VC fund Grindstone raises US$6.61m to support tech start-ups

SOUTH AFRICA –  Venture capital fund Grindstone Ventures has launched a US$6.61 million fund dedicated to seed funding predominantly South African innovative technology start-ups that have completed or are part of its Grindstone Accelerator program. The initiative is a growth engineer for participating start-ups and acts as an early due-diligence mechanism for the new fund. The female-led African venture capital fund will focus on post-seed investments, where there is a major gap in the South African funding landscape. The fund will invest primarily in early-stage innovation-driven and/or technology companies that…

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ICT provider Benya Group and VC firm Openner launch US$50m venture capital fund

EGYPT – Benya Group, an Egypt-based digital solutions and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) provider, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with international VC firm, Openner, to launch a US$50 million venture capital fund. The group clarified that the fund is set to provide capital investments and support entrepreneurs and startups in Egypt, as well as the Arab and African markets. The MoU comes within the framework of Benya Group’s strategy to support the capabilities of young calibres as the driving force in the field of digital innovation. “We…

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EAVCA Executive Director Esther Ndeti steps down

EAST AFRICA – East Africa Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (EAVCA) has announced that its Executive Director, Esther Ndeti will be stepping down from her role at the end of August 2021. Ndeti’s departure is after four years in the role, in which she served alongside Eva Warigia, who will now serve as its Chief Executive Officer. This ensures business continuity in member relations and minimum disruption across our operational functions of advocacy, research, events, and trainings. As Executive Director, Ndeti led the Association’s member networking and training pillars. She…

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Startup Ada Animation secures pre-seed funding from Unicorn Group to enable growth & expansion

KENYA – Ada Animation, an entertainment tech company, has announced a pre-seed capital raise from Nigerian venture capital firm Platform Capital through its technology firm Unicorn Group. The investment is set to elevate entertainment companies in Africa as potential partners in the VC investments realm. Founded in 2020, Ada Animation was born out of the desire to build capacity in the animation industry, tell animated African stories and catalyze the animation industry for growth. The company produces content in 2D and 3D animation, motion graphics, whiteboard animation, VFX, content creation, character design, voiceovers,…

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E-health startup raises 7-figure seed capital for AI-based platform

SOUTH AFRICA – E-health startup iNNOHEALTH has secured a seven-figure seed investment from an unnamed Hong Kong-based VC for its AI-based healthcare platform it hopes will position it at the forefront of digital healthcare in the country.  Founded in 2020 by medical doctors Chad Marthinussen and Wade Palmer, and chartered accountant Abdul Malick Salie, iNNOHEALTH’s focus is on providing solutions for quality,  affordable and equitable healthcare to everyone on the African continent. The start-up’s first product is the doctor-led app MyPocketHealth, an integrated patient healthcare platform that will provide comprehensive…

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Mineworkers Investment Company launches US$10.5m early-stage investment vehicle

SOUTH AFRICA – Black-owned broad-based investment holding company Mineworkers Investment Company (MIC) that was established by the Mineworkers Investment Trust, has launched MIC Khulisani Ventures, a R150-million (US$10.5 million) early-stage investment vehicle targeting black-owned innovative, high growth businesses in South Africa. MIC Khulisani Ventures will invest in promising high-growth potential companies across all sectors, with the exception of primary agriculture and primary extractive industries. The focus is innovation, namely innovative products or services that disrupt traditional markets, improve efficiencies or respond creatively to existing problems in South Africa. MIC Chief…

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Venture capital firm Kalon raises US$17.5m for tech start-ups

SOUTH AFRICA – Venture capital firm Kalon Venture Partners has successfully completed its final Section 12 J capital raise with Assets Under Management of over ZAR250 million (US$17.5 million). Formed in 2016, Kalon Venture Partners is one of the leading South African venture capital funds and operates under the Section 12J initiative that until recently offered investors in registered funds tax breaks. The firm invests in post-revenue start-ups with high growth and high impact potential and has so far backed nine disruptive South African technology companies. The Section 12J scheme, so-called because…

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VC Empowerment Capital appoints Bongumusa Makhathini to lead its aggressive growth ambitions

SOUTH AFRICA – Black-owned venture capital firm Empowerment Capital Investment Partners (Pty) Ltd, has appointed Bongumusa Makhathini as its first Chief Executive Officer. The Harvard Business School graduate and current chairman of the SABC Board has held several directorships, including at South African Breweries as Director of Corporate Affairs & Transformation, British American Tobacco as Director of Legal & External Affairs and African Commercial Diplomacy Consulting as managing director. During the 2020/21 financial year, the South African venture capital firm, Empowerment Capital Investment Partners (Pty) Ltd has placed more than…

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Early-stage VC fund Seedstars Africa Ventures secures commitment from PE firm LBO France

SOUTH AFRICA – Early-stage venture capital fund Seedstars Africa Ventures has received a commitment from French private equity firm LBO France towards its US$100 million fund for early-stage African tech start-ups. In 2019, Disrupt Africa reported that Seedstars, a Switzerland-based company focused on entrepreneurial development in emerging markets had partnered with the Paris-based VC firm First Growth Ventures to launch the fund. The fund focuses on financing innovative companies operating in Sub-Saharan Africa in seed and Series A rounds and is just closing its third investment, in an agri-tech company after…

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Venture capital Mobility 54 invests in telematics insurance company AiCare

KENYA – Toyota Tsusho Corporation and its group company CFAO SAS is investing in AiCare Group Inc., a provider of telematics insurance system for insurance companies in Kenya. The investment will be engaged by Mobility 54 Investment SAS (“Mobility 54”), a corporate venture capital subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho group which was jointly established in October 2019, through the convertible notes investment. In Kenya, it is compulsory for every car-owner to subscribe motor insurances, and approximately 3 million vehicles are insured today, and insurance premium rates are generally determined based on…

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