SA entertainment startup Sea Monster secures $1m funding

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Cape Town-based animation, gaming and AR/VR company Sea Monster has raised US$1 million in funding to help change the way corporates tackle training and communication globally.

Formed in 2011, Sea Monster creates engaging, memorable digital content and experiences using animation and games that drive business and social outcomes. 

The startup’s creative digital products have solved communication, change management, staff engagement and learning challenges for some of the largest corporates in South Africa and around the world, with FNB, Capitec, Alexander Forbes, Old Mutual, the South African Reserve Bank, Shell and Mediclinic International among its clients.

Sea Monster has now secured investment to help it scale more quickly, raising US$1 million from FirstRand’s Vumela Fund, managed by leading SME venture fund manager Edge Growth.

The Vumela Fund offers financial investment into entrepreneurial companies as well as non-financial growth support and access to market to investees with fresh solutions that stimulate job creation and help create positive social impact in South Africa.

“Towards the middle of 2019, we finally felt that we were ready to actively engage with investors to help us create products, and revenue share opportunities, in addition to building on our solid service relationships,” said Glenn Gillis, Sea Monster’s chief executive officer (CEO). 

“We chose Edge Growth as our preferred VC partner because of their years of experience, great reputation for fairness and strategic guidance, and because they bring impeccable empowerment credentials to the table. Despite the challenges with COVID-19, Edge never blinked, and we’re delighted that we were able to conclude the deal under the current circumstances.”

Nivesh Pather, Edge Growth’s lead dealmaker, said Sea Monster had proven it was an industry leader in creating innovative digital solutions for corporate challenges which are more impactful and scalable than traditional solutions. 

“We are impressed by the team’s skillsets and experience and by their deep passion to drive solutions that deliver both business and social outcomes. This aligns to our business objectives at Edge Growth,” he said. 

“Through this investment and partnership, we fully expect Sea Monster to become a recognised global player in interactive experiences and solutions which change the way corporates engage their consumers and employees.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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