The Here be Dragons (HBD) venture capital fund set up by IT entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth is looking for two more start-up investments, of about R50-million in total, before winding up the fund this year.
"HBD believes that, although tough economic times can make or break young companies, such times present interesting opportunities to invest in companies with sound and tested business ideas," says CEO Julia Fourie.
"If we can partner with quality companies through tough times, there should be substantial rewards to be reaped in later years. As HBD takes a three to five year outlook on the business potential of an investment, we not only focus on this year’s problems but also next year’s opportunities."
Fourie believes that there are many talented South African businesses with the potential to make it on a global stage but fail due to lack of guidance, funding and expert knowledge.
The new investments will form part of HBD’s existing Fund2, and will be the last investments for this particular fund.
"The nature of venture capital is to invest in early stage businesses, assisting them to grow and become more profitable, with a view to selling the investment to another partner within a three- to five-year period," points out Fourie.
HBD doesn't have a preference in terms of industry sector, but wants to invest in companies that have the potential to grow, and expand internationally.