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Savant Venture Fund invests in security device startup Jonga [Updated]

Featured image, left to right: Jonga co-founders Ntsako Mgiba and Ntando Shezi (LinkedIn)

Cape Town hardware tech incubator Savant‘s venture capital (VC) arm, the Savant Venture Fund, has announced that it has invested in Cape Town based security startup Jonga.

Neither the incubator nor the startup disclosed how much was invested.

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The deal marks the fund’s second investment since Savant announced its first close of R110-million in February (see this story). Its first deal was a R9.5-million investment in Cape Town based medtech startup SmartBlade (see this story).

Jonga was founded in 2016 by mechatronics engineer Ntsako Mgiba and business science graduate Ntando Shezi (pictured above, left to right).

Jonga will use the funding to manufacture 1000 devices and gain market traction

The startup has developed a low-cost home monitoring security system which consists of an Internet of Things (IoT) motion sensing device and a mobile app.

Savant Venture Fund manager Nick Allen told Ventureburn in an email today that the deal was signed on Thursday last week (8 August).

Allen would not disclose the exact amount the fund invested as Jonga’s founders have requested that the amount be kept confidential.

When contacted for comment on the specifics of the deal, among other questions, Mgiba today said more information will be released “at a later date”.

Jonga will use the investment to manufacture about 1000 devices for its market launch, gain market traction and to finance a commercial proof-of-concept which the startup hopes will help it to facilitate more VC investment.

Mgiba said the devices will cost R600 a unit, with an added R70 per-month subscription fee which covers maintenance and data costs.

R1.9m in funding tapped previously

Before its latest deal, Jonga — which joined Savant in 2016 — had raised R1.9-million in seed and angel funding.

This includes a R654 000 Savant- administered Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) Seed Fund investment that the startup received last year (see this story). It also includes a further R380 000 in seed grant money the startup tapped from TIA via Cape Town-based accelerator mLabs in 2016.

Mgiba explained that the startup had raised R900 000 from angel investors Dale Williams, Melvyn Lubega and Mark Forrester.

In addition, the startup has also tapped funding from at least two local competitions.

It won R30 000 in prize money in a 2016 competition that Standard Bank and Swiss based emerging markets competition Seedstars World ran in South Africa.

In 2017, Jonga won the Santam Safety Ideas Campaign and with it, R150 000 to cover the costs of incubation.

Jonga claims it has manufactured and tested working prototypes in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. It is not clear how many of these devices have been deployed or whether they have been able to reduce the incidence of burglaries when deployed.

When triggered, and after confirming with the owner that the alarm is genuine, the devices contact members of an owner-built distribution list which can include neighbours, family, police and security firms.

Read more: SA hardware tech incubator Savant invests over R9m in medtech startup SmartBlade
Read more
SA SME Fund commits R110m to hardware tech incubator Savant
Read more: Hardware technology incubator Savant looking at setting up venture fund
Read moreFour Savant backed startups secure TIA seed grants totalling over R2.5m
Read moreCape Town-based security startup Jonga wins Santam Safety Ideas campaign

Editor’s note (15 August 2019): Jonga co-founder Ntsako Mgiba subsequently contacted Ventureburn and said the startup has prior to this latest investment raised R1.9-million, including R900 000 from angel investors Dale Williams, Melvyn Lubega and Mark Forrester. Mgiba also supplied updated information on how much the startup’s device will cost and how many units it plans to manufacture for its market launch. The article has been updated to include this new information.

Featured image, left to right: Jonga co-founders Ntsako Mgiba and Ntando Shezi (LinkedIn)

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