further ventures planned
Vunani awaits approval for big re-entry into property
Improvements may be ahead; liabilities are down, a joint venture is being set up and the fund manager is gaining critical mass
Ethan Dube, the CEO of Vunani, has a strong reputation as one of SA’s top corporate financiers. His reputation was barely dented by Vunani’s sponsorship of the failed listing of the Sagarmatha businesses, which is collectively claimed to be an "African unicorn". That move was just taking a fee for a service, and which sponsoring broker has never sponsored a dud? But Dube is taking more of a risk by setting up a R100m joint venture with Ayo Technologies, which would have been the heart of the proposed unicorn. Dube describes Ayo as a solid business built from scratch. "We weighed up the noise, but the main thing is that it was willing to do a deal on our terms." Ayo has relationships with businesses such as IBM, Cisco and Microsoft, which undoubtedly help the process along. Dube says the joint venture will focus only on areas of interest to Vunani: technology to enhance financial services or fintech. Naturally Dube hopes it will be a disrupter, which should have a large impact on the...