About The Baobab Network

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Building Baobab businesses


Our name, brand and identity are inspired by the Baobab tree, an iconic symbol of life and growth in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Baobab Team


We are a team of entrepreneurs, passionate about driving innovation and investment across Africa.


ARTHUR CHUPEAU
Venture Partner

Arthur joined us from I&P in Cameroon as a Venture Partner. In the last 10 years Arthur has worked across four continents and brings with him deep experience in PE and Investment Banking. Arthur drives forward the growth of our portfolio, and leads on the development of our work in West and Central Africa.


JOHN ELIAKIM
Business Development Manager, East Africa

John joined our team in 2019 to lead on our business development in East Africa. Having previously worked for corporates and start-ups across Africa, John is passionate about driving new business. John holds degrees from University of Nairobi and the Management University of Africa.


TOM FAIRBURN
Co-Founder

Tom’s family have lived in Kenya since 1993 and he spent eleven years at school in Nairobi. After graduating from The University of Bath, Tom worked at an FMCG in brand strategy and commodity buying roles before setting up TBN.


TOBY HANINGTON
Co-Founder

Toby met Tom at the University of Bath, and they also spent some time studying in Vancouver. Toby joined the world of investment banking after university, and set up TBN after a brief stint coaching the Swaziland National Rugby team.


RUTH NYAKIO
Data Scientist

Ruth studied Computer Science at Ashesi University in Ghana, before joining Equity Bank as an Analyst. A passionate mathematician, Ruth leads on the research and analytics behind Baobab Insights, reporting on trends and analysing key data sets.


SHARON OKWOMI
Data Scientist

Having previously worked at PWC Africa, Braun and Siemens, Sharon joined our Nairobi office in 2019 to help build out our analysis and market research. Sharon holds degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics and is passionate about bringing markets to life through data.


JACK RUMBLE
Head of Strategy

Jack runs our research platform, Baobab Insights. After receiving his Masters in Chemistry, Jack has worked for big firms in New York and London and developed a passion for SSA working with start-ups in Uganda and Rwanda. You may also recognise him from his cameo in zombie-flick 'Gangsters, Guns & Zombies'.


RICH SEARS
Head of Ventures

Rich is in charge of scaling TBN’s portfolio companies. In 2014 Rich co-founded Yagro, one of the UK’s fastest growing AgTech start-ups. A Cambridge and SOAS graduate, Rich is passionate about development and holds the world record for the longest journey in a tuk tuk, having driven around the world supporting education projects.


EMMA SHAW
Partnerships

Emma joined us from Deloitte where she had been working in the financial crime data team in Singapore. Emma leads on the sales of our insights platform, working closely with our research team to drive product improvements and business development.


BEN WYLIE
Venture Partner

Ben is a Venture Builder for TBN, helping our start-ups scale globally. Before he joined TBN, Ben had completed the prestigious Future Academy Residency at AKQA. He is also the Founder of Cue Glasses – an AI start-up that allows the visually impaired to detect people around them and develop situational awareness.

Our Advisors



ANDREW SEKANDI
Founder, Alpha Sierra

Andrew has had a long career advising companies in corporate law, risk and commercial strategy across Africa, and last year founded Alpha Sierra, a Africa-focused boutique strategy consultancy. Andrew has chaired the Business Council for Africa’s Financial Services working group and was previously an Associate Director in KPMG’s Africa practice.


SAMANTHA ROCKEY
Founding Partner, Thompson Harrison

Sam is the ex-Global Head of Leadership Development for SABMiller, and previous to that worked in strategy and transformation for the first democratically elected South African government. Sam is now is a founding partner at Thompson Harrison, a boutique corporate innovation consultancy.


STEVE CASTLE
Founding Partner, ABC Investors

Steve has over 25 years board experience in the International Financial Services industry. Between his large corporate roles he also found the time to be a successful entrepreneur having founded, developed and successfully sold on two financial services companies. Steve is now a founding partner at ABC Investors, a UK focused Angel fund.


SIMON MURDOCH
Managing Partner, Episode 1 Ventures

Simon is Managing Partner of Episode 1 Ventures, a VC firm investing into early stage tech businesses in the UK. Simon sold his own business, Bookpages, to Amazon in 1998, and has held senior roles at Amazon Europe and Octopus Investments before founding Episode 1.