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Kalon Venture Partners tops up three portfolio investments, makes new deal


SA venture capital (VC) company Kalon Venture Partners last year committed fresh investments in three of its current portfolio companies and last month invested in an email protection startup, Sendmarc, the VC’s CEO Clive Butkow revealed this week.

Without disclosing the amounts it has invested, Butkow (pictured above) told Ventureburn last week that in addition to a further investment in Ozow (formerly i-Pay) which he revealed in June last year, the VC has topped up its current investments in FinChatBot and Flow.

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In addition, another of its portfolio companies, SnapnSave raised a further undisclosed investment last year from Vunani Capital (see this story).

Kalon Venture Partners announced in June that it had made a follow-on investment in Ozow (formerly i-Pay) of an undisclosed amount (see this story).

Kalon Venture Partners has topped up three of its current portfolio companies and last month invested in an email protection startup

Butkow said Ozow has yet to close its latest round of investment, which he expected would be one of the SA tech startup sector’s biggest deals when finalised.

“The companies are growing at an incredible rate,” he added. He said Kalon had topped up its current investments to “show its commitment” to its portfolio companies and to avoid having their invested stake diluted, as these companies raise more money from other funders.

Last week Flow CEO Gil Sperling said the startup was in the process of raising a new seed round, which it aims to conclude by the end of January and had netted commitments from the two investors, namely Kalon Venture Partners and CRE, a pan-African investor (see this story). Both investors took part in the R20-million round that the startup announced last year

While Sperling said the current round is already “over-subscribed”, he declined to reveal the targeted amount that the startup is looking to close the round at, but conceded that it would come in at about the same figure as the 2019 round.

Meanwhile, FinChatBot CEO Antoine Paillusseau last week told Ventureburn by email that the company had not closed the round as yet. “We are targeting end of the month,” he said.

The VC had also invested an undisclosed amount in Sendmarc, a Johannesburg-based startup that offers email protection from phishing and other scams (see this story).

The startup was founded in 2018 by Keith Thompson. Sam Hutchinson, founder of Everlytic (who sold the business to Vox Telecom) joined in October last year, after investing an undisclosed amount in the business. Serial entrepreneur Sacha Matulovich joined the two earlier this month.

Butkow added that Kalon is currently looking at closing three more new deals.

‘Kalon had dynamic 2019’

In a post earlier this month on his LinkedIn profile Butkow called 2019 a “dynamic year” for Kalon’s portfolio companies and said four out of our five of the companies had “raised or currently raising at more than double the initial capital invested” by Kalon.

“We have exceeded our performance and deployment expectations resulting in the fund returns to-date delivering a strong positive internal rate of return (IRR),” he said.

He said Kalon’s fund two is the second Section 12J Venture Capital Company managed by Kalon Venture Partners.

Fund Two was launched in February last year with the same investment mandate as fund one, he said, and added that Fund Two has delivered over 100% IRR since inception in February 2019.

He said Fund Two is open for investment until the end of February.

In February last year, Butkow told Ventureburn that fund two, for which Kalon is currently raising, has no targeted close, but he added at the time that R100-million raised over three years would be a suitable figure (see this story).

But he added last week that “up to R50-million” would be be a suitable target for this year.

Things then are getting busy at Kalon.

Read more: SA email protection startup Sendmarc nets investment from Kalon Venture Partners
Read more: Vunani Capital invests seed capital in SnapnSave ahead of planned Series-A round
Read more: SA proptech Flow set to close new funding round at end of month, says CEO
Read more: Ozow nets follow-on funding from Kalon Venture Partners for Series-A round

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