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African Series B expansion fund for $50 M closed by SA’s Knife Capital

The $50 million African Series B expansion fund, Knife Fund III, from the South African venture capital firm Knife Capital, has reached its final close.

Knife Capital, a venture capital and growth equity investment manager with offices in Cape Town, specializes in traction-tested, innovation-driven businesses. Knife Capital supports the international growth of African entrepreneurial companies that have found a product-market fit in a beachhead market by leveraging knowledge, networks, and funding.

As lead investor and through co-investment with other reliable funders across the continent, Knife Fund III supports the growth of African innovation-driven businesses to close a crucial follow-on funding gap. The emphasis is on South African B2B technology companies with high growth and scalability, impact potential, and strong returns through exit flexibility. Together with knowledgeable local partners, the fund will also support businesspeople in other African nations who fit this investment profile.

Knife Fund III received commitments from a wide range of investors, including the team itself, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Mineworkers Investment Company (MIC), the SA SME Fund, as well as its new Venture Capital Fund of Funds, a trailblazing partnership between business and government that attracted funding from investors like The Department of Science and Innovation, USAID, The Consolidated Retirement Fund for Local Government, and Rand Mutual Assurance.

Standard Bank, AfricaGrow, Skybound Capital, Fireball Capital, and the Draper-Gain family office working with Rand Merchant Bank are some additional investors.

“We are delighted to bring together such a credible investor base with a reason to care about the growth of venture capital investments in Africa,” said Keet van Zyl, who co-founded Knife Capital in 2010 with Eben van Heerden. “Most of our investors are co-investment partners who share deal flow openly and can augment the investments with alternative funding instruments and follow-on funding for enhanced growth. Raising a venture capital fund in Africa is a long and challenging journey, but we could not have scripted the outcome any better.”

Successful businesspeople on the continent are already partners with Knife Fund III.

“Since first close, the fund invested in AI-enabled process optimisation company DataProphet and digital health access platform Kasha, and has a strong pipeline of transactions in various stages of closing out,” said Julien Draper, Knife Capital partner and deal flow custodian.

 

 

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