Most Read

  • Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko to step down
    Telkom has announced that its CEO and executive director Sipho Maseko will step down on 30 June 2022. The telecoms company said the process to appoint a successor is well underway and a designated group CEO will be announced in the not too distant future.
  • How cooking oil brought a moment of joy during a dreadful week
    It is possible that cooking oil prevented more looting in South Africa in the last week than the president, the ANC, the intelligence community, the army and the police combined. This, without question, says something about the versatility of the product. It says even more about the state of the state. When you are shown up by canola, you might want to revisit your strategy. By Howard Feldman
  • #BehindtheBrandManager: Meet Tamsin Darroch of Kellogg's South Africa
    Few food brands have the historical connection with consumers around the world as Kellogg's does, having held meaning at the breakfast table for over a century. By Lauren Hartzenberg
  • Park Advertising launches digital performance unit, Lucid Media
    Performance Media across Search, Social and Programmatic platforms is the single fastest growing area of digital media in South Africa. Combine that with the detailed analysis of campaign management, tagging and ad operations, and it becomes apparent that these highly specialist functions require a highly specialised unit.
  • Transnet hit by cyberattack - Operations disrupted nationwide
    The Transnet Port Terminals website has been hacked, implying that all companies under Transnet have been affected. All Transnet websites were down at the time when reporting was done for this SA Trucker article. The publication cited sources who requested to remain anonymous because they are not allowed to speak to the media.
  • Business unusual for small enterprises on the road to recovery
    The Covid-19 pandemic has hit South Africa's small business sector hard and there are grim statistics to bear this out. Those statistics will not be repeated here. After all, if you are a small business owner setting out on the road to recovery, the last thing you probably want is more details of the toll the pandemic has taken on small enterprises. Far more useful would be some good, solid tips on how to build back better after any business setbacks. By Ameen Hassen
Show more

Entrepreneurship jobs

More...Submit a jobOpen account
Advertise on Bizcommunity

Subscribe to industry newsletters

#StartupStory: Digital Africa Ventures aims to support early-stage, digital tech startups

In 2020, Thandeka Xaba and her business partner, Nonkululeko Komanyane, launched Digital Africa Ventures - a venture capital fund that aims to bridge the funding and support gap for early-stage tech entrepreneurs across South Africa.
Lebogang Poonyane, Thandeka Xaba and Nonkululeko Komanyane.
Lamb Shank Productions ©

To date, the female duo collectively raised R26.5m in seed funding for early-stage, digital tech startups. Having successfully founded entrepreneurial ventures of their own, they bring hands-on experience and much needed diversity and relatability to early-stage investing in South Africa.

We find out more from the Digital Africa Ventures team...

BizcommunityCan you tell us a bit about Digital Africa Ventures?


Digital Africa Ventures is a venture capital fund that aims to bridge the funding and support gap for early-stage tech entrepreneurs across South Africa.

BizcommunityWhen, how and why did you get started?


The fund officially launched in March 2020, with the SA SME Fund as its anchor investor. The founders identified a gap and need in the market for supporting diverse early-stage tech businesses.

BizcommunityWhat is the core function of Digital Africa Ventures?


To invest in and support early-stage businesses.
#StartupFunding101: Zachariah George talks early-stage funding in SA

Zachariah George, co-founder and chief investment officer of Startupbootcamp AfriTech and Endeavor mentor, walks us through the stages of early-stage funding and how to approach it in South Africa...

By Evan-Lee Courie 11 May 2021


BizcommunityWhat are some of the obstacles you've had to overcome since starting out?


The obstacles we have faced throughout our journey include fundraising and building systems and processes to support our operations.

BizcommunityYou recently raised R26.5 million in seed funding for early-stage, digital tech startups. Tell us more about this.


Our investors are the SA SME Fund, PAPE Fund Managers and ESquared Investments who are supporting our business to meet its objective of supporting early-stage digital tech startups by investing R2m-R5m cheques per business.

BizcommunityWhat advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?


Surround yourself with people who you look up to and people who challenge you.
Know your 'why' as this is what will keep you going during the most challenging times.
Remain teachable - you won't get there alone, you will need an authentic support system who you can use as a sounding board throughout our entrepreneurial journey. Do not be scared of being wrong or failure - the quicker you face the music the closer you are to success.

Last but not least, create space and time for rest - your energy and willpower are your biggest assets and need to be protected and nurtured.

BizcommunityWhat does the future of entrepreneurship look like to you?


We believe that we will start to see an increase in the supply of capital allocated to earlier-stage/riskier investments, as a result quality entrepreneurs will have higher bargaining power when it comes to the funders they choose. These sources of capital will also comprise international investors with an appetite for investing in local businesses. It'll mean that investors will have to do more than just provide capital in order to attract the best entrepreneurs and remain competitive.

We will also start to see experienced long-standing entrepreneurs who have successfully exited their businesses channel money back into the ecosystem as angel investors.

BizcommunityWhat do you think is the importance of startup accelerator/incubator programmes?


Startup accelerators and incubator programmes are extremely important for helping startups establish product-market fit, professionalise and prepare for institutional funding. They provide a quality pipeline to investors and shorten the gap between startups and funders finding one another.

BizcommunityWhat would you like to see changed in the South African startup landscape?


A higher tolerance for failure and pivots. The South African ecosystem still has little tolerance for entrepreneurs doing what is best for the business if it goes against the business plan. We would also like to see increased capital allocated towards early-stage investments and regulations supporting cross-border investment.

BizcommunityWhy would you encourage someone to become an entrepreneur?


We would only encourage someone to be an entrepreneur if they have strong conviction about the problem they are trying to solve and that they have the right people to do so. There are also different ways one can explore being an entrepreneur. It doesn't always entail an 'all-in' approach, don't be scared to start off small with a side-hustle as a way to test product-market fit and appetite for your product.

BizcommunityWhere would you like to see Digital Africa Ventures in the next 5 years?


We would like to see our fund having investing in 10-12 businesses and realised some exits. We would also like to see some of our portfolio companies having gained traction in other markets outside of South Africa. Lastly, we would like to have raised a second fund focused on investing in early-stage tech businesses across the continent.

Find out more at https://www.digitalafricaventures.com/

About Evan-Lee Courie

Editor: Marketing & Media; Head of Content for Entrepreneurship
Comment

Let's do Biz