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Venture capital

  • Funder’s focus on making social impact key in $24m deal says JUMO founder

    South African fintech startup JUMO opted to go to Finnish development finance company Finnfund for debt funding, because the financier is "very ethical" and "focused on making meaningful social impact", says the startup's founder and CEO Andrew Watkins-Ball. JUMO is a Mauritius-headquartered financial services platform that provides mobile financial services in emerging markets. Last week the startup announced that it had secured $24-million in funding in a loan facility arranged by Gemcorp Capital, a London based investment management firm which already has an undisclosed equity stake in the startup. Finnfund participated in the round with $6-million. The funding is to support Jumo’s expansion in Africa and...

  • Here are eight facts you should know about venture capital in South Africa

    The value of venture capital (VC) investments rose by a whopping 134% to R872-million in 2016 over 2015, while ICT makes up 17% of the value of deals. These are just two insights revealed the 2017 VC survey by the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Savca). Savca CEO Tanya van Lill said in the report, which was released in September, that the introduction and improvement of Section 12J tax deductible investments had driven greater flow of capital to VC and from a broader base of individual investors. In 2016 the SA Revenue Service (Sars) recorded R1.8-billion raised by 49 investment vehicles registered...

  • Despite 134% growth in VC investments, sector still lacks liquidity says investor

    The number of South African venture capital (VC) investments grew by 134% to R872-million in deals in 2016 over the previous year, shows Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Savca) data. But a leading venture capitalist, Angel Hub Ventures lead investor Brett Commaille, says a lack of liquidity and follow-on funding is holding back the sector. Speaking at a Savca event held at the PwC offices in Cape Town last week to launch a VC success stories booklet (opens as a PDF), Commaille said while in the early days SA internet billionaire Mark Shuttleworth's HBD ventures was investing over R20-million in VC deals, these days...

  • Cape Town company Digital Cabinet lands R5m funding from HAVAÍC, Growth Grid

    Cape Town tech company Digital Cabinet has landed R5-million in equity funding, local venture capital (VC) company HAVAÍC announced today. The investment was secured from a consortium of individuals led by HAVAÍC, with a smaller stake from Growth Grid Venture Capital Partners, a registered section 12J VC fund founded by Roy Fine and Rob Ferguson. The company, which was founded in 2011, offers companies cloud-based paperless document and workflow management solutions. The deal was revealed in a press release today from HAVAÍC. When contacted by Ventureburn, HAVAÍC executive director Grant Rock said he did not want to disclose the equity stake each partner has taken in Digital Cabinet. 'The proceeds of the capital raise will be...

  • SA venture capitalists slam inaccurate valuations by local angel investors

    Inaccurate valuations from local South African angel investors are skewing the value of companies venture capital (VC) funds are keen to invest in, two leading venture capitalists have charged. Speaking yesterday at an event held by Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Savca) to launch a booklet (opens as PDF) on 20 local VC success stories, Angel Hub Ventures lead investor Brett Commaille pointed to a recent deal involving an angel investor. “We had a deal recently where the guys from (financiers) Business Partners asked us to come along. And we were about to do a co-investment with them and the entrepreneur...

  • SA equity crowdfunding site Uprise.Africa launches after response from FSB

    South Africa’s first equity crowdfunding platform Uprise.Africa has officially launched after being told by the Financial Services Board (FSB) that the platform does not fall foul of the Collective Investment Schemes Act, the platform’s founder and COO Patrick Schofield said yesterday. Speaking at a media briefing at Workshop 17 in Cape Town yesterday to highlight the first four deals that will shortly go live on the platform, Schofield -- the founder of donations based crowdfunding site Thundafund -- said the FSB has been "very quiet" on commenting on the platform. The FSB was notably absent yesterday from the briefing despite being sent...

  • SA drone startup UAV Industries to enter three more countries after $499 000 deal

    Hot on the heels of securing R6.84-million ($499 000) in funding from local investors Glenheim Venture Capital Company, South African drone operator UAV Industries plans to expand into at least three neighbouring countries over the next 18 months. The announcement of the deal was made yesterday by Glenheim Venture Capital Company, but was concluded three months ago. Speaking to Ventureburn today, UAVI Industries chairman Peter Venn said he could not confirm the amount in equity taken by Glenheim, explaining that the figure is based on future deliverables such as turnover and profit. Venn said the drone sector is a "highly regulated" environment and that it would take time...

  • Here are the 15 SA tech startups that have netted $137.7m in 2017 deals

    South African tech startups have concluded deals valued at over $137.7-million so far this year, shows data tracked by Ventureburn. Ventureburn has tracked and reported on 15 deals valued at over $137.7-million to date in 2017 -- including the $123-million acquisition in May of Cape Town startup GetSmarter by US listed company 2U. In all 12 of these deals involved Cape Town based startups, with one each based in Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Stellenbosch. If one excludes the GetSmarter deal, 14 tech startups have been able to raise $14.7-million this year (see the below graphic). In a further three deals reported on by Ventureburn the parties did not...

  • Angel investing has seen ‘phenomenal growth’ in Africa says SABAN co-founder

    Angel investing on the African continent has seen "phenomenal growth" in recent years, SA Business Angels Network (SABAN) co-founder Chris Campbell said today. He was speaking to Ventureburn ahead of the fourth annual African Angel Investor Summit (AAIS2017) set to take place on 15 to 17 November at Workshop 17 in Cape Town. Campbell said while he didn't have numbers in front of him to point to, he said he had anecdotally seen "phenomenal growth", with African Business Angels Network (ABAN) membership now at 63 angel groups, up from perhaps fewer than 10 such groups four years ago. He attributed the growth in angel investing on the continent...

  • SA’s slowing economy, political volatility no concern for Swiss angel investors

    South Africa's current political volatility and the slowing economy is no concern for a group of six Swiss angel investors who have contributed to the €150 000 that 10 startups this year have been able to tap through Startupbootcamp Cape Town. Swiss ICT Investor Club (SICTIC) Thomas Duebendorfer and five other investors from the investor club have committed to fund three years of Startupbootcamp Cape Town and invest in 10 early-stage tech startups per year that do business in Africa. For Duebendorfer South Africa is still an attractive investment destination. "Only if it were to affect how foreign investors are treated or regulated in South Africa...

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