Standard Bank and the SA SME Fund have joined other investors in backing South African venture capital firm Knife Capital’s new US$50 million African Series B expansion fund Knife Fund III, which has reached its second close.
The second close of Knife Fund III brings provisional commitments to just over US$40 million and Knife Capital is finalizing the due diligence and legal process of a few remaining funders to close out on the US$50 million target raise.
The commitment from Standard Bank Group, the largest African bank by assets, makes the bank a key investor in the fund alongside other local and international investors.
Akash Maharaj, Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking investments executive said: “Standard Bank believes in the positive impact that investment into early-stage high-growth businesses can have on innovation, job creation and economic development of South Africa. We have partnered with a number of the leading investors in this space and are excited to add Knife Capital to our venture capital portfolio. With Standard Bank’s expansive African footprint, our suite of bespoke banking products and extensive client base, we can facilitate the growth journey of businesses that scale internationally.”
Keet van Zyl, Co-founder at Knife Capital said: “We are very excited to gain not only a funder but also a growth partner for our portfolio companies in Standard Bank. With their infrastructure throughout the continent, they are already proving themselves to be a value-adding banking partner that has the funds and experience to responsibly deploy capital as well as the vision to influence positive change in African emerging markets.”
Other credible funders already committed include the IFC, Mineworkers Investment Company, the SA SME Fund, international development funders and prominent family offices.