TIGER Brands chief executive Noel Doyle said last week that the R100 million Tiger Brands Venture Capital Fund aimed at giving start-ups in the food and beverages sector a capital injection had made its first funding offer, while nine other opportunities were being assessed.
“There are some interesting concepts, not all of them fit our profile, and there are some we would like to latch on to. The first funding offer has been made and is in the process of being negotiated. It is exciting and I am hopeful that in six months we will have some that we can showcase,” said Doyle.
Doyle said the group’s strong balance sheet would enable it to provide the funding.
“With great ideas and with our balance sheet we certainly have the capacity to fund more. We are in the position that we are not constrained due to our cash generation,” said Doyle.
Doyle said the venture fund had been an eye-opener and ‘liberating’.
“There is no shortage of people with very interesting ideas. Anybody who kind of says South Africa has a shortage of entrepreneurship talent is wrong, it is definitely out there and we would like to play our part,” said Doyle.
Tiger Brands said on Friday the Venture Fund had received more than 500 expressions of interest since the launch in June.
Tiger Brands said it was in the final stages of making an offer for a business which was closely aligned to its health and nutrition strategy, while an assessment of a further nine opportunities was under way.
“These initiatives, together with the reinvigorated and focused Africa growth strategy are expected to be supportive of top-line growth while driving our fourth strategic objective of building a growth pipeline,” said Doyle.
The Venture Fund was launched in June to give food and beverage start-ups access to capital required to grow their businesses. The Venture Fund aims to assist entrepreneurs in securing capital while also helping Tiger Brands explore new opportunities locally and across Africa.
Tiger Brands has said as a priority, the Venture Fund would invest in consumer brands and Intellectual Property within the food and beverage sector with a secondary focus on capability and technology opportunities across the value chain which can benefit the broader Tiger business. Relevant opportunities included emerging and existing consumer trends such as Health and Nutrition, Plant Based foods, Convenience and Snackification.
The Venture Fund is an addition to the environmental social and governance (ESG) fund that was aimed at developing emerging farmers.
“We are trying to work behind the land distribution programme. It is a win-win for us as we will get security of supply and new farmers get a guaranteed market,’’ said Doyle.
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