South African venture capital firm Knife Capital has expanded into the UK after introducing a new strategic investor in the form of UK-based Draper-Gain Investments.
This decision to open the London office comes after the firm’s team recently completed a management buyout from JSE-listed African Dawn Capital.
The transaction was facilitated by entrepreneur and angel investor Bob Skinstad, who is Knife Capital’s partner in Section 12J venture capital company KNF Ventures.
Section 12J schemes were created by the South African Revenue Service to promote early-stage capital formation in the country.
Skinstad, a former Springbok rugby captain who retired from the sport 10 years ago, moved to London in 2016 to head up business development for Draper-Gain.
“The London office will accelerate the international growth of companies within Knife Capital’s investment portfolio,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
Draper-Gain is a family-run business with significant global resources, including investments in South Africa, Knife Capital said in the statement. The company has taken a stake in Knife Capital and has committed funding as its lead international investor.
Knife Capital has helped lead transactions between founders of various South African technology companies and multinationals including General Electric, Visa and Garmin. It has also assisted South African firms with cross-border growth and management buyouts.
Keet van Zyl, investment partner at Knife Capital, said the South African early-stage investment ecosystem is built on the risk capital of local angels and international investors. “Unfortunately, local institutional investors largely avoid this space. While we will continue to work at changing this mind-set, we are now creating a flexible structure for those international family offices which want to invest with us alongside KNF’s local 12J backers.” — (c) 2017 NewsCentral Media