Cape Town-based investment firm ploughs $4.5 million into SA startups

Cape Town-based Silvertree Internet Holdings says it has funneled $4.5 million (R53 million) into companies in its investment portfolio over the course of 2017.

The company owns, operates and invests in consumer and Internet brands, including ucook.co.za, petheaven.co.za, cybercellar.com, carzar.co.za, pricecheck.co.za, and compareguru.co.za.

Silvertree said that part of its investment has been used to support aggressive growth across the portfolio, helping to achieve organic revenue growth of 92% over the prior year, across the portfolio.

Peter Allerstorfer, Silvertree co-founder and MD, said: “A focus on offering the customer the best possible product, backed with smart marketing spending, has once again helped our portfolio achieve a strong year of growth.”

The rest of the investment has been used to grow Silvertree’s stake in its portfolio companies through share purchases from other shareholders, as it focuses on being the leading shareholder across its portfolio of consumer brands.

Central to Silvertree’s operating model is the belief that in early stage markets such as tech-enabled consumer offerings in Africa, successful companies need investors that offer more than once-off cash injections.

As an operator in additional to an investor, Silvertree builds an open-ended relationship with portfolio companies, with the expectation of providing further funding for future growth, it said.

Non-financial investments include: operational and strategic support; synergies and Silvertree-level agreements with key service providers; assistance with compliance, finance and legal requirements; functional top-up support in key areas such as marketing, and technology and operations.

Paul Cook, Silvertree co-founder and MD, said: “We find that the most effective entrepreneurs spend most of their time in the details, day to day, striving for perfection. Our job is help provide the tools to make that a little easier, and 2017 has been a year of doubling down on our existing portfolio as they grow and face new challenges.”


Read: SA venture capital firm reports 200% revenue growth on SA tech startups

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Cape Town-based investment firm ploughs $4.5 million into SA startups