Kingson Capital grows SA VC fund to over R1.4bn with additional capital


Durban based venture capital (VC) company Kingson Capital yesterday announced that it had raised an additional amount in capital from US investors, to bring its $30-million (R400-million) Kingson Fund Two announced earlier this year, to $100-million (over R1.4-billion).

When it was announced in February, Kingson Capital founder and managing director Gavin Reardon said the fund would invest in 30 to 50 tech startups and black-owned small businesses (see this story).

Reardon (pictured above) told Ventureburn today that the new capital has allowed the fund to increase the ticket size of investments and as a result the fund is now looking to invest in 60 to 80 tech startup and black-owned small firms.

He said fresh capital has come from US investors who are behind digital investment platform Stat Zero.

He also stressed that the fund has not as yet closed to investment.

Kingson Capital has raised an additional R1bn from US investors, to bring its fund to a total of over R1.4bn

The fund is currently conducting due diligence on various possible investments, including both late-stage and early-stage startups, he said, adding that a “healthy” proportion of these include black startups.

‘Capital to fund innovation, impact’

Commenting in a statement yesterday, Stat Zero co-founder and CEO Marquis Cabrera said the investment platform is committed to bringing together innovation and emerging technology, with impact, to enact global change.

“Our investment into Kingson’s Fund Two reinforces this mission to evoke change for the better on a significant scale, which will help increase South Africa’s GDP by enabling global market access to Silicon Valley, California and U.S. markets and capital to grow and scale SMMEs in South Africa,” he said.

In addition, Kingson earlier this year also secured a $10-million loan portfolio guarantee facility from the US government through the US Agency for International Development (USAID). The guarantee is a risk-sharing facility on debt issued by Kingson, which is supported by the US Treasury.

Reardon confirmed today that the facility forms part of the $100-million figure for the fund.

In Kingson Capital’s first fund (Fund One — see the portfolio here) the VC invested in 10 companies including Finfind – a matching platform for lenders and businesses seeking funding, Spazapp – an online ordering system for the informal marketplace (see this story) and Healthcloud – a data aggregator in the healthtech space.

10 startups selected for US bootcamp

Meanwhile, Reardon told Ventureburn that the fund, together with Cape Town based accelerator Akro Accelerate has identified 10 startups that have preliminary been selected for a two-week bootcamp in the US in November.

He said representatives from the accelerator and fund met with 10 startups on Tuesday (10 September) and that a list of those who will be selected to attend the bootcamp will be finalised shortly, he said.

It follows a pitching event held last month in Cape Town to select the 10 startups (see this story).

Read more: Are these six, SA’s most important venture capitalists?
Read more: Akro Capital, Kingson Capital to send 10 winning startups to US bootcamp
Read more: Four Sars Section 12J venture capital funds that invest in SA tech startups

Featured image: Kingson Capital founder and managing director Gavin Reardon (Supplied)



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