African Dawn Capital in talks to acquire Knife Capital

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Africa Dawn Capital, a listed micro lending company, has entered into talks to buy Knife Capital. It seems the listed company has decided to play in the big leagues of tech investment.

Things haven’t been all that great for Africa Dawn, according to a Financial Mail report from earlier this year. The report says that a move into tech investment is the company’s “hopeful third-time-lucky”.

A move towards tech makes sense for the company as Africa’s tech entrepreneurial landscape has attracted a fair amount of attention in the last few years, making it a hot space to play in right now.

According to the deal announcement, shareholders of the company have been advised that “Afdawn has entered into negotiations to acquire 100% of the issued shares in Knife Capital Proprietary Limited”.

Africa Dawn Capital Limited, at its core, provides various financial products and services to individuals and businesses in South Africa. Founded in Cape Town, South Africa, the company offers bridging finance, personal short-term unsecured finance, micro finance, debtor discounting, structured property finance and other financial services, including commercial debt collection, debt advisory, debt management, run offs and asset disposals, outsourcing, debt acquisition, and loan assistance.

The move isn’t exactly surprising, given that AfDawn named Knife Cap’s founder Keet van Zyl a director this year. Buying the firm makes sense if AfDawn wants to seriously invest in tech business. Knife, previously PoweredbyVC, has been playing in the tech investment space for a while, managing tech billionaire Mark Shuttleworth’s South Africa VC investments — through HBD.

The company has held stake in the likes of Fundamo, which exited to Visa for a staggering US$110-million, as well as some hush hush deals like Clicks2Customers and CSense to GE. Current investments include EDH, maker of FlightScope, OrderTalk — provider of online ordering solutions — and a wildcard non-tech investment with a stake in African restaurant chain, Moyo.

Ventureburn contacted Knife Capital for comment but all the company has to say on the matter is “watch this space”.

If successful, Afdawn will own 100% of Knife Capital. The details of what this will mean for Knife initiatives such as its recently launched Grindstone accelerator and its growth course with the University of Cape Town are still unclear.

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