Knife Capital, founded in 2010, is a Southern African growth equity fund manager that focuses on technology-enabled ventures for a sustainable impact on innovation, job creation, and growth.
It is an independent growth equity investment firm focusing on innovation-driven ventures with proven traction. Through leveraging knowledge, networks, and funding, the firm accelerates the international expansion of entrepreneurial businesses that achieved a product/market fit in a tight market. Their offices are based in Cape Town and London where they invest via a consortium of funds under management, including SARS section 12J Venture Capital Company: KNF Ventures and a UK-based family office.
Knife Capital specialises in investments in growth equity, expansion capital, and small to mid-cap companies. It does not invest in morally objectionable industries and in the seed stage – the firm acts as an accelerator for more mature, post-revenue companies.
KNF Ventures is a SARS Section 12J Venture Capital Company – enabling qualifying investors to claim amounts invested as a full and permanent deduction from taxable income. By leveraging the knowledge and networks of the broader investor base, combined with funding, KNF Ventures accelerates the growth of South African innovation-driven SMEs and generates enhanced returns for investors. The company also builds high-growth technology enabled SMEs through its Grindstone Accelerator and fills critical gaps in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem through education and enterprise development initiatives.
The firm primarily invests in technology-enabled ventures. It seeks to invest in companies located in Southern Africa and other frontier economies across Sub-Saharan Africa. The firm seeks to invest between R10 million and R30 million per first round investment. It prefers to take stakes between 25% and 49%.
The firm enables their portfolio of innovation-driven businesses to achieve scalability across different markets by optimising the business model and customer acquisition process. They assist businesses with transition to international growth by providing market access that expands customer validation to other countries.
The firm selects entrepreneurs that have achieved proven traction with product/ market fit in a well-defended market.
For investment, companies need to depict that they:
- Have a clear-cut product and continuous revenues;
- Address a substantially-sized market;
- Address client problems;
- Have impressive management teams;
- Achieve high gross margins; and
- Have a coherent and thorough governance process in place.
Contact us for more information on funding through Knife Capital.