Top venture capital firms in South Africa. In a world where funding for new business ideas can be difficult and secure here are six SA venture capitalists you should keep an eye on:
Keet van Zyl, Knife Capital
Keet van Zyl is a venture capitalist in South Africa. Together with Anthea Bohmert, he serves as a managing partner of Knife Capital. Knife Capital invests via a consortium of funding partnerships, including a SARS section, Venture Capital Company, KNF Ventures and select family offices.
The Venture Capital builds high-growth technology enabled SMEs through its Grindstone Accelerator (a fifth cohort was launched recently and aims to fill critical gaps in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem through education and enterprise development initiatives.The company currently has amazing deal flow and one of it’s key challenges at the moment is which opportunities to pass on.
Gavin Reardon, Kingson Capital
Gavin Reardon is the general partner of Durban-based venture capital (VC) fund Kingston Capital, which he founded in 2015. The fund is a registered Section 12J VC company, which allows investors that invest in the fund to tap tax deductions. In February 2019 the VC announced the launch of a R400-million VC fund aimed at investing in 30 to 50 tech startups and black-owned small businesses
Before starting the VC, Reardon served as a CFO for a local financial services business, after qualifying as a chartered accountant.He decided to start Kingson Capital after looking for funding for his own tech startup at the time.For him, it was an opportunity to create a fun that would be able to invest in multiple start ups.
Clive Butkow, Kalon Venture Partners
Clive Butkow is the new kid on the block in Gauteng for VC investments in tech startups.Since it was launched in 2016, Kalon has invested in a number of tech startups, including Ozow (formerly i-Pay, which netted funding in June from the investor), Snapnsave and FinchatBot.
During his Accenture career he had the opportunity to work around the globe building tech businesses including Silicon Valley and other entrepreneurial ecosystems. It’s this exciting journey that pushed him to start his own VC.
Justin Stanford, 4Di Capital
Justin Stanford is probably what you could call a veteran in the VC sector in South Africa, having invested in tech startups since the early 2000s before formalising this into 4Di Capital with a group of fellow venture capitalists.
These include SA startups Snapt, aetobotics, Lumkani and LifeO , as well as exits that include Skyrove and Motribe (which was acquired by MXit at the time). The VC has also invested in a number of East African startups. In 2009 Stanford, together with Silicon Valley based SA entrepreneur Vinny Lingham set up Silicon Cape.
Paul Cook, Silvertree Holdings
Cook — a former management consultant — founded Silvertree Holdings in 2013 with Manuel Koser, who formerly headed Rocket Internet online fashion retailer Zando, and Peter Allerstorfer (both of whom share the position of managing director with Cook).
Silvertree is more a holding company of tech investment than a VC per say. Its portfolio includes 12 firms in which it has invested in since 2013. They include among others Pricecheck, CompareGuru, ucook and CarZar.