Tech companies Kelo and Rentoza secure US$2m from Khulisani Ventures

SOUTH AFRICA – The Mineworkers Investment Company’s (MIC’s) Khulisani Ventures has concluded its first allocation of R43.5 million (US$2.75m) to technology companies Kelo and Rentoza.

MIC Khulisani Ventures, a R150 (US$9.47m) million early-stage investment vehicle targeting black-owned innovative, high-growth startups in South Africa, was launched in July 2021.

With the exception of primary agricultural and primary extractive industries, this investment effort targeted high-growth prospective companies across all sectors.

The application period ended on August 15, 2021, with MIC Khulisani Ventures receiving 722 applications.

According to MIC Khulisani Ventures, it combed through hundreds of prospective business concepts, looking for organizations with the best evidence of scalability, innovation, and the potential to be disruptive industry players.

The MIC Khulisani Ventures investment panel’s pitch deck assessments and adjudication reduced submissions to a list of ten finalists who were then invited to pitch meetings.

Kelo and Rentoza were the first to close with a combined investment of R43.5 (US$2.75m) million after many rounds of rigorous Shark Tank-style interviews. Their distinct company strategies’ economic enablement served as a lure and helped set them apart during the selection process.

“They are an example of the types of businesses with which we continue to seek mutually beneficial collaborations,” MIC CIO Nchaupe Khaole adds.

Kelo, an educational technology company, has obtained a capital allocation of up to R23.5 million (US$1.48m).

The company obtained contracts with major publishers that granted them licensing rights to educational material libraries containing over 50 000 items.

Thato Ntseare, MIC impact investment manager, describes Kelo as an industry disruptor, changing the way people learn and access study material through digital technology.

“Their practical, book-rental model allows students to get the books they need for much cheaper, especially since they often need certain textbooks for a limited time only during the course of their studies,” he said.

“By minimizing the usage of physical space for books, their digital solution also adds to paper savings and storage efficiency. These are some of the items that piqued our interest.”

Rentoza is a subscription-based online reseller of electronics and appliances.

It is stated that consumers should have easy and affordable access to important technology, especially when traditional means of acquiring tech products are not available.

“The focus of Rentoza on offering alternative means of accessing devices that play such an important role in our daily lives was the drawcard that drew us to the company,” adds Ntseare.

Their rapid expansion demonstrated that they are a well-organized, well-experienced, and highly capable business.

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