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Last year when former FNB head Michael Jordaan joined South African instant messaging service Mxit as chairman, we heard that his new aspirations were to learn more about innovation and investing in startups. Soon after, Jordaan launched his first VC firm, MonteGray Capital. Today, news came about that the first companies getting a cash injection from MonteGrey include interesting tech companies such as Multisource, Bright Black and Execmobile.
Jordaan has mentioned before that he’s interested in “disruptive technologies that will change the world in the next 10 years,” and all three companies mentioned above focus on using disruptive tech to find practical, exciting solutions locally.
Multisource, for instance, has a large focus on both hardware and software solutions. It’s been around for quite a while and was involved in Microsoft’s TV White Spaces programme which aimed to provide low-cost wireless broadband access to underprivileged schools. The company’s even working on exciting tech and is dabbling with products in the Internet of Things.
Execmobile offers data roaming solutions as well as some other interesting hardware products like Pocket Wi-Fi which allows you to create a data hotspot on the go.
As heard through the grapevine, Execmobile has recently also pitched at an AngelHub event which could add to speculations that Jordaan might be absorbing the Angel network. Jordaan already has a background in investing in startups like RealTime Wine through AngelHub. Let’s see how this plays out.
BrightBlack meanwhile encourages energy efficiency investment technologies and practices. Established in 2013, the company uses solar as well as other technologies to monitor and measure energy efficiency to help companies save the environment and money.
Jordaan has noted before how he’s inspired by the big tech giants such as Google and Apple. He mentioned once that he even aims to do something in the lines of what Singularity University does in lecturing and promoting emerging, disruptive technologies.
“Investment amounts are humble, even by venture capital standards and will range between R500,000 and R2-million for significant minority stakes,” Jordaan says to BusinessTech. He did note that apart from the capital, he hopes to leverage his current connections to the startups’ benefit. This could involve linking 6.5-million active Mxit customers.
This is quite a tall order for MonteGrey’s first investments and as he said in a tweet, this round of funding “A busy start for an aspirant venture capitalist.”