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Venture capital

  • With Zuma gone, investor interest has picked up say local venture capitalists

    Investor interest in placing money in venture capital funds has picked up since the resignation last month of Jacob Zuma as president and the swearing in of Cyril Ramaphosa, say cautious local venture capitalists. Speaking to Ventureburn yesterday, Kalon Venture Partners CEO Clive Butkow (pictured above) said he'd experienced renewed interest from investors since the election in December of Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC president. He noted that a breakfast meeting he held in Johannesburg on 2 February saw about 1000 investors and representatives from family offices attend. “I think had it not been for the Zuma change we wouldn’t have received that interest,” he said. He added that...

  • A new paradigm for scaling early stage impact investing in SA

    The world is facing diminishing natural resources, a growing population and an increasing economic inequality. But impact investing can help solve these issues. Impact investing seeks to create both a financial return, alongside a positive social or environmental impact. As governments and civil society struggle to achieve the UN’s Social Development Goals (SDGs), the trillions of dollars in the financial system, could be put to better use, in the hands of capable entrepreneurs, trying to solve these issues. In addition, early stage impact investing, geared towards small growing businesses (SGBs), has the potential of providing funding to the “missing middle”, ie companies with...

  • How to access Goodwell’s €20m fund for African startups

    Amsterdam-based impact investor Goodwell Investments last month announced that it had raised €20-million to invest in high-growth African startups. Do you fit the bill and want to get in on that funding? Goodwell Investments marketing and communications director Nico Blaauw (pictured above) gives Ventureburn some insights on how entrepreneurs can go about accessing the funding. Is your business model aligned with Goodwell's objectives? In a statement announcing the fund, Goodwell Investments stated that it invests in businesses "that offer products and services to under-served people to meet their increasing demand for affordable and quality basic products". Blaauw told Ventureburn the investor looks for startups with business models...

  • SA fintech wiGroup secures funding from Virgin, Smollan to boost global expansion

    Cape Town based mobile software firm wiGroup has secured investment from the Virgin Group and retail solutions provider Smollan to fast-track its entry into emerging and developed markets. The announcement was made in a press release today by wiGroup. The company did not disclose the size of the stake and sum of the investment. This follows similar investment from Investec Asset Management in 2015 -- also for an undisclosed sum. Ventureburn reported at the time that the Investec transaction was for a stake of between 25% and 50% of the company, in a deal reportedly believed by the industry to be worth just under a...

  • Capital flight talk over says Grovest man on launch of R200m Metta Capital fund

    The talk of "capital flight" from South Africa has come to an end, believes venture capitalist Jeff Miller, following the launch yesterday of Metta Capital, the first 12J VC fund of funds. Miller, who yesterday launched the fund with fellow Grovest venture capitalist Malcom Segal, aims to raise R200-million from investors by 23 February 2018 to invest in eight Section 12J funds. The funds are in areas such as logistics, mining, hospitality, retail, energy and telecommunications. "I think the December ANC conference has settled things," said Miller referring to the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC president. He noted a "complete change" from high net worth individuals -- many who previously would have...

  • Partech Ventures announces launch of Africa fund, having secured €57m so far

    Silicon Valley fund Partech Ventures has announced the launch of its Partech Africa fund, which has secured over €57-million commitments so far. In a press release today Partech Ventures said it aims to raise €100-million to invest in early-stage African startups, with the average deal sized expected to range between €500 000 and €5-million. The fund will operate out of Partech Ventures's new offices in Dakar. Partech Ventures, founded in 1982 in Silicon Valley, claims the fund is the first technology fund of such size from a top tier international venture capital (VC) fund to be exclusively dedicated to the tech ecosystem in Africa. The fund will invest in...

  • Joburg duo to take on big boys in calcium carbonate sector with IDC VC funding

    Entrepreneurs Zane Abrahams and Mark Anthony Appollos are taking on the big boys. The two plan to give an established calcium carbonate player a run for its money by setting up a R250-million plant in Richards Bay, following a recent venture capital investment from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). Calcium carbonate is produced from limestone and is used in a number of products, including paper, paint, plastic and PVC. The sector is dominated by importers and by Idwala Industrial Holdings which controls about 80% of the market. Abrahams and Appollos runs EMV Nanomaterials, one of several early-stage companies that have received funding from new industries unit, since the unit's inception in...

  • Over a year on, when will big companies’ SA SME Fund get going? [Opinion]

    South Africa's private sector loves to lament how poor the government's support has been for small business -- but it seems, business owners shouldn't expect much either from big companies. The idea to get big companies to fund small businesses emerged in 2015 following discussions that President Jacob Zuma held with large listed companies through the CEO Initiative (with Zuma pictured above at one such meeting with CEOs). Yet over 15 months since the CEO Initiative, led by Discovery CEO Adrian Gore and former Bidvest chair Brian Joffe, announced the establishment of a R1.5-billion fund of funds to support high-growth small businesses, not a single investment has...

  • Here are the SA tech startup acquisitions that were concluded in 2017

    This year saw one of the biggest acquisition deals for a South African tech startup -- when US listed company 2U bought Getsmarter for $123-million. At least three other SA tech startups were acquired in 2017. Ventureburn takes a look at the four that the publication covered in 2017. The four include only acquisitions of South African tech startups that Ventureburn reported on in 2017 and that were concluded for a stake of 51% or more . For example last month mortgage finance provider SA Home Loans announced that it had acquired a 49% stake in online real estate agency PropertyFox). The four include only...

  • Clifftop Ventures grants new equity draw down facility of R4m to iono.fm

    Clifftop Ventures, the venture investment arm of financial firm Clifftop Colony, has increased its Equity Capital Drawdown Facility (ECDF) facility for online audio services company iono.fm to R4-million, after the tech firm was able to fully utilise an earlier R2.5-million facility. The announcement was made in a press release yesterday by Clifftop Colony and comes after the utilisation by iono.fm of a R.2.5-million ECDF facility, announced in November 2016 by the financial firm. Read more: Iono.fm receives R2.5m funding from Angel investment round The funding will help iono.fm, which was founded in 2009 by Ryan Dingley, to solidify the business next year and to expand...