Early stage venture capital firm 4Di Capital held a R256 million (approximately $16.9 million) first close for its new technology venture fund last week, receiving initial commitments of R256 million (approximately $16.9 million). Among those was significant backing from Exponential Ventures, the JSE-listed insurance group MMI’s innovation arm, making them the major investor in the fund.
Commenting on the close, Justin Stanford, co-founding General Partner at 4Di Capital said, “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.”
The fund will target early and growth stage opportunities in technology firms in operating in what it describes as the FinTech, InsurTech and HealthTech sectors. Scaleability and international expansion ambitions are key criteria in determining which firms to back.
MMI launched Exponential in March this year to focus on potentially disruptive innovation opportunities around disruption booth in South African and overseas. The new business unit reportedly has about R1 billion to invest over the next three to five years, 30% of which is earmarked for opportunities in Africa, with the balance reserved for investments overseas.
“4Di Capital has a proven track record and has garnered significant respect from the tech startup community in South Africa,” said Exponential’s Managing Partner for Africa, Jonathan Stewart. “…We look forward to making a tangible difference to the tech startup community and to South Africa 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.”