VC to pump $10m into South African, African startups [update]

Update: This article has been updated to include additional commentary from PriceCheck founder and CEO Kevin Tucker.

Cape Town-based venture capital firm Silvertree Internet Holdings has announced a US$10-million investment destined for South African and African startups in 2016.

The pan-African tech investment firm and incubator seemed to have had good year in 2015, claiming that it recorded 330% growth per annum revenue for its startups.

The firm has invested in startups like Faithful to Nature, Click n CompareWineCo and more recently We Are Monsters and PriceCheck.

Silvertree together with entrepreneur Kevin Tucker acquired the popular price-comparison website, PriceCheck, from global media giant Naspers for an undisclosed sum last year.

Tucker tells Ventureburn that there has been considerable upside since the acquisition. “The synergies with other group companies has allowed us to streamline our operations and head towards building an efficient, agile tech company.”

He adds that PriceCheck is expanding its shop listings by including group companies and also aggressively targeting new shops. Already active in Nigeria and other countries in Africa, Tucker plans to push into new markets alongside PriceCheck’s new sister company, Click n Compare.

Silvertree has previously claimed that its portfolio enjoyed month-on-month revenue growth of over 10%, and even as much as 40% monthly for some ventures.

“Our meteoric growth in 2015 has been driven by execution-focused delivery across all of our portfolio companies, as well as a number of company acquisitions that are already delivering positive returns,” says Silvertree co-founder Manuel Koser.

Read more: We Are Monsters web agency to join Silvertree’s high-growth portfolio

“Our job now is to build on this momentum to maintain our aggressive growth trajectory and cement our dominance in the African ecommerce and price comparison markets,” adds Koser.

Silvertree co-founder Peter Allerstorfer explains that Silvertree is not an incubator nor a VC. Instead, it’s a “business of building businesses, through accelerated, highly targeted investment and growth strategies, with proven businesses.”

Read more: SA comparison site Click n Compare sets up shop in Nigeria, Kenya

Silvertree Internet Holdings operates an owner-operator model, focussing on scaling tech and commerce companies across small, fast growing niches. In 2015, it invested US$5-million in company acquisitions and business building.

US$10-million will be allocated to fulfil new investments in 2016 through Silvertree Capital.

“Through our operations across the continent, we are seeing first-hand that the African consumer market creates leapfrog tech opportunities that our portfolio companies, with their expertise and deep understanding of their markets, are poised to capitalise on and grow,” explains Silvertree co-founder Paul Cook.

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter


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