CAPE TOWN, 13 June 2016 — South African venture capital firm 4Di Capital today announced the successful first closing of R256 million in initial commitments for a new technology venture capital fund. The major investor in the fund has been revealed to be Exponential Ventures, the externally focused innovation unit of JSE listed insurance group MMI Holdings.
“We are very pleased to welcome MMI Holdings to our stable of highly regarded investors. The depth and breadth of the venture market has grown substantially in South Africa since we first launched The Silicon Cape Initiative in 2009, and there is more opportunity than ever before, to partner with great local talent and participate in this rapidly growing industry on a global scale,” said Justin Stanford, co-founding General Partner of 4Di Capital.
“It is very good to see innovation-minded corporates in South Africa beginning to acknowledge the benefits of having a stake in the venture sector, as is common in the U.S., and we’ve been impressed by the constructive and enlightened engagement we’ve had with MMI management. We look forward to working together with them to leverage their strengths as well for our future portfolio companies’ benefit,” Stanford said.
The fund’s mandate will include early- and growth-stage investments, focusing principally on scalable technology opportunities in the FinTech, InsurTech and HealthTech verticals, particularly those with ambitions to reach international markets.
“4Di Capital has a proven track record and has garnered significant respect from the tech startup community in South Africa. We look forward to working together with them and the entrepreneurs that we ultimately invest in through the Fund. Our philosophy is strongly win-win and a key aim of Exponential Ventures is to foster a productive environment of collaboration and learning that drives progress and competitiveness for both the startups concerned and MMI,” said Jonathan Stewart, Managing Partner, Africa Investments at Exponential Ventures.
“We look forward to making a tangible difference to the tech startup community and to SA as we align behind our ultimate goal, namely to leverage powerful new technologies and business models to bring about an exponential leap towards universal financial wellness,” Stewart said.
About 4Di Capital
4Di Capital is an independent venture capital firm based in South Africa’s “Silicon Cape”, specialising in high-growth technology venture opportunities with international ambitions, principally in the early funding stages. The firm has offices in Cape Town, South Africa and Atlanta, Georgia, in the U.S., and counts among its investors Reinet Fund S.C.A., E. Oppenheimer & Sons, and Convergence Partners. Among others 4Di Capital has invested in enterprise web platforms, cloud scaling infrastructure, bio-mathematical health technology and financial technology ventures. 4Di funds are managed by the GP partnership team of Anton van Vlaanderen, Douglas Cherry, Erik van Vlaanderen, Justin Stanford and Laurie Olivier.
About Exponential Ventures
Exponential Ventures is a disruptive innovation capability powered by MMI Holdings Limited. Exponential Ventures explores scaler opportunities where technology-based businesses, which when combined with MMI’s assets, show meaningful potential to rapidly generate exponential growth in revenue and profit. It looks for optimiser opportunities where technology-based businesses have the potential to deliver significant efficiencies for MMI’s existing business. Exponential Ventures pursues venture developer opportunities that reach new markets, meet new needs, leverage new business models and show the potential to fundamentally disrupt the insurance market space over longer time horizons.
Through Scaler and Optimiser opportunities, Exponential Ventures offers entrepreneurs the potential to accelerate their growth curves through a partnership engagement that is actively and expertly steered by the Exponential Ventures team. Venture Developer opportunities are driven through partnerships with 4Di Capital and the UK based Anthemis Group. The partnerships and the establishment of the funds provide entrepreneurs access to capital, access to dedicated early stage business building capabilities and access to MMI’s significant resource of intellectual property and experience across the domains of insurance, investments and healthcare.