Digital Africa Ventures (DAV) has raised R25 million and is aiming to invest in innovative South African businesses. The Johannesburg-based firm is a regional venture firm focused on tech startups.
Started by Thandeka Xaba and her business partner Nonkululeko Komanyane in 2020, the fund invests in early-stage South African Tech firms. It aims to bridge the funding and support gap for early-stage tech entrepreneurs operating in the underserved small business area.
In addition to being backed by the SA SME Fund, the Digital Africa Ventures is also supported by E-Squared Investments and PAPE Fund Managers.
According to the founders, the fund has raised R26.5 million in seed funding for early-stage digital tech startups since its establishment. At the present, they are looking to support more entrepreneurs through the latest funding round.
The funding supports startups with direct cash investments between R2 million to R5 million, which is difficult to raise in SA where most investments are below R2 million and above R7.5 million.
Since its launch, the DAV funding has engaged with over 60 startups and assisted numerous entrepreneurs by helping them think through strategies, creating user journeys, developing employee stock ownership plans, or overall giving them feedback on their business model.
“We like to help as much as we can regardless of whether we will be investing in a business or not. We believe acts like these benefit the ecosystem as a whole and are needed to help South Africa’s venture capital ecosystem advance and compete globally,” Komanyane said.
On 31 March 2021, DAV made its first investment in Tripplo Software, a digital logistics platform that facilitates the safe and efficient movement of road freight cargo across SADC.
In its second year of operations, not only has over 400 transporters on its platform, but the platform also has facilitated the movement of cargo within SA and across borders between Angola, Botswana, and the DRC, among other African countries.