black – A virtual lifestyle assistant combining artificial intelligence and enterprise SAAS software that is being fastly adopted by large corporate customers.Backed by $30M in venture capital, Velocity is one of the world’s fastest growing companies - the 3rd fastest headquartered in the UK according to Forbes and was named in Deloitte’s Fast 50 2020 list of the UK’s fastest growing tech companies based on revenue growth over the last 4 years. With a membership base of over 60 countries and whose net worth is $300bn in addition to a number of renowned corporations such as Rolls Royce, A Landesbanken, LA Chargers they are revolutionising the way corporations and people can process requests. Velocity Black will continue to disrupt and evolve the status quo in the near future.
Ziglu is a pioneering fiat and cryptocurrency bank within the fintech space founded by the ex-founder of Starling Bank. With the fast adoption of cryptocurrency and it becoming more accepted as an asset class. Ziglu presented a very strong thesis for investment, as the fintech sector continues to evolve, our investment in Ziglu a company that will help shape the sector in the upcoming years as it continues to grow in force. They are currently expanding the investment offering within the app and now have licensing for the EU.
LAUNCH AFRICA Ventures is a frontier pan African fund, a FIRST in Africa solving a significant funding gap and valuation arbitrage in the Seed to Series A bridge funding investment landscape in Africa. Focusing on B2B and B2C early stage startups, the fund was founded by experienced fund managers and investment banking professionals. Our investment into the fund to become an LP was based on the premise of the evolving and growing landscape of Venture capital on the continent of Africa and the significant problem they are solving for early stage startups.
To date Launch Africa has raised $33.5 million thus far, with a targeted final close of up to $40 million by our final close on March 18th, 2022. The fund has 200+ LPs split across the U.S., Europe, Asia and Africa. Commerz Ventures (the corporate VC arm of CommerzBank) was the most recent prominent LP that came onboard at our last close for $2.5m. Thus far we have deployed a total of $20 million into 93 of Africa’s leading early-stage technology ventures, spread across 17 countries and multiple industry sectors.
Happy Joe: A foodtech app that promotes meals within your location based on their health benefits and rewards you with loyalty for consuming them. The company was founded in 2020, a synonymous time with health consciousness due to the prevalent covid pandemic. An innovative first of its kind app targeting consumers and restaurants that want to learn more about the everyday health benefits of what they are consuming and restaurants to provide these benefits to customers. Having onboarded Elliott Burton, a leading global influencer who was sponsored by GymShark to head up marketing, they have also partnered with F45 gyms to offer value to their gyms. They will also be raising for Q1 2022 and their exciting expansion.
Renewable Energy – Brightstar Global & PASH
Our ever growing focus on renewable energy since the establishment of our subsidiary in 2015 has grown into ownership and operation of projects in Africa, Asia and other emerging markets.
Brightstar Solar Global’s focus is on sub saharan Africa and developing and managing solar projects across the Commercial and Industrial space, Utility scale and distributed energy systems with a focus on Nigeria and then sub-saharan Africa.
Over the next year we will deliver on our goal of 1000MW across our four main operational systems of large-scale utility solar farms, commercial solar systems, distributed mini energy grid systems and rooftop solar systems with a key emphasis on technological innovation and long term sustainability.
In Q1 2021, we became shareholders in PASH global Management, A subsidiary of Trafigura- one of the largest commodity traders in the world. PASH is an emerging market renewable developer of wind, solar & battery storage projects across Latin America, Europe Africa & Asia.
We are currently focused to acquire operational and ready to build assets within these geographic regions, with sizes between 10-200MWp. Our collective vision is to attain 2GW In each continent by 2026.
Pash is in advanced negotiations for 152MWp of RTB & operational assets across LATAM & Asia and will be announced by the end of Q1 2022.
This investment aligns with Zenith's target to increase our portfolio of Renewable Energy projects to 1GW by the end of 2022. We are targeting utility scale, commercial and industrial, distributed renewable energy projects across LATAM, EMEA, Asia and African regions. We will be looking to partner also with family offices, funds and JV partners to reach these objectives.
Our premise remains the same to be a gamechanger that invests and develops dynamic companies and we will continue to commit towards this goal.