The University Technology Fund hopes to tap investment funds and development finance institutions to raise additional capital.
South Africa public private-owned fund SA SME Fund is raising additional capital for its R150m ($9.9m) tech transfer-focused investment vehicle University Technology Fund, VentureBurn reported on Tuesday.
The funding will be raised en route to a proposed second close in January 2021. Potential LPs include two unnamed investment funds, currently performing due diligence on the proposal, as well as unspecified development finance institutions.
University Technology Fund also hopes to boost its capacity through co-investments with local universities, following $1.3m matching fund agreements recently struck with Stellenbosch University and University of Cape Town.
The vehicle is managed by investment holding company Stocks & Strauss and is backed by both SA SME Fund and the Department of Science and Technology’s innovation agency.
University Technology Fund will fund between 15 to 20 academic projects that possess tenable patents, prototypes or revenues. It is currently running due diligence on three deals, two of which are due to close in coming months.
Target sectors will include engineering, IT, biotech, space tech and medical devices. A separate $1.2m vehicle will supply proof-of-concept grants, ranging from $33,000 to $99,000.
University Technology Fund has screened 18 deals within the last two months, for technologies emerging from six unspecified universities. Of these, 50% had black or women inventors or founders.