Startup News Roundup – New Private Equity Fund Launches, Cape Town and Stockholm Tech Hubs Collab (8 – 12 February)

Khumovest Launches New Private Equity Fund for SMEs

Financial services Firm, Khumovest, a 100% black owned and managed financial services firm and a Level I contributor to Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment. has announced the launch of the Khumovest Private Equity Fund I.

The Private Equity Fund will focus on making equity capital investments into small and mid-cap companies operating within South Africa.

Khumovest was established in 2015 by Ratirelo Mothobi Thurstan Moodley, CFA and Ratirelo and Thurstan each have in excess of 10 years of experience within the unlisted investment space, having previously managed private equity and private debt transactions.

According to a post of their website, The Khumovest Private Equity Fund I will provide equity capital to small and mid-cap companies that are in need of capital and strategic guidance to grow their businesses.

“Within South Africa, like other economies across the world, small to medium sized companies are the engines that drive economic growth, employment, and inclusivity.

Mothobi noted: “Over the past few years, we’ve taken note of the difficulty that the owners of small to medium sized businesses have of raising investor capital, as capital continues to flow predominantly to large corporates. We intend to change this narrative, by supporting established small and medium sized companies, to allow these companies, to one day stand confidently among the giants of industry.”

Moodley added: “In addition to providing risk capital, Khumovest is also a hands-on investor, as we assist portfolio companies with strategy formulation, business development, governance and transformation initiatives. We work alongside management and shareholder teams to take good South African businesses and make them world class.”

To date, Khumovest has successfully secured a R125 million commitment from the 27four Black Business Growth Fund and is currently seeking additional investor capital to reach the Fund’s target close of R500 million. Priyan Padayichie (Associate Partner) highlighted: “We are honoured and humbled to have secured a commitment from the 27four Black Business Growth Fund and believe that this funding commitment is a testament to our strategy and product offering, which is greatly needed in the South African market. We are now actively searching for potential investors to invest alongside the 27four Black Business Growth Fund to support our disruptive initiative.”

SEE ALSO: Startup News Roundup – Fintech Yoco Payment Gateway Launch, 2021 Fintech Predictions (1 – 5 February)

The Ocean on 76 Group Makes Inroads into Digital Banking with Startup Ukheshe

Ukheshe, a digital fintech platform provider, has announced the appointment of Prins Mhlanga, CEO of Ocean on 76 Group, as a non-executive director. Since launching two years ago, Ukheshe has established itself as a leading payment technology specialist successfully collaborating with several blue-chip payment brands.

The appointment of Mhlanga comes at a time when the company has refocused on the B2B sector and is streamlining its payment solution services.

Clayton Hayward, co-founder of Ukheshe says the company is excited to have Ocean on 76 on board: “Prins will add immense value to the business as a shareholder as well as playing a vital role in driving the company’s transformation strategy in becoming the dominant B2B fintech enabler across the continent.”

Hayward says that the 076 Group invested in Ukheshe at inception and has been actively involved in growing the company as a seed investor to where it is today, a more mature business aiming to reach unicorn status within the next three years: “We have raised just under R100m in less than two years and acquired three companies within this period.

Ukheshe has a strong legacy in enterprise platform delivery in banking and telco sectors, making it a great fit for the Ocean on 76 Group. Having created an extensive range of micro services that enable rapid digital transaction propositions for clients, Ukheshe, with assistance from the Ocean on 76 Group, will strive for rapid innovation in the payment industry.

Group CEO of the Ocean on 76 Group of companies, composed of highly competitive digital platforms that solve modern day business complexities, Prins Mhlanga has significant experience within the telco and enterprise sectors. The Group offers an ecosystem and network of multiple competing and cooperating business models and are well established as significant participants in the digital economy.

“We are pleased to join the Ukheshe board and have ambitious plans, and we are confident that Ukheshe will establish itself as a leading fintech enabler across the continent,” says Mhlanga.

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New Platform Connects Cape Town and Stockholm Tech Hubs to Support Startups

On Wednesday, 10 February 2021, Stockholm – the birthplace of fast-growing tech companies like Skype, Spotify and Klarna – will be joining forces with Cape Town, Africa’s Tech Capital and home to startups such as Aerobotics, SweepSouth and Sea Monster, to launch Cape Town / Stockholm Connect (CSC).

This is a platform that will bring together companies, developers, customers, investors, entrepreneurs, and institutions from across Cape Town and Stockholm via a series of activities. It will also serve as a meeting point and provide participants with well-organised matchmaking opportunities and company visits while also supporting individual requests.

The launch event will feature a diverse group of speakers sharing their insights about the startup landscape in both South Africa and Sweden. Two panel discussions will be taking place, each exploring the opportunities offered by these two cities.

The South African panellists will include Dr Sumarie Roodt, Chairperson of the Silicon Cape Initiative; Zachariah George, Principal at Nedbank Venture Capital & Alternative Investments, and Lebogang Lekoma, Director of Client Services at local startup Sea Monster.

The Swedish contingent will comprise Per Jansson and Marie-Claire Maxwell, Program Managers at Business Sweden; Johanna Blendow, Global Partnership Manager at Norrsken Impact Accelerator and Cecilia Repinski, CEO and Founder of Green Assets Wallet AB.

“It’s time to accelerate and intensify business exchange between Stockholm and Cape Town. Geographical boundaries don’t exist in the digital world, but we have identified gaps when it comes to knowledge and understanding about the respective markets. By connecting these two nodes of digital excellence, we want to close those gaps and create new business opportunities,” says Håkan Juholt, the Swedish Ambassador to South Africa.

City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos, adds: “Connecting Cape Town’s startup businesses with other markets across the globe is an important aspect of growing our local economy and creating opportunities for growth and job creation. Cape Town is one of the fastest growing startup centres on the continent and we have so much to offer. Sharing the knowledge and opportunities in our city with other startup centres can only lead to more benefits for our startup ecosystem. I am happy to participate in this virtual launch.”

To register for the launch event, click here; and for more information on Cape Town / Stockholm Connect click here.

SEE ALSO: Startup News Roundup – Tech Startup Aerobotics, Legal Tech (25 – 29 January 2021)

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