A new $10.4m vehicle targeting South Africa's university ecosystem is due to be approved on September 28.
South Africa is set to gain a new R152.5m ($10.4m) university venture fund capitalised by the government’s $96m SA SME Fund and the Department of Science and Technology’s innovation agency, VentureBurn reported on Monday.
The new vehicle has been announced previously but will officially start operations should SA SME Fund provide formal clearance at its next board meeting on September 28.
Target sectors will include engineering, IT, biotechnology, space tech and medical devices, with $1.7m of capital dedicated to helping seed-stage academic concepts accrue commercial credibility.
Launched in March 2019, SA SME Fund is a public-private fund-of-funds partnership geared towards VC, growth and impact assets. It has a mandate to back 10 “significant” black-owned businesses, 200 SMEs and five black entrepreneurs in the next five years, with the aim of addressing national unemployment and growing the economy.
The fund’s other pending commitments include about $5.7m for a new biotech vehicle. It is also scheduled to supply $100,000 in additional capital for incubator’s Savant’s VC fund, adding to $7.5m it had already provided.