Barbara Iyayi is the Managing Director of Unicorn Africa Investments, a private investment firm established to develop scalable and innovative industry platforms in Africa. She is the co-founder of WiseHub, an AI-driven data analytics platform for financial services. She is also a Venture Partner at Lateral Capital, a venture capital fund that invests in early-stage technology enabled businesses in various sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Recently, Barbara was part of the founding investments team of Atlas Mara, an LSE listed company co-founded by Bob Diamond, ex-CEO of Barclays Bank, which raised over $1bn to invest in, operate and manage financial institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa. As the Regional Lead for M&A and Investments, she developed the banking platform’s entry into 7 countries in Africa. Barbara Iyayi introduced and led the fintech committee that developed the digital banking growth strategy, established partnerships with Fintech companies and evaluated Fintech investment opportunities for Atlas Mara.
Prior to that, she worked in the global industrials and business services investment banking group as a Vice President at JPMorgan, in principal investments at Centerboard Group, a New York based merchant bank, and in the leveraged finance and technology investment banking groups at UBS. She was also a technology project manager at JPMorgan Private Bank. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Columbia University; and an MBA at Harvard Business School.