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Future of farming: Naspers Foundry’s has invested R100m in agritech business Aerobotics. Picture: SUPPLIED
Future of farming: Naspers Foundry’s has invested R100m in agritech business Aerobotics. Picture: SUPPLIED

Raising capital for technology-backed businesses in SA is the focus in this edition of Business Day Spotlight.

Host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Alison Collier, MD at Endeavor SA; and Benji Meltzer, co-founder at Aerobotics. 

The discussion focuses on the dynamics of raising capital for both venture capital (VC) firms and start-ups.

Join the discussion: 

US-based venture firm Endeavor Catalyst recently raised $290m to invest in startup businesses across the world.

As part of the effort, the fund has backed eight SA businesses: Aerobotics, Clickatell, Entersekt, Go1, MFS Africa, Ozow, SweepSouth and TymeBank. More than half of these investments have been made in the past 12 months. 

Collier details Endeavor’s investment thesis for SA, explaining how the firm chooses which companies to invest in and how relationships tend to be extended beyond the writing of a cheque. 

Africa is now one of the fastest growing VC markets globally, growing 200% per year, but SA’s piece is still only 0.15% of the global total for entrepreneurs.

Collier suggests ways that SA could attract larger sum to its shores, why such investment is so important to SA and which sectors Endeavor commonly invests in.  

Meltzer, whose company has received a portion of Endeavor’s funds, explains Aerobotics’ business model, what it has taken to steer the business to where it is today, the funding journey for Aerobotics over the years, and thoughts around the difficulty of raising capital for local startups. 

Topics of discussion include Endeavor SA’s investment strategy; Aerobotics’ business model; the challenges faced by technology start-ups in raising capital; ways in which SA can attract higher levels of investment; and which sectors are currently most attractive for investment. 

Engage on Twitter at #BDSpotlight

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Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production.

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