IFC invests $10m in Knife Capital Fund III to support SA’s digital entrepreneurs

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IFC, a member of the World Bank group, has invested US$10 million in Knife Fund III, a new fund managed by Cape Town-based venture capital firm Knife Capital.

IFC is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets, while Knife Capital is a venture capital investment manager that accelerates the international expansion of African innovation-driven businesses by leveraging knowledge, networks, and funding. 

Knife aims to raise US$50 million for Fund III, which will primarily target investments at the Series B stage. Fund III follows Knife Fund II, which was launched in 2016, and Fund I, which was launched in 2010. IFC’s US$10 million investment will provide financial support to tech startups in high-growth sectors in South Africa with strong potential for expansion across Africa and internationally, including enterprise technology, software, health-tech, and fintech.

“We are excited to welcome IFC as an investor to our new Fund III and sincerely appreciate the endorsement that comes with the commitment,” said Andrea Bohmert, partner at Knife Capital. “With the first close of Fund III, we are finally able to support entrepreneurs on the next stage of the scale-up journey and thereby address a significant gap that currently exists in the African entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Adamou Labara, IFC’s country manager for South Africa, said increasing access to venture capital promoted digital entrepreneurship and innovative tech solutions that enable better delivery of vital services such as healthcare, fintech, and logistics.

“By supporting funds such as Knife III, IFC can help more startups and digital entrepreneurs innovate and expand in South Africa and beyond,” he said.

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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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