2022 Annual - (released February 2023)
SA's quarterly Private Equity & Venture Capital magazine
Blue chip LPs seed Knife’s Fund III
by Michael Avery
Venture capital firm, Knife Capital has recently announced the launch of its new $50m African Series B expansion fund, Knife Fund III. The fund has already received commitments from a number of local and international investors, including Standard Bank and the SA SME Fund, as well as the International Financing Corporation (IFC) and Mineworkers Investment Company.
According to Akash Maharaj, executive of equity finance and investments at Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking, the bank believes that investing in early-stage, high-growth businesses can have a positive impact on innovation, job creation and economic development in South Africa. He added that, with Standard Bank's extensive African presence and suite of tailored banking products, the bank is well positioned to support the growth journey of businesses that scale internationally.
For the SA SME Fund, CEO Ketso Gordhan stated that the organisation is committed to nurturing South Africa's entrepreneurial spirit through long-term partnerships, and is pleased to continue supporting Knife Capital through Fund III.
The Knife Fund III is focused on investing in scalable business-to-business technology companies that have attractive exit options. The fund consists of two main funding vehicles: a USD-denominated limited partnership in Jersey, and a ZAR-denominated limited partnership in South Africa, which will co-invest alongside one another in portfolio companies. The fund has already made its first investment, leading a $10m round in South African startup, DataProphet, which provides AI-as-a-service software in the manufacturing sector.
Co-Founder of Knife Capital, Keet van Zyl, stated that they are excited not only to gain a funder, but also a growth partner in Standard Bank for their portfolio companies. The fund aims to support innovative technology companies that can make a positive impact on the African economy and communities.