VENTURE CAPITAL: Exciting Times Lie Ahead
Recent Western Cape Business News
Top investment decision makers from Mark Shuttleworth’s venture capital company, Here Be Dragons (HBD), share their forecasts for venture capital in 2010 and advice for growing your business.
Instrumental in the strategic growth of HBD’s investment companies, portfolio analyst Keet van Zyl and portfolio and investment manager, Eben van Heerden comprise the core team assisting CEO Julia Fourie.
With extensive backgrounds in strategic business planning and business development for large corporations van Zyl and van Heerden have helped grow HBD investment companies such as the acclaimed restaurant line, Moyo and process software company, CSense from small businesses into country wide presence and global success respectively.
Looking to the year ahead the forecast for venture capital in 2010 is optimistic.
“2010 will be an exciting time for venture capital as great innovations and associated returns emerge from the troubled financial times of 2009,” says van Zyl.
He believes venture capital will begin to appear less risky compared with other asset classes and that high net worth individuals may begin to look towards diversifying their investment portfolios after the global credit crunch, which will see more funds coming into the industry.
“After a period of conserving capital by assisting portfolio investments in maintaining low cash burn rates through planning and cost cutting, more venture capital deals may be funded as investors start to shift their focus back to active investment,” adds van Zyl.
“As the South African and world economies continue to recover, the underlying belief in new business ventures will improve and hence also the demand for venture capital will increase,” confirms van Heerden.
It will, however, still be a difficult year for VC funds wanting to raise additional capital from third party investors but HBD will continue to drive for the reduction in red-tape surrounding entrepreneurs in South Africa.
“Businesses wishing to grow in 2010 should place their focus on implementing an aggressive growth strategy by asking: what are the key milestones that my business needs to reach in the short, medium and long terms? What are the current constraints to reaching these milestones?
“Having access to funding can unlock the potential of the business but potential funders need to see exactly how the funding would be applied at every stage of the growth path.
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