About Us

Knife Capital is an independent third party fund manager focusing on high growth, high impact technology-enabled businesses from South Africa and other frontier economies across Sub-Saharan Africa.

What we do
HBD VENTURE CAPITAL

KnifeCap manages HBD Venture Capital's South African portfolio of investments. HBD VC is a South African Venture Capital Fund founded by Mark Shuttleworth in 2000. HBD (an acronym for "Here Be Dragons" - a term used in ancient times to mark unchartered territories on maps) offered growth capital to a range of early stage businesses. The fund is now fully invested and its current focus is on growing its investments to achieve successful exits.

KNIFE CAPITAL GROWTH EQUITY FUND

KnifeCap is currently in the process of raising a Growth Equity Fund with first closing of between R100m and R150m. The investment targets in need of expansion capital will have existing revenue flow and a verifiable customer base, matched by significant market potential. Investment size will range between R10m and R30m per first round investment. For more information on participating as a Limited Partner contact us.

KNIFE KNOWLEDGE

KnifeCap provides consulting, training and business acceleration services to high-growth early-stage ventures in Southern Africa. We are committed to creating African success stories and filling critical gaps in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. The team is deeply involved in skills-, technology- and knowledge transfer initiatives to groom skilled entrepreneurs as the future leadership class of Africa – a new generation of role models.

FIND-MAKE-GROW-REALISE

KnifeCap partnered with the UCT Graduate School of Business to present an Executive Education Programme:
Find - Make - Grow - Realise: Investing in early-stage growth companies. This participative, case-study-driven course is designed to provide investors and entrepreneurs with a deep understanding of the high-growth investment process and is presented periodically in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

GRINDSTONE ACCELERATOR

The Grindstone Accelerator is a new structured acceleration initiative that will assist 50 high-growth technology-enabled companies to become sustainable and fundable. This will be done via a range of services designed to build a foundation for growth, create relevant business networks and enable these companies to take advantage of market access opportunities.
For more information or to apply for the programme, click here

BIZSPARK

The KnifeCap/ BizSpark programme is a collaboration with Microsoft where we aim to assist local startups through the provision of a growth gap analysis, development tools and business support. To qualify for BizSpark in SA, a startup must be developing software or apps; be privately held; generating less than R5 million in annual revenue; and be less than 5 years old. Start your application process here.

Investment Team
CEO: EBEN VAN HEERDEN CA(SA)

Eben is the co-founder and CEO of KnifeCap. Working for Ernst & Young launched his successful career as director and advisor to various high growth businesses as well as his passion for business building. He has been instrumental in various regional and international M&A transactions, the raising of the R150m Mark Shuttleworth HBD Fund2 in South Africa and has a track record of high return regional and international exit transactions. Outside of his career, Eben, who is an ardent follower of the teachings of Carl Jung, enjoys spending his time learning to play the piano, collecting and watching celebrated films, playing tennis and spoiling his Dalmatian and Beagle.

PARTNER: KEET VAN ZYL B.ACC ACMA MBA

Keet is a dynamic investment expert with extensive growth equity investment and banking experience. He has worked in specialized finance at industry-leading international companies such as Procter & Gamble and Investec Bank. He was instrumental in setting up various Private Equity funds in the Southern African region before joining HBD Venture Capital. In 2010 he co-founded KnifeCap to continue the active management of HBD's South African portfolio of investments and build the high-growth investment industry in South Africa. Keet is fascinated by the bubbles in Champagne as he celebrates life with his wife and two young daughters. He has a passion for water-skiing and in 2005 he became the first "Extreme Accounting" world champion by injecting the adrenaline rush of accounting into the everyday routine of extreme sports. @KeetvZ

PARTNER: ANDREA BOHMERT M.COMM MBA

Andrea has a successful track record in the corporate sector, as entrepreneur as well as investor. She headed up Corporate Strategy for Siemens Southern Africa followed by managing a software sales team for Dimension Data. Starting her own businesses led her into the investment space where she raised the R350m Hass Plattner Ventures Africa Fund. Passionate about developing the ecosystem she is involved in numerous business incubation initiatives, evangelizing Global Companies such as Google and IBM to get more involved in Africa. Andrea’s life is a juggling act and she is currently working on the five-ball juggle: Her husband, two children, KnifeCap, Sundays on the beach with the Strand Lifesaving Club and life between two continents. @AndreaBoehmert

INVESTMENT ANALYST: VASILIOS KOTTAS BONEL MSC FINANCE

Vasilios (Vas) works as Investment Analyst at Knife Capital and has financial experience in Europe, South Africa and the US. He completed his Masters in Finance & Management at Cranfield SoM in the UK and his undergraduate degree in Economics at the Henley Business School in the UK. Vas was an intern at KnifeCap and AngelHub in 2012, and came back to join KnifeCap as a full-time analyst after a few months of working in New York. Outside of work, Vas considers himself an adrenaline junkie, enjoys playing football (AKA soccer in SA for some reason), travelling and exercise.@VasKottasBonel