The Johannesburg-based Mineworkers Investment Company (MIC) has announced the launch of MIC Khulisani Ventures, a ZAR150 million (US$10.5 million) early-stage investment vehicle targeting black-owned innovative, high-growth businesses in South Africa.
The MIC is a 100% Black-owned Investment Company established in 1995 by the Mineworkers Investment Trust (MIT) to create a sustainable asset base for the benefit of mine, energy and construction workers and their dependents.
It invests in a variety of large and small companies in various sectors, as well as focusing strongly on corporate governance and true transformation. The firm had until recently not been active in the South Africa tech startup space, but earlier this year it committed US$10 million to Knife Capital’s latest fund, and it has now launched one of its own.
MIC Khulisani Ventures will invest in promising high-growth potential companies across all sectors, with the exception of primary agriculture and primary extractive industries. The focus is innovation, namely innovative products or services that disrupt traditional markets, improve efficiencies or respond creatively to existing problems in South Africa.
“We are thrilled to be introducing a unique offering to a broad-set of black-owned innovative ventures with exponential growth potential. MIC Khulisani Ventures forms part of our investment and transformation mandate at MIC, and through this investment vehicle we hope to add to our investee network future-focused, transformed entities with great promise for growth,” MIC chief executive officer (CEO) Mary Bomela said.
MIC Khulisani Ventures addresses the significant gap in post-seed funding for businesses that are not plugged into the dominant streams of venture capital networks. Many of these investment-ready ventures tend to be black-owned, with ideas that can shift industries and society, but do not take off due to lack of support. This round of investments, projected to range between ZAR15 million (US$1.05 million) to ZAR30 million (US$2.1 million) per awarded applicant, aims to meet that need and help spur growth and expansion in South Africa and beyond.
“This offering has been in the making for a couple of years now. We have pulled in relevant partners such as I Am An Entrepreneur to work with us in determining the businesses that are ready for this kind of support. In addition to the capital, we intend to leverage our investee network to open access to markets, networks, experience and skills to catapult awarded businesses to the next level. This bodes well for our portfolio, and the impact in the economy will be profound, especially given the impact of Covid-19,” said Bomela.
Applications for MIC Khulisani Ventures are now open here until August 13.