South African venture capital firm Knife Capital has announced the twelve companies participating in its fourth Grindstone Accelerator programme to provide them with the insights and tools to build a foundation for growth.
The 12 will join former Grindstone accelerated companies such as ticketing solutions provider Quicket, financial inclusion business Picsa; augmented reality animation & gaming company SeaMonster; payments software provider Electrum, transport data company WhereIsMyTransport, Bitcoin blockchain anti-piracy solution Custos and radar startup iKubu (acquired by Garmin).
Grindstone is about measurable growth, about building a foundation that can handle both challenges and opportunities.
According to Andrea Bӧhmert, Knife Capital Investment Partner: “We initially set out to find ten SMEs to partner with, but the exciting and diverse range of the opportunities presented, combined with corporate partnerships reached, enabled us to open the program up a bit wider. Each one of these companies is at a tipping point, with many strategic options to pursue. During Grindstone the entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to validate their growth assumptions and check these against the company’s ability to execute.”
The twelve scale-up businesses are:
Allxs – NFC enabled closed-loop cashless payments and experience management platform – improving speed, safety and convenience for an enhanced customer experience;
Cradle Technology Services – provider of Granite Warehouse Management System, an affordable WMS for customers to take control of their warehousing and dramatically improve accuracy;
Ctrl – a digital short-term insurance broker platform allowing for effortless B2C engagement via a single advice app;
Digger App – an industry specific online recruitment matching platform using AI to enable employers to recruit better candidates, faster;
Kudos Africa – an ESG assessment tool providing companies with simple, affordable and valuable access to sustainability metrics, while providing investors with an efficient way to meet reporting criteria;
OneCart – online personal shopping assistant for household goods, achieved via an on-demand technology platform that connects multiple FMCG retailers to consumers;
Old School Group – a multi-brand sports group specialising in festivals, live events, travel, sportswear, sponsorship, brand creation and all-round sport commercialisation;
Sentian – a smart security platform making existing alarm systems more intelligent – enabling video verifications and powerful control over your home;
Sparkfolios – an online toolkit driving repeat peak performance via professional services for goal setting, task completion, performance & incentive management, motivation, instant rewards and staff recognition;
Suritec – data solutions company specialising in data analytics, content management, Location Intelligence, systems integration and consulting for government and commercial customers;
Sxuirrel – a peer-to-peer marketplace that enables users to find and share extra space (storage, parking and venues) via an easy-to-use online platform; and
Vizibiliti Insight Africa – addressing financial inclusion by developing alternative credit scoring methods for the financial service industry via AI.
This year Grindstone is partnering with entrepreneurial-minded organisations that include: FNB, Webber Wentzel, Creative CFO, Thinkroom Consulting, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft 4Afrika, M&C Saatchi Connect, GMG Technology, Matchboxology and Billybo Group to link into and bolster market access opportunities.
Knife Capital is also currently in partnership discussions to launch a Johannesburg-based Grindstone Programme in 2019.