Knife Capital is a leading Southern African Venture Capital investor focusing on technology-enabled ventures for a sustainable impact on innovation, job creation and growth. We believe that tomorrow's largest investment gains will be achieved by companies that are active in solving today's problems. Therefore, our strongest investment interest is in companies which, through technology and innovative management, seem capable of turning such solutions into successful businesses. Knife Capital aims to be the funding partner of choice for Southern African innovation-driven ventures that have the potential to disrupt high-growth industries in the knowledge-based economy while having a positive social impact.
What we do
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 LinkedIn
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 LinkedIn
Philip works as Investment Associate at Knife Capital and is a CFA Level 3 candidate. He completed his Masters in Mathematical Finance at Columbia University in the City of New York and has a First Class (Hons) BSc in Mathematics from his undergraduate degree in the UK. Philip spent the first part of his life in South Africa and returned during college to work on development projects in various Sub-Saharan African countries. Prior to joining Knife Capital, Philip gained FinTech expertise spending several years doing high-frequency algorithmic trading in New York, London and Singapore with BNP Paribas, one of the worlds largest banking groups. @johnstonphil LinkedIn