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Venture capital

  • Q&A: Focus on creating unicorn for SA is misdirected says Justin Stanford

    Any overt focus by South African ecosystem players on creating the country's first unicorn is a "misdirection of attention" says venture capitalist and founder of 4Di Capital Justin Stanford. With the number of multi-million acquisition deals concluded by South African startups seemingly on the increase of late, Stanford says the country should rather focus on systematically repeatable value creation. 'Focus on headline number of $1-billion valuation is misdirection of attention' It follows the $445-million sale of Kapa Biosystems in 2015 and, more recently, the $123-million GetSmarter deal announced in May. Read more: Are these the 10 all-time biggest exit deals for SA startups? Responding to emailed questions from Ventureburn, Stanford...

  • FSB misses its own crowdfunding deadline

    South Africa’s Financial Services Board (FSB) has missed a June 30 deadline on considering whether to regulate equity crowdfunding or not. A FSB spokesperson in April said the authority had set a date of 30 June by which it planned to rule on whether to craft specific rules or not for equity crowdfunding. It followed the completion of a research report by the FSB on crowdfunding. Read more: South Africa’s FSB to rule on crowdfunding by June 30 However Felicity Mabaso, the FSB's head of department for FAIS Supervision, stressed that the "crowdfunding project" is still a work in progress. "We have scheduled further engagements...

  • Agri-Vie Fund exit from Fairfield sees investors reap over three times in returns

    Investors in the $100-million Agri-Vie Fund I have scored big with the fund today announcing its first exit, from one of South Africa’s most respected dairy companies Fairfield Dairy. A private investment trust linked to the Lang family which founded the diary has agreed to buy Agri-Vie’s stake in the KwaZulu-Natal-based dairy producer. While the fund would not disclosed the sale figure, Agri-Vie co-founder and managing partner Herman Marais said the return on the investment exceeded the fund's objectives -- which is usually to return to investors between 2.5 to 3 times of the invested capital. The fund's initial investment of about $4-million in Fairfield diaries was made in 2009. Marais said...

  • Private equity returns up a whopping 123% in 2016 reveals Savca report

    South African private equity capital returns to investors were up 123.2% last year to R18.3-billion -- up from R8.2-billion in 2015, reveals the Savca 2017 Private Equity Industry Survey, released today. Tanya van Lill, CEO of the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Savca), said between 2015 and last year, trade sales were reported as the most popular exit route in value terms while sales to management were the most popular by volume. “The average proceeds per exit was R176.3-million in 2016, compared to R48.1-million in 2015. Realisations (returns to investors) in 2016 reflected a times money multiple of 2.0, an increase...

  • Drive Revenue gets multi-million rand funding injection from HAVAÍC

    Cape Town tech startup Drive Revenue has landed an undisclosed amount from HAVAÍC, the venture capital (VC) fund announced yesterday. HAVAÍC executive director Grant Rock said in a press release that the funding will be used to help Drive Revenue to roll out its cloud-enabled financial management system for legal practices. Speaking to Ventureburn, Rock said he could not disclose the amount in funding invested in Drive Revenue, saying only that it was "several million" rands and that it was made available from individual investors offshore. Rock said the idea is to help Drive Revenue to secure a round of equity investment later this year. 'We have resellers coming...

  • Grotech fund set to announce first three deals

    Grotech, a venture capital (VC) fund set up under the 12J VC tax incentive, is set to announce its first three investments, said fund manager Clive Butkow speaking to Ventureburn. Butkow (pictured above) said the three three deals are all in technology products developed by existing companies. These are: A tech app for a fast moving consumer goods company. A social-media influencer platform, which already has revenue of about R17-million and employs eight staff. The platform has a presence in the UK and looking to expand to other overseas markets. An existing business involved in booking activities in the travel sector. Butkow expected several jobs to be created...

  • SA SME Fund will commence with due diligence in July says CEO

    The R1.5-billion SA SME Fund will commence with initial fund screening due diligence from next month (July 2017), the fund's CEO Quinton Dicks said today. In April, Dicks told Ventureburn that he plans to finalise the recruitment of his initial five-member team by 1 June before making investments into approved funds. The fund will invest in funds which will then invest in high-growth small and medium-sized enterprises. In response to questions from Ventureburn on whether any funds had been disbursed, Dicks said the initial team members had all been appointed with the final appointment joining on 1 July 2017. "We have not committed to any funds...

  • Can 12J VC tax incentive create the jobs South Africa badly needs?

    Tim Strang wants to provide spaza shops and wholesalers with a better way to order stock, through an app. He's betting on creating hundreds of jobs for sales agents that deploy the app -- thanks to an investment under a venture capital (VC) tax incentive. His Durban-based company and app, Spazapp is one of a number of firms that venture capital companies (VCCs) have invested in under the incentive, which is administered by the SA Revenue Service (Sars) and falls under Section 12J of the Income Tax Act. It allows investors to get a tax rebate if they invest in a VCC that in...

  • Investors clamouring for 12J VC incentive following tax hike – fund managers

    The increase in the top marginal income tax rate to 45% for high earners is driving more South African investors to seek out the 12J venture capital (VC) incentive to offset their taxable income, say fund managers. Under the incentive, which is managed by the South African Revenue Service (Sars), investors that invest in venture capital companies (VCCs) that in turn invest in qualifying small enterprises, can write off the full investment made in any one year from their taxable income. In February in his Budget speech then Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced a new top tax rate of 45% for individuals earning...

  • Foreign investment injection could propel South Africa’s VC ecosystem, 12J funds

    Ask any tech startup and they’ll tell you that raising venture capital (VC) in South Africa is not easy, that said, it’s a lot easier than it was seven years ago. Back then it was next to impossible to get VC funding. The local VC ecosystem is in its 10th year of building and while by US or Israel standards we may still be in our infancy. Yet for an industry that has had to entirely bootstrap itself we’ve done very well, but we still have a long way to go. The US and Israel ecosystem developments were both significantly bolstered...