Got more questions?
Can I have a view of your analytics?
Yes, you can set up time to go through our dashboard & approach to strategy in the application process.
How big is your database?
We track insights on over 5.5K innovative African companies (and growing), with over 100K data points. The quality of our insights is directly correlated to breath of insights we have on each record.
How do we choose startups to work with?
We work with startups that have an active presence in Africa, or a startup started by a person of African descent anywhere in the world. We are not limited to any particular industry or company size, but we've found that the ideal companies are ones that have launched a product or looking to scale.
Will I have to sign an NDA?
No. We don't sign Non Disclosure Agreements (NDA). You're probably too small for our services if you're still in the idea (not ideation) phase and require an NDA. We recommend launching a product and then engaging with us once there's traction that requires our services.
Will you help me if I have more than two companies?
Yes, we gladly will. However, if you're an early stage startup with just an idea, we recommend focusing on one. Then again, you could be Elon Musk :)
Will you work with multiple startups working on similar ideas or in the same industry?
Yes. As an analytics company, this is unavoidable. The way we handle this is that we clearly don't talk to one about the other - as with any other client we work with. Client confidentiality is key.
Why didn't you accept my application?
This is truly a hard one and there's no clear answer to this. We do our best to pick innovators and startups we think can become a high growth company but as with anything, we sometimes make mistakes. Don't take it personally.
Additionally, we are not about growing our business at scale. We can only afford a handful of startups as clients, which inevitably means we'll miss out on some incredible ones. Clearly, when we make mistakes, we'll like to rectify it, so give us a chance if we reach out.
Finally, for all promising startups, we share our insights anyway, which we think will be useful to you. We just will be stretched thin to give hands on advice.
Why do you have batches for applications? This is weird for a data analytics company.
We only work with a handful of startups at any given time. We've found that it helps us streamline our processes better if we know in advance the exact number of clients we'll be working with. We're also a startup and would love to keep the lean startup methodology alive as we grow, so we opted for this approach. Works for us - not necessarily for every analytics company.
What are the exact dates for the next batch?
We don't know as life happens, but typically our yearly intake is in February. However, we are always reviewing applications until we hit our threshold. Also, spots open up and we'll ping you if this happens.
Why limited to 20 intakes per cohort?
We're not trying to scale. We're just trying to do great work with great people whom we believe can change the course of the African narrative by creating enduring companies. We might increase the number as the years go by but not by very much.
We have been in existence for a while. Is Circle+ appropriate for us?
In theory, we can work with any startup, in whatever lifecycle. In reality, we find that we are best suited for startups between the ideation and product market fit stage. A general rule of thumb you can use is that our fee should account for roughly less than 2% of your general expenses. If it's more than that, you're probably too early for us. That being said, you may have a rich uncle and able to afford our fees. Happy to help :)
We've already raised funding. Can you help us?
Refer to above.
Do you only work with startups in a particular industry?
No, we work with startups across all industries. However, the industries considered 'hot', generally have more industry insights which makes our services better suited to these. In the 'not-so-hot' industries, we use proxy insights which works just as well.
Do we need to be an incorporated entity before you work with us?
No, but as mentioned above the sweet spot for our services is between the Ideation and Product Market Fit phase. At this size, you probably need to be incorporated anyway.
Can we apply more than once, if we don't make the cut in a batch?
Do we need to have an inside connection at Circle+ to get accepted?
Do I get penalized for submitting a late application?
No. We aren't strict on submission deadlines. However, if we don't have resources to review your application in time (because we are working on the new clients we have), then we'll recommend that you apply for the next batch.
How do we know we are successful?
We'll email you and set up a virtual or in-person meeting to find out more about you and your business. If you aren't successful, we hope you won't be discouraged. Our response isn't a reflection of your vision or strategy. We genuinely hope you go on to disrupt Africa!
Do you give feedback on why applications weren't successful?
We don't. As you can imagine, if we did this, we would spend our scare resources and time providing feedback instead of doing actual work. We are a very small team with huge ambitions and we have to have a laser focus on our mission.
Is your pricing for real? It feels dirt cheap.
Yes, our pricing is dirt cheap in comparison to access to insights of this calibre. We almost made it free but we have to pay for the infrastructure. All we are trying to do is break even on our hosting and machine learning platforms. We believe strongly in helping innovators become enduring companies.
Can I get a discount?
Our package is already cheap. However, if you're a founder and can justify why we should give a discount, please include this in your application.
Do we pay extra for more people?
No. You only pay one fee per company. We can create multiple profiles for different founders. We don't charge you based on how many users you want to give access to. The price is the same whether you're a two man band or whether you have a full executive team plus board.
Can I cancel at any time?
Yes, Circle+ is a month-to-month contract. You can cancel at any time. If you prepaid in advance, we'll refund you any unused months - no questions asked.
Where did the name "Circle+" come from?
Circle+ refers to giving you a 360 degree view of your business - both macro and micro, and them some more (i.e. the plus). We think it's a cool name and captures the essence of what we are trying to achieve.
We thought long and hard about the best way we could assist in moving the African innovation landscape forward. Fortunately, we have a massive database and easy for us to measure our impact and we came to the conclusion that our best impact would be in assisting high growth companies achieve escape velocity.
Only 2% of innovators in our database have achieved escape velocity. We think we can help increase that number - hence providing our insights to innovators who want to become high growth companies. No point you reinventing the wheel when you can use the track records of previous innovators as well as trends as a roadmap.