"I wish we could have one for every company we ever funded"
An early-stage investor focused on companies in Africa, Kola Aina was an early convert to Artifact.
“I think we underestimate the importance of recorded history, especially if it's in the voice of the main characters themselves, or people around them,” says entrepreneur and investor Kola Aina. “I consider it very powerful to record people's lives and their notions in the times that they're around.”
Kola is a partner in Ventures Platform, an early-stage investment fund focused on nascent companies in Africa. He was also an early convert to Artifact, which he learned about via a personal friendship with one of the founders.
“I remember the first time Ross Chanin told me the idea, I thought it was just incredible,” he recalls. “I'd never heard of anything like it. It immediately seemed like a solution that I could have used to learn more about my grandfather, who I never really got to know. I thought it would be really awesome if he had made an Artifact in his time that I could listen to now.”
While the personal hook drew him in, Kola quickly realized that these custom podcasts could be a powerful tool for promoting the companies funded by his organization.
“With Ventures Platform, we very much like to focus the lens on entrepreneurs we work with as opposed to talking about ourselves,” he says. “Our fundamental thesis is that if you identify smart entrepreneurs that are building innovative solutions — then you target the mass market and the low-income communities on the continent — you truly have an opportunity to transform lives. We're typically a first or second investor in the companies we back. We’ve invested in about 50 companies since launching in 2016.”
Once his organization started recording Artifacts, both about the leadership team and the companies they invest in, Kola found that the resulting content served many masters. The audio is hosted on Ventures Platform’s website — it’s actually the first thing guests see when they arrive on the page. As he puts it, “There's nothing as great as a testimonial from an investing company, especially when it's an unscripted interview, like the Artifacts.”
Kola’s own Artifact is linked in his email signature and individual companies have used their episodes to share their stories.
“I thoroughly enjoyed listening to every one of them because the bulk of the anecdotes shared in those Artifacts were things I had completely forgotten about,” he says. “I wish we could have one for every company we ever funded.”
Having used Artifact in a professional capacity, Kola is excited to jump back into the side of the service that intrigued him in the first place. He has a couple personal interviews on the docket, including conversations with his kids on their milestone birthdays.
Do you want to use Artifact to tell your organization's story? Start here.