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VC firm to launch first African office in Joburg


VC firm to launch first African office in Joburg

Johannesburg – A Venture Capital (VC) company based in Silicon Valley, US, will open its first African office in Johannesburg later this year. 

  This was announced at the company’s recent Covid-19 webinar series, Digital Solutions for Africa.

  Formed in 2006, Plug and Play runs accelerator programmes and corporate innovation services, and has an in-house venture capital business that makes active investments. It is calling for launch partners to help it support innovative African startups.

  The Plug and Play ecosystem is made up of over 20 000 startups and 400 corporate partners and VC firms across 35 global locations, and it is now linking this to Africa with the launch of its Johannesburg office.

  The company is now looking for launch partners in South Africa to help it support entrepreneurs with capital and business development support.

  Grace Legodi, who will head the Plug and Play South Africa office said:  “Plug and Play chose South Africa because it has the most developed corporate sector on the African continent to effectively link with startups.  Our key value proposition in the venture capital segment has been as a global investor for startups that have global ambitions. With an investment portfolio of over 900 active investments, we have the appetite to take a risk on entrepreneurs that are committed to taking a risk on themselves.” 

  The company’s innovation platform consists of venture capital, start-up business development accelerator and corporate innovation.

  Legodi said they bring together an ecosystem of change makers to help new technology get to market faster. 

  “When we launch our services in Johannesburg our initial focus will be around helping corporate South Africa work with start-ups in executing their innovation strategies. We want to help African start-ups to become global companies that will help drive the economy, and create the jobs that are so desperately needed. We hope that our South Africa plans will be a springboard to invest further in African technologies that can be just as successful locally as on the global stage,” she said.

  She added that the company has been in the early stage investment space for over 20 years. 

  “Today it invests in over 300 technology companies worldwide. Our key value proposition in the venture capital segment has been as a global investor for start-ups that have global ambitions. We have appetite to risk on entrepreneurs who are committed to take a risk on themselves. In our investment portfolio we have over 900 active investments; and about 12 have grown to become unicorns exceeding a $1 billion valuation,” Legodi said.

  In Africa Plug and Play is invested in companies that include Flutterwave, WorldCover and HealthLane.