The Top 10: #7 Ademidun (Demi) Edosomwan, emerging market lead, Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures

Ademidun Edosomwan was promoted to managing director of the emerging markets group at Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures (TCNV), France-based oil and gas supplier Total’s corporate venturing vehicle, in October 2019 to oversee areas including renewables, energy access and sustainable mobility in emerging markets.

The promotion came with TCNV’s launch and Total’s announcement to invest up to $400m in carbon neutrality technology developers in emerging markets over the next five years.

TCNV president Girish Nadkarni added: “Ademidun (Demi) Edosomwan was instrumental in researching, structuring and starting the emerging markets group for TCNV. This group focuses on investing in the areas of energy access for people living off-grid, sustainable mobility and enabling technologies and businesses like payment systems.

“In a very short time, Demi has made a significant impact in this space and made a number of important investments. She is now considered a leading investor and thought-leader in the space of impact investing and is a frequent speaker and contributor to studies relating to investing in emerging markets. She has put together an outstanding team and is an inspiring great manager and mentor.”

Regarding how she became involved in CVC, Edosomwan said: “I had worked for several years as an in-house counsel and in 2014, I decided to do an MBA. The Insead executive MBA changed my life and my point of view. I decided I wanted to move into a business function but not just any type of role. I wanted to do something meaningful, that would truly make a difference.

“At the beginning, I knew only what I did not want to do, and it took two years to find the perfect role. In 2017, Total decided to create a new team that would focus on investing in innovative startups in Africa. This ticked all the boxes for me, and I jumped at the opportunity.”

More specifically, Edosomwan helps Africa-based entrepreneurs who provide services from health insurance to fertiliser, having conducted three investments and re-investments in the energy sector in Africa since 2018.

She added: “We also launched a project to support early-stage startups in collaboration with other organisations such as [nonprofit impact fund] Acumen, [renewable energy-focused organisation] Sustainable Energy for All and [Italian government-backed research and development agency] ENEA to deliver a mix of funding, consulting support and access to investor networks to startups in the energy access and waste to energy sectors.

“Five startups have received support from this initiative and the review of applications for the second cohort that will receive support in 2020 is ongoing.”

Edosomwan has been with Total for more than 13 years, first as a legal counsel in Nigeria in 2006 before becoming head of legal in Uganda in 2011. She was made senior legal adviser in 2015 and moved to France with the appointment.

She became involved in investments in November 2017 as a senior investment manager before joining Total Ventures in January 2019 as an investment director for emerging markets. Before Total, she worked in consulting with professional services firm KPMG.

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.