Here are the 15 SA tech startups that have netted $137.7m in 2017 deals

South African tech startups have concluded deals valued at over $137.7-million so far this year, shows data tracked by Ventureburn.

Ventureburn has tracked and reported on 15 deals valued at over $137.7-million to date in 2017 — including the $123-million acquisition in May of Cape Town startup GetSmarter by US listed company 2U.

In all 12 of these deals involved Cape Town based startups, with one each based in Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Stellenbosch.

If one excludes the GetSmarter deal, 14 tech startups have been able to raise $14.7-million this year (see the below graphic). In a further three deals reported on by Ventureburn the parties did not disclose investment details.

Excluding the GetSmarter deal, 14 tech startups have been able to raise $14.7-million this year

The 2017 deal amount exceeds the $5m in seven deals reported on by Ventureburn in 2016 (going on the dollar value as of 24 October 2017).

While foreign investors account for most of the acquisitions and investment so far this year, local funds Kalon Venture Partners, 4Di Capital and Vumela were active in five of the 15 deals. Local media company Media24 was also involved in a further deal addition to these.


Here are the 15 deals tracked by Ventureburn so far in 2017:

GetSmarter($123m): The Cape Town based edtech startup announced in May that it been acquired by US listed company 2U in a $103-million deal, which includes an earn-out provision of as much as $20m in cash. Read more about the deal here and here.

Xineoh ($2m): The Bloemfontein tech startup revealed in June that it had attracted the interest of investors, with $2-million received in backing to date in 2017. King and Bay West, an investment bank in Vancouver, helped the startup to raise the funding. Read more about the deal here.

The Sun Exchange ($1.6-m): Stellenbosch based blockchain startup The Sun Exchange, which leverages blockchain technology to allow individuals to purchase solar cells in solar projects, revealed in October that it had raised $1.6-million from SA venture capital company Kalon Venture Partners (the portion from this fund did not materialise in the end, see below note — Ed), Network Society Ventures, BoostVC, TechStars and Powerhouse. Read more about the deal here.

WhereIsMyTransport ($1.5m): In June the public transport data and technology startup based in Cape Town revealed that it had received a collective investment of £1.2-million ($1.5-million) from the Global Innovation Fund (GIF), Goodwell Investments and Bombardier. Read more about the deal here. ($1.5m): Cape Town online car buying service revealed in May that it had landed $1.5-million in funding from a Sweden-listed investment firm Vostok New Ventures. Read more about the deal here.

get\Worth ($1.3m): The Cape car retailing platform announced an international investment that has increased its total committed funding to R18.5-million. The startup did not disclose the details of the most recent investment. Read more about the deal here.

Mobenzi ($1.2m): In April the Cape Town based startup announced that it had received a R16-million investment from the Vumela Fund, which took a significant minority stake in Mobenzi. Read more about the deal here.

SnapnSave ($1m): SA venture capital company Kalon Venture Partners and retail solutions company the Smollan Group SA announced in August that they had together invested R14-million for a minority stake in Cape Town shopping community SnapnSave, in return for a 20% stake each. Read more about the deal here.

Libryo ($1m): The Cape Town and London-based legal platform in October revealed that it had secured a $1-million seed round. Investors in the round included European seed fund Seedcamp and Nextlaw Labs as part of the Seedcamp and Nextlaw Labs partnership for early investment into legaltech startups. More about the deal here.

NicheStreem (about $750 ooo): SA media company Media24 in March revealed that it had invested an undisclosed amount to acquire 10% of the Cape Town music streaming service. NicheStreem said at the time that it was raising a $1.5-million round on a $3.5-million valuation, and that 50% of that has been filled so far. Read about the deal here.

Sensor Networks (under $750 ooo): The Cape Town based Internet of Things (IoT) platform announced in August that it had secured an undisclosed amount in funding from South African venture capital (VC) fund 4Di Capital of “less than R10-million”, which included a minority stake in the company. Read more about the deal here.

Aerobotics ($600 000): Cape Town aerial data-analytics startup in August secured a joint R8-million seed-funding round from SA venture capital company 4Di Capital and the Savannah Fund in Kenya. Read more about the deal here.

Pineapple ($350 000): The Johannesburg-based insurtech startup in August secured R5.2-million in seed funding from Lireas Holdings, the strategic investment arm of Hannover-Re Group Africa, in return for a 25% stake in the business. Read more about the deal here.

Feastfox ($175,000): The Cape Town eating-out app revealed in August that it had closed an angel fundraising round, raising $175,000 (R2.3 million) from among other Co-Creation Capital, Dorm Room Fund and top angel investors such as Larry Kubal, founder and managing partner of Labrador Ventures. Read more about the deal here.

KnektMe ($70 000): A Cape Town based web app in September announced it had received R1-million in seed funding from an undisclosed Israeli investor. Read more here.

Other deals where investment details were not disclosed include:

  • Yoco‘s conclusion of a Series-A funding round led by US-based Quona Capital and Netherlands-based Velocity Capital (read more here).
  • Drive Revenue‘s announcement of an undisclosed amount from HAVAIC venture capital (VC).
  • Entersekt scored funding from global investment firm Endeavor catalyst (read more here), as well as a multi-million dollar deal from Rand Merchant Investment Holdings and Nedbank Private Equity.

Correction (7 September 2018): We incorrectly reported that Kalon Venture Partners had invested in blockhain startup The Sun Exchange in 2017.

The fund’s head, Clive Butkow alerted Ventureburn that in the end the investment did not come off. “We did invest the R1.6 million as a loan to be conveyed to equity as soon as we had Sars (SA Revenue Service — Ed) approval which unfortunately was declined,” he said.

He said the fund is still trying to find a way to invest in The Sun Exchange “due to some of the legislation not being clear”.



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