Pretoria, 29 April 2020
The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), a national public entity that serves to bridge the innovation chasm through financial and non-financial support, has entered into a Collaboration Agreement with two local angel investor networks through their Industry Matching Fund (IMF) Programme: Dazzle Angels and Jozi Angels.
The TIA launched the IMF Programme in 2019 as a blended finance/funding model between funders and industry. The instrument is a risk sharing mechanism for co-investment and follow on funding, including TIA funding. It not only attracts industry participation, but equally provides commercialization, acceleration, and incubation support through various instruments/initiatives with industry and the private sector in order to gain market access. In addition to the angel networks, this programme has currently onboarded the SA SME FUND, and the Industrial Development Corporation where TIA has partnered with them on various Funds.
Dazzle Angels is the first female-focused angel group in South Africa. Their goal is to solve the radical gender inequality in early-stage investment management and deployment, by investing in female founded and co-founded businesses. Jozi Angels is an angel investor network based in Johannesburg, with their sweet spot being scalable solutions that have a strong differentiator.
Under the terms of the agreement, TIA will co-invest alongside the angels within these networks on a one-to-one basis. The purpose of the agreement is to trial a public-private partnership that aims to ease the challenges faced by startups in the early stages of their lives. Abu Cassim, founder of Jozi Angels said, “The South African startup investment landscape has come a long way in recent years particularly in the venture capital segment but early-stage angel investment still has a lot of room for growth. This lack of early-stage funding makes it difficult for startups to then unlock later stage funding typically provided by venture capitalists.”
“The partnership between TIA, Dazzle and Jozi Angels, is a great mechanism for angels to leverage additional funds for their investee companies, allowing them to support more businesses and grow the industry through this partnership” said Alexandra Fraser, one of the angels and founders of Dazzle Angels.
“This is a great collaboration and represents an important milestone in assisting early-stage startups to access funding. We hope to see further angel funds come on board to assist in raising capital and expand the fund” said TIA Interim CEO: Ms. Fuzlin Levy-Hassen
The collaboration has already started seeing success with an investment recently made into Jobox. Jobox is a student work experience platform which connects businesses with high-quality students. The platform was started by university friends Sbusiso (Bubu) Buna and Darryn Rabec, they have since brought onboard an impressive team which includes Alex Sexwale and Siphamandla Mazibuko and have secured several corporate contracts.
Bubu provided some advice to startups raising early-stage capital, “It will take much longer than you expect, even if you have an agreement in place closing the deal requires a big push from all parties. Raising capital became my full-time job for a few months. We celebrated this win as a team and now are able to focus on the business milestones ahead.”
Recent challenges as a result of COVID-19 are making the environment even more difficult for young companies. Public-private collaborations like this will be a timely tailwind but it’s important that entrepreneurs remain nimble and adapt where possible. Bubu commented on Jobox’s shift in focus, “The lockdown restrictions have meant we will not be able to post students in jobs that require them to be on-site. Fortunately, the platform does allow for remote support services such as administration, graphic design and digital marketing. This has become our go-to solution for a number of customers in recent weeks.”
Business Development manager
Tel: 012 472 2793
Note to editors:
For further background on Dazzle Angels please visit their website http://www.dazzleangels.com/
For further background on Jozi Angels please visit their website https://www.joziangels.co.za/