Knife Capital to Finalize on $50m Target Raise

Knife Capital
Knife Capital

Knife Capital, a venture capital investment manager focused on scaling African innovative businesses is on a speedy scale across Africa as it receives backing from Standard Bank and the SA SME Fund.

Standard Bank and the SA SME Fund have joined other investors, such as IFC, Mineworkers Investment Company, international development funders and prominent family offices, to ensure Knife Capital completes the second close of its new $50 million African Series B expansion fund, Knife Fund III.

This round brings provisional commitments to just over $40 million and Knife Capital is finalising the due diligence and legal process of a few remaining funders to close out on the $50 million target raise.

Akash Maharaj, Executive, Equity Finance and Investments at Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking, commented: “Standard Bank believes in the positive impact that investment into early-stage high-growth businesses can have on innovation, job creation and economic development of South Africa. We have partnered with a number of the leading investors in this space and are excited to add Knife Capital to our venture capital portfolio. With Standard Bank’s expansive African footprint, our suite of bespoke banking products and extensive client base, we can facilitate the growth journey of businesses that scale internationally.”

Knife Capital supports businesses by selecting entrepreneurs with deep subject matter expertise, teaching them required skills and helping them gain a solid knowledge foundation for seamless growth. The investor also provides market access for these businesses and accelerates their traction by leveraging a dynamic partner network to ensure that every challenge faced by these businesses across sub-Saharan Africa is resolved sustainably.

Another means Knife Capital closes the growth gaps and creates sustainable exit-ready businesses, is through the provision of funding.

Established in 2010, Knife Capital started as the incarnation of the South African venture capital division of ‘Here Be Dragons’ – a privately owned emerging market investment group founded by internet entrepreneur and cosmonaut Mark Shuttleworth.

Knife Capital took over the management of seven HBD portfolio companies to create a managed fund. Exits include CSense (Analytics Software) to US technology giant General Electric, Fundamo (Mobile Financial Services) to VISA and orderTalk (online food ordering software) to Uber Eats.

Keet van Zyl, Co-founder at Knife Capital expressed the company’s excitement about the investment, stating that this brings a growth partner for its portfolio companies in Standard Bank.

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