South Africa’s Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) has signed an agreement with angels networks Dazzle Angels and Jozi Angels to co-invest in early-stage startups, with one investment already made.
The TIA, a national public entity that serves to bridge the innovation chasm through financial and non-financial support, launched its Industry Matching Fund (IMF) Programme last year, operating a blended finance model between funders and industry.
The instrument is a risk-sharing mechanism for co-investment and follow-on funding, including TIA funding. TIA has already onboarded the SA SME Fund and the Industrial Development Corporation as partners, and it has now entered into a Collaboration Agreement with two local angel investor networks – Dazzle Angels and Jozi Angels..
Dazzle Angels is the first female-focused angel group in South Africa, set up to solve the radical gender inequality in early-stage investment management and deployment, while the Johannesburg-based Jozi Angels is an angel investor focused on scalable solutions with strong differentiators.
Under the terms of the agreement, TIA will co-invest alongside the angels within these networks on a one-to-one basis. The purpose of the agreement is to trial a public-private partnership that aims to ease the challenges faced by startups in the earliest stages.
The collaboration has already started seeing success with a ZAR490,000 (US$26,000) investment recently made by a Jozi Angels syndicate and TIA into Jobox, a student work experience platform which connects businesses with high-quality students. The platform was started by university friends Sbusiso Buna and Darryn Rabec.
“The South African startup investment landscape has come a long way in recent years particularly in the venture capital segment but early-stage angel investment still has a lot of room for growth. This lack of early-stage funding makes it difficult for startups to then unlock later stage funding typically provided by venture capitalists,” said Abu Cassim, founder of Jozi Angels.
“The partnership between TIA, Dazzle and Jozi Angels is a great mechanism for angels to leverage additional funds for their investee companies, allowing them to support more businesses and grow the industry through this partnership,” said Alexandra Fraser, one of the angels and founders of Dazzle Angels.
“This is a great collaboration and represents an important milestone in assisting early-stage startups to access funding. We hope to see further angel funds come on board to assist in raising capital and expand the fund,” said TIA interim chief executive officer (CEO) Fuzlin Levy-Hassen.