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SA’s Grindstone launches Grindstone Ventures Fund for early-stage startups

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South Africa based entrepreneur-targeted development programme Grindstone Accelerator has launched Grindstone Ventures, which targets early-stage startups. The initial investment into the fund is driven by Knife Capital, Thinkroom, and other players.

Part of Grindstone Ventures‘ capital investments will be structured as co-investments alongside Angel Investors and Corporate VCs.

The Grindstone Accelerator targets innovation-driven companies that have high growth potential with the intention of nurturing the right building blocks that can help in scaling their operations. The right foundation ensures companies are scalable and fund-able to investors. Grindstone Accelerator is partnered with  Deloitte,  SA SME Fund, Thinkroom, Webber Wentzel, and  Google. In June, Grindstone 6 launched in Cape Town and features 10 companies. At the same time, Grindstone 7 will launch in Johannesburg for another 10.

The Grindstone Programme is essentially a thorough due diligence exercise to identify the best opportunities – already narrowed down from hundreds of applications,

Andrea Bӧhmert, Partner at Knife Capital.

Leading companies that have passed through Grindstone’s programme are iKubu (a radar startup),  SeaMonster (an AR gaming company),  Payfast (digital payments gateway),  Picsa (financial inclusion business),  Locstat (geo-spatial data analytic), to mention a few.

The new Grindstone Ventures Fund has received positive traction from players across the board, as revealed by Keet in a statement.

past Grindstone cohort entrepreneurs are coming on board and respected Angel Investors in the SA startup ecosystem are looking to invest. We already identified the first investment opportunities

Keet van Zyl, Partner at Knife Capital

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