Local startup Springleap, recent winner of the United Nations Most Innovative eBusiness award, has announced a successful round of seed funding from a consortium of British and South African investors. Springleap has secured $400 000 (R4,1 million) from Angel Investors Colenso Capital, Clearwater, Kevin Gaskell and Crystal Bay Capital.
"The team at Springleap had gained significant traction in a short amount of time with Fortune 500 brands and have a big vision to empower the creative industry." - Kevin Gaskell - chairman of Springleap advisory board, former MD of Porsche and BMW, CEO Eurotaxglass, CEO Fairline Boats.
Originally founded in 2007 in Cape Town as a crowd-sourced platform for T-shirt designs, Springleap has pivoted into a conduit for clients to access thousands of creatives for design, creative research and co-creation projects. "With our investors' support, we can now focus on building more innovative models for our agency and brand clients to work with our community of pan-African and global creatives." says Springleap's CEO, Eran Eyal. "We will also be focused on building our team to fuel expansion throughout Africa and beyond."
With that scope for growth, negotiations have been initiated for the second phase of funding with commitments already received from prominent US, UK, EU and ZA-based investors.
"The pivot at Springleap made a lot of sense, but we are also backing Eran's ambitions and vision, here. In a short time, he's brought a world-class team and advisors together around Springleap and positioned the business for huge potential." - Colenso Capital's Tim Leclecrq
Expanding across borders
In addition to being part of South Africa's thriving economy of technology startups, the investment interest in Springleap comes at a time of increasing attention from the global advertising industry on acquiring local advertising, communications and digital agencies. With new funding, South African agencies are quickly expanding across borders either to carry existing brand clients into new markets, or to establish a presence to gain new clients.
"The model Springleap is developing can sit at the heart of any agency to help them flexibly scale and access new varieties of talent and skills across Africa." comments Clearwater CEO, Derek White.
"There is a massive gap in the brands and agencies market ($580Bn p/a) for a model that is managed, curated, bespoke to the project and not limited to traditional staffing models." says Peter Binks, Managing Director of Crystal Bay Capital
With local and international clients such as Samsung, SAB, Nestle, Kraft, and Ogilvy, Springleap was also the recent winner of the MentorCamp finals in Canada and was announced as runner up in the Innovation 100 Awards held in California against the likes of Amazon, eBay and the Apple Store.
"Springleap aspires to become South Africa's latest startup success story in the making", concludes Eyal, "Securing the first round of funding puts us on the fast track to keeping the spotlight on the innovation coming out of this corner of the world."
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