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JSE listed technology investment group, Ayo Technology Solutions has launched a R200-million fund aimed at African startups.
Ayo, which is currently at the centre of a controversy around a R4.3-billion transaction from the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), made the announcement in a statement yesterday. Ayo has said that there is nothing untoward about the PIC transaction.
It follows the announcement of the launch of the fund — dubbed the Technology Innovation Fund — at last night’s Fast Company SA Most Innovative Companies Awards evening, by AYO’s chairman Wallace Mgoqi and the Ayo Technology and Innovation Fund’s head of talent Snow Mokgalabone (pictured above left with, Ayo’s Vanessa Govender and Mgoqi).
Mokgalabone and Mgoqi revealed at the awards evening that the R200-million would be an annual amount and that it would be allocated to qualifying companies, organisations and entrepreneurs to help scale their businesses.
Ayo’s Technology Innovation Fund would have R200m to annually invest in equity stakes in startups
A PR representative for Ayo confirmed to Ventureburn today that the fund will make equity investments in those businesses it identifies for funding.
Ayo said in the earlier statement that of the R200-million, R100-million would be allocated to SA companies of which, 50% will be geared to specifically supporting black-owned startups.
The remaining R100-million will go to help grow companies founded and operated on the African continent beyond South Africa’s borders.
Ayo also stressed that the fund is aimed at second round funding opportunities for companies that have a proof of concept and that are ready to scale.
It said applications would be accepted by its website from today, adding that strict criteria and appropriate due diligence measures would be followed in assessing applications.
It said Ayo will also use its stable of companies to offer beneficiaries a variety of opportunities for self and business acceleration, through access to professionals, services and marketplaces within the Group.
“Investee companies will also be in a position to offer their own skills and support to companies within the greater Ayo group,” it said.
Featured image (from left to right): AYO Technology and Innovation Fund’s head of talent Snow Mokgalabone, Ayo corporate affairs executive director Vanessa Govender and AYO Technology Solutions chairman Wallace Mgoqi (Supplied)