DURBAN – The SA SME Fund and the government’s Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) has announced a public-private partnership to co-invest R350 million across three venture capital funds.
OneBio Seed Investment Fund, a biotechnology dedicated fund; Savant Venture Fund, a hardware technology incubator and Fund Manager (in which two deals have already been pre-funded by TIA’s Seed Fund); and the newly established University Technology Fund (UTF).
These fund managers will invest in a portfolio of early stage businesses and provide capital, as well as other support, to the entrepreneurs, to help them commercialise technologies and grow their businesses. The SA SME Fund’s mandate to the three fund managers includes a requirement that they invest at least 50 percent of the fund into businesses owned by black entrepreneurs.
The parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Innovation Summit in Cape Town on Friday 13 September, 2019.
Ketso Gordhan, Chief Executive of the SA SME Fund, said, "We are hugely excited and energised by this partnership to support and invest in innovation, especially in black-owned start-ups and scale-ups in this space. This forms part of our commitment to support government, together with TIA, in stimulating and intensifying technological innovation to improve economic growth, create jobs and impact on the quality of life of all South Africans".