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Venture capital

  • Here are 4 things Kalon Venture Partners looks for when picking startups [Q&A]

    Disruptive technology that is 12 months ahead of the competition. A proven product. A large addressable market. The best team on the planet. These are four things venture capitalist Clive Butkow looks for when his Kalon Venture Partners -- a registered Section 12J Venture Capital Company picks tech startups to invest in. Butkow's Johannesburg based VC company already backs some big names -- like fast growing Joburg fintech startup i-Pay (which Ventureburn lists among eight Gauteng startups to watch in 2018 -- see here and here) and blockhain startup The Sun Exchange -- which last month took honours at the French VivaTech summit (see here). In March Butkow told...

  • EXCLUSIVE: SA SME Fund CEO’s stepping down was ‘amicable’ says fund official

    The head of the SA SME Fund Quinton Dicks has parted ways "amicably" with the fund, a right-hand official of Discovery CEO Adrian Gore who initiated the fund, said today. The R1.5-billion fund, which aims to put money into private funds that will then lend to small companies, was announced over two years ago by President Cyril Ramaphosa when he was then deputy president. But it is yet to begin lending to small businesses. Lisa Klein, head of mergers and acquisitions at insurance giant Discovery, told Ventureburn today that the two parties had parted ways "amicably" and that the parting had come about after discussions between both parties. Klein helped put...

  • SA incubator Savant in process of raising funding for 11 tech companies [Q&A]

    Cape Town tech incubator Savant is busy raising funding for four of the 16 technology related companies in its portfolio -- while pursuing second-round funding for another nine, the incubator's CEO Nick Allen has confirmed. "Getting this next round of funding, usually for companies that are still generally pre-revenue, is our biggest challenge. We are also undertaking due diligence on a further three companies," Allen told Ventureburn last month. Savant has assisted 12 companies in the accelerator's portfolio to source either seed or startup funding. Among the companies Savant has worked with are medtech firm Leatt, food innovation company Formfoods, battery management company Balancell and medical device Smartblade. "We hold stakes in another two companies that...

  • Sometimes startup just hits right market at right time – Angelhub man [Q&A]

    The difference between a well performing and poorly performing investment often comes down to three things, says Angelhub Ventures lead partner Brett Commaille. For Commaille these are: the stage a product is in, the maturity of the business itself and the readiness of the market to adopt the product or service a startup is offering. But he admits "sometimes a business just hits the right market and the right time and takes off". The difference between a well and a poor performing investment often comes down to three things, says Angelhub Ventures lead partner Brett Commaille How then is his Angelhub Ventures portfolio...

  • ‘Playing patient investor, Omidyar has not made many exits from $1.3bn portfolio’ [Updated]

    Philanthropic impact investor Omidyar Network has invested close to $1.3-billion* in non-profit and for-profit ventures globally since it was founded in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. But an investment principal at the fund confesses that the funder's "patient" approach to funding means it has made few exits so far. "We are early-stage, impact investors and, because we have only one funder, our capital is patient. "So when we look at investments, the total value creation of a company for us is comprised of financial returns, social impact, and its effect on the sector as a whole," Ameya Upadhyay, an investment principal at the...

  • ‘$1.1m funding will help Piggybank.ng to capitalise on opportunities’

    Automated savings platform Piggybank.ng's latest round of $1.1-million seed funding will allow the Nigerian startup to "expand and capitalise on the many opportunities that the market presents", says co-founder Joshua Chibueze. Chibueze (pictured above far right, with co-founders Somto Ifezue left, and Odunayo Eweniyi, middle) was commenting on the deal in a press release yesterday (31 May). The $1.1-million investment was led by LeadPath Nigeria co-founder Olumide Soyombo. Two venture capital firms, Village Capital and Ventures Platform, also participated in the round. It follows the $50 000 seed funding that the startup, which targets low-income Nigerian millennials and was founded in 2016, received in May last year from...

  • First Uber partnership, now Aura secures first R2m from HAVAÍC in equity raise

    Days after concluding a deal with ride-hailing company Uber, Joburg-based startup Aura announced today that it has secured the first R2-million in a R6-million equity raise to help fund its cloud-based security platform. News24 reported on Thursday that last week that the startup revealed that it is had teamed up with Uber to supply its drivers with a virtual panic button linked to their cellphone, that when pressed connects drivers to the nearest private security vehicle, as well as to police and emergency services. It follows the announcement last week that Uber's Uber Eats had acquired SA-founded company orderTalk for an undisclosed sum. Read more: Three reasons...

  • Knowledge, networks, funding: what’s behind VC that set up Uber exit [Q&A]

    It's just days after arguably the biggest deal so far this year -- Cape Town founded company orderTalk's exit to Uber Eats. Many may be wandering how the venture capital (VC) company behind the deal -- SA's Knife Capital -- was able land such a big opportunity. While the terms of the deal -- which was announced by Knife Capital last week -- were not disclosed, Knife Capital partner Keet van Zyl confirmed at the time that the deal is "significant in terms of return on investment". Impressively, orderTalk was the final investee company to exit from the R150-million HBD Venture Capital Fund that Knife Capital managed. Knife...

  • HAVAÍC holds onto five investments despite two offers, says Ian Lessem [Q&A]

    While Cape Town venture capital (VC) company HAVAÍC has yet to exit any of its five portfolio investments, it has had two opportunities to do so since launching about two and a half years ago, says the VC's CEO Ian Lessem. Lessem told Ventureburn earlier this month that the VC company held off exiting because he believed there was still "too much upside potential in these businesses to warrant an exit". The VC company was founded by in 2015 by Lessem together with Grant Rock, Rob Health and Jonty Levin. HAVAÍC held off exiting because there was still "too much upside potential in these businesses...

  • Jozi Angels wants R8m return from R400k invested per startup [Q&A]

    So, your startup is looking for money then? If you head to angel investment network Jozi Angels make sure you can within seven years, generate return of 20 to 25 times what the network invests in your startup. Since it was founded by in 2015 by Abu Cassim, Jozi Angels has made 15 investments in the past three years totaling over R6-million. That's an average of R400 000 per investment. It means that after seven years investors will want on average -- at least R8-million returned to them from each investment. That is no small money. Read more: Jozi Angels made 15 investments worth R6m in...