7 South African Startups Poised to Reach R500m in Value

“We look forward to seeing these companies grow into national champions, and paving the way for younger entrepreneurs to follow in their footsteps,” says Shameel Joosub, CEO of Vodacom.

The Winners of the SA SME CEO Circle - 7 August
The Winners of the SA SME CEO Circle - 7 August

The SA SME Fund’s CEO Circle has announced the initial seven recipients of the CEO Circle Entrepreneurs 2019 Award.

Each recipient will benefit from a ‘personalised pathway’ of support to help them scale into significant companies of R500 million-plus in value, as part of SA’s private sector efforts to stimulate the economy and create jobs.

Endeavor ScaleUp helped run a rigorous selection process. Industry experts and senior businesspeople interviewed and assessed the entrepreneurs and businesses for track record and ability to scale.

A panel of CEOs chaired by Adrian Gore of Discovery, joined by Fani Titi of Investec, Shameel Joosub of Vodacom and Bongani Nqwababa of Sasol, announced the winners on 7 August.

“Mid-sized companies are an important engine of economic growth. We will leverage the enormous power of the SA SME Fund’s shareholders (top 50 corporates) and fund managers to help grow these businesses into significant players in the South African economy,” says Adrian Gore, Chairman, SA SME Fund.

The following companies have been selected as recipients of the CEO Circle Entrepreneurs 2019 Award:

  • BT Industrial: Manufactures High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipes and provides an array of complementary services to customers including engineering, project management, quantity surveying, and maintenance solutions. 4 fold growth in revenue estimated 2019-2020. Nominated by Endeavor
  • InnoVent: Has a dual offering: asset rental and management (computer hardware) to corporates, and the re-rental of refurbished computers to customers including large corporates and SMEs. Have opened offices in London, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania. Revenue above R150 million. Now the leading independent/brand agnostic IT leasing company in SA.
  • KELE Mining Solutions: Niche contract mining services (load and haul and drilling) with a view to use data analytics to improve productivity and efficiency in the industry. Founded by a husband and wife team, now have 250 employees on 10 mining sites. Nominated by Kumba
  • Sentio Capital Management: Boutique asset manager focused on integrating AI and machine learning with qualitative bottom-up research to build portfolios for institutional and retail clients. South African champion with global aspirations. Over R16bn of assets under management which have tripled in the last 3 years. Nominated by RMI
  • SignCraft Africa:  A one-stop shop that manufactures, installs, delivers and maintains corporate signage. Operates nationally, and has a presence in 14 African countries. Family business with revenue over R100 million. Nominated by Nedbank
  • Siyeza Fine Chem: Procures, supplies and distributes Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and other raw materials to pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmetics manufacturers. Over R250 million revenue. Nominated by Adcock
  • TSK Interiors: Deliver high quality, multi-million Rand turnkey interior fitouts and related construction solutions through strategic partnerships with skilled core suppliers. National footprint, with blue-chip client base (including GrowthPoint, Absa, and Allan Gray).

 “The calibre of the recipients of the CEO Circle Entrepreneurs 2019 Award is impressive. These entrepreneurs have through sheer hard work and perseverance already built solid companies. With the CEO Circle as a catalyst, these businesses are poised to become significant players,” says Fani Titi, Joint CEO of Investec.

Each recipient will receive a personalised plan to accelerate their growth, that will include access to capital providers (debt and/or equity), introductions to and mentoring by senior executives and decision-makers in SA SME Fund shareholder companies, and other tailored business support.



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