Here’s news South African entrepreneurs have been waiting for: a new venture capital fund is launching aimed specifically at growth phase companies looking to scale international. FUTURENEERS is being headed up by Johannes Booysen, who recently sold Yonder Media to WPP, and is looking to invest both cash and expertise into local businesses.
We’ve spent long enough hanging around ambitious young South African startups to know where the funding gap is in South Africa. There’s a fair few funds and incubators for early-stage businesses who are at minimum viable product (MVP) or below, and established businesses can generally find a buyer. The missing middle, however, is funding for “growth phase” businesses – those with a working model who need support to scale nationally and internationally.
There are some other with similar aims: MMI Holdings’ Exponential incubator is geared towards growth phase, but to date it’s only made one significant investment – into Tax Tim. FUTURENEERS is offering a hands-on approach from the likes of LA-based fund manager Brent Cohen, Gustav Praekelt and Albe Guldenhuys, the founder of nutritional supplement manufacturer USN.
For investors, the fund is fully compliant with section 12J of the tax code, so you get your money back tax free if you leave it in the fund for five years.
From the release:
Booysen summed it up by saying: “The start-up space, and especially the technology sector, has always been an exciting place to be. But today, more than ever – provided the risks are mitigated – it offers incredible returns. For us, the objective is simple: finding, nurturing and guiding the next Roelof Botha or Elon Musk, then introducing them to our influencer and funding networks around the world.
“With our ‘start-up machine’, international footprint and strategy, South African entrepreneurs and investors can experience what we believe is ‘real VC’ for the first time – financial support for early start-ups, professional services, and guaranteed access to a global ecosystem, along with all of the opportunities that this provides.”
Keen to apply? The application form is here.