Companies / 3 April 2018, 07:29am / Adri Senekal de Wet
CAPE TOWN - James Beeland Rogers Jr, known globally as Jim Rogers, an American billionaire businessman, investor, traveller, financial commentator, author and co-founder of the Quantum Fund and creator of the Rogers International Commodities Index (RICI), has announced his investment in Sagarmatha Technologies.
Sagarmatha is an integrated multisided platform (MSP) technology group that is scheduled to be listed on the main board of the JSE within the media sector later this month.
Other global investors who committed investments in Sagarmatha include ambassador Harold Doley Jr, the first, and only, African-American to hold a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, and Russian investor Elena Tarasenko, the founder and managing director of Turner Group, an international reinsurance broker, risk management, claims handling and actuarial advisory firm.
Tarasenko is an investor and adviser to global fintech companies and is the newest member of Sagarmatha Technologies’ international advisory board.
Doley told Business Report (BR) that “Sagarmatha is Africa’s first unicorn and a Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) pioneer in Africa. It’s a company created for long-term value, not only financially but also in developing skills.
“As an American investor, I am pleased, as chairperson of the Sagarmatha Technologies international advisory board, to be part of an African-owned and managed technology platform business and success story. African companies must be meaningful, competitive and equal partners to companies from the US and China in this technological revolution.”
Sagarmatha is a predominantly black-owned technology group whose broad base of shareholders includes trade unions such as the SA Clothing and Textile Workers Union, the Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa), the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union, as well as Cosatu.
Dennis George, the general secretary of Fedusa, said in an exclusive interview with BR yesterday that he was extremely proud to be associated with Sagarmatha. “Sagarmatha is great for Africa, great for the youth and is in line with the YES Campaign under the leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa.”
Sagarmatha will train thousands of young black engineers in the areas of artificial intelligence, data science and software development.
George has been involved in the International Labour Organisation, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, International Trade Union Confederation, the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and various other international forums and sister bodies.
Yesterday, George Sebulela, secretary-general of the Black Business Council (BBC), said: “It is time that Africa takes control of its own technology destination. Africa cannot afford to hand over control and management of information, content and commerce to the world’s powerful technology companies.
“As Africans we must use our gifted young talent to develop platforms and systems and populate them with consumers, thus using the opportunity to make a quantum leap into 4IR. Africa needs its own Amazon, Google, Alibaba and Facebook.” He also expressed his excitement on behalf of the members of the BBC.
Sagarmatha’s day-to-day operations are led by a seasoned team with joint chief executives Grant Fredericks and Gary Hadfield. Fredericks will focus on business development across Africa, in light of his many years in media and content syndication, whereas Hadfield will bring his proven track record of the e-commerce sector to bear.
“Sagarmatha identified the key strategic points for citizen growth and knowledge empowerment within the context of 4IR as it rolls out across Africa. Sagarmatha is one of only a few global technology groups with an integrated value proposition of platforms, e-commerce, content and distribution, enabled for prime customer monetisation within the context of this burgeoning digital inclusion.
“With its comprehensive offering and established presence across the continent, Sagarmatha is firm in its belief that it has the potential to become the leader in e-commerce, digital media, syndicated content and technology ventures in Africa,” they stated.
“We believe Sagarmatha is uniquely positioned to create an integrated MSP ecosystem in Africa that knits technology platforms; content creation, content distribution and e-commerce into a consolidated value proposition aimed at attracting prime customers for monetisation,” Fredericks said.