The e-commerce industry in South Africa has experienced a boom since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — and Black Friday was no exception….
Proptech startup Flow, which last year raised R20-million in a seed round, is set to close a second seed round at the end of this month, the Johannesburg based company’s CEO Gil Sperling revealed today.
Sperling (pictured above, middle, with co-founders Daniel Levy, right and Jonathan Liebmann, left) confirmed in a call with Ventureburn today that Vunani Capital is participating in the round.
He said the startup has netted commitments from the two investors, namely Kalon Venture Partners and CRE, a pan-African investor, both of which took part in the R20-million round that the startup announced last year.
CRE has a diverse portfolio, which includes SA startups Yoco and SweepSouth, as well as US startup Flutterwave.
Flow CEO Gil Sperling said the round is expected to be similar in size to the R20m the proptech raised in 2019
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.
Flow’s app allows tenants to get rewarded for things such as paying their rent on time and looking after their homes. Tenants get points every month that they can then use to access rewards from providers such as Superbalist, Weylandts, SweepSouth, OneCart, plus a selection of airtime and electricity providers.
Following the conclusion of its latest seed round, Sperling said the startup, which he founded with Levy and Liebmann in 2017, would be looking to raise a Series-A round in the next 12 to 18 months.
The seed round would help the startup to roll out a new product which it aims to launch in March and which Sperling declined to reveal any details of.
He said the proptech has 70 000 tenants that use the app and had signed up about 4000 private homeowners as landlords, with about a dozen institutional landlords that each had between 5000 and 30 000 properties on their books.
While about 90% of Flow’s revenue is generated from institutional landlords, Sperling said the startup would be pursuing this segment of the market more vigorously in the second part of this year.
Sperling also confirmed today that he is still a board member of Kalon Venture Partners.
Last year Kalon CEO Clive Butkow argued that there was no conflict of interest in the Flow’s R20-million deal. This, despite Sperling being a board member of Butkow’s VC fund (see this story).
At the time Sperling as well as all parties related to him had recused themselves from investment committee meetings related to Flow.
Kalon also drew up special terms that Butkow said are more thorough than the usual ones that his VC fund drafts for other investee companies.