VENTURES: A Sharp Investment Initiative
Recent Western Cape Business News
TWO of the team members that have successfully managed venture capital funds for technology billionaire Mark Shuttleworth have launched a new specialist investment company, Knife Capital, in Cape Town.
The co-founders of KnifeCap – Eben van Heerden and Keet van Zyl – have both been driving forces behind Shuttleworth’s R150 million Here be Dragons Fund2.
Not much is known about HBD2’s investments. But it was reported last year that HBD2 was an investor in technology driven financial services company Fundamo, which was sold to Visa in a transaction that earned a sizeable return for the original investors.
While it will probably take KnifeCap the best part of this year to raise its first tranche of capital and make its first investment(s), the company has already attracted some serious talent in the field of technology investing.
Andrea Böhmert – who raised some R350 million for Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa Fund – and Brett Commaille – the CEO of AngelHub and former CEO of Remgro controlled Invenfin (Remgro’s VC arm) – have joined KnifeCap.
Knifecap’s focus will initially be on Southern African growth equity fund with a bias towards technology-enabled ventures.
The company’s website states: “We believe that tomorrow’s largest investment gains will be achieved by companies that are active in solving today’s problems. Therefore, our strongest investment interest is in companies which, through technology and innovative management, seem capable of turning such solutions into successful businesses.”
KnifeCap will essentially position itself as a link between credible investors and high-growth small to mid-cap companies that own or operate concepts that are already commercialised.
This marks a subtle shift away from the co-founders’ venture capital roots, but the company still has links with venture capital funding platform Angelhub (which recently concluded a funding deal for online wine tasting website, Real Time Wine).
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