It was a year of highs and lows for the country, especially given the COVID-19 pandemic, but the ecosystem can look back on another developmental year. South African field sales app and management startup Skynamo got the year off to a belting start in January, announcing it had raised a US$30 million Series A funding round. Formed in 2012, Skynamo is used by representatives and their managers to improve insights into field sales activity, reduce administration, and create coaching opportunities that lead to higher sales. Naspers, one of the largest technology investors in the world, launched Naspers Foundry, a US$96 million fund to help South African tech entrepreneurs grow their startups, in October 2018, and invested in SweepSouth in mid-2019, but it was only in 2020 that it got really active in the local scene. Over launched in Cape Town in 2012 and began life as a simple “text over photos” app for sharing goals and inspirational quotes. However, it developed into a multifaceted tool that allows businesses to easily create photos and videos to post on their social media platforms, used by more than one million people, and in January was acquired by American publicly-traded internet domain registrar and web hosting company GoDaddy for an undisclosed amount. E4E, a venture capital fund aimed at helping South African entrepreneurs build internationally-successful companies and counting the likes of Bas Hochstenbach and Aisha Pandor among its founding partners, launched in July, as successful local founders started “giving back” to the South African ecosystem.
SOURCE: DISRUPT AFRICA