Four startups incubated at Cape Town based hardware tech incubator Savant have secured seed grants totalling over R2.5-million from the incubator’s seed fund partner — the government’s Technology Innovation Agency (TIA).
Savant CEO Nick Allen yesterday (6 December) told Ventureburn that the four — ATTRI Orthopaedics, Energy Shift, Jonga and Global Energy — received seed grants worth R580 000, R649 000, R654 000 and R641 000, respectively. In all, the four startups received seed grants worth R2 524 000 from Savant’s seed fund partner – the Technology Innovation Agency.
He said the first tranche of the funding would be transferred to the startups between either yesterday and today (7 December).
Allen explained that the incubator’s seed fund investment committee had selected the four and had then passed their names on to TIA for approval.
“We’re very happy that all the companies that we’ve so far put forward have been approved by TIA,” he added.
”Numbers are quite smallNick AllenSavant CEO
Allen however acknowledged that the seed grants were “small” given that these are hardware startups require a significant amount of money for research and development.
“To be honest the quantums for what we are doing are actually quite small. We are building hardware stuff. Hardware takes money. At the same time you see what these guys do with small amounts of money and its quite remarkable. But ultimately, the numbers are quite small,” he said.
”Savant venture fund to launch close to being finalisedNick AllenSavant CEO
In October, Allen told Ventureburn that the incubator was considering setting up a venture fund which he said at the time would likely be launched in the first quarter of 2019.
Responding to Ventureburn questions on how advanced the fund was, Allen said Savant was “getting there” and that the fund was still on track to be launched “latest January”.
“We may get that before then… but yeah, we are very close to getting that finalised,” he explained.
He would not “confirm or deny” whether the fund was one of the organisations listed by SA SME Fund CEO Ketso Gordhan last month that would receive a capital injection from the R1.4-billion fund which currently draws contributions from commitments made by 48 JSE-listed companies.
Gordhan today however confirmed to Ventureburn that the fund is in discussions with Savant.
“The only thing I am able to confirm at this stage due to ongoing processes, is that Savant is subject to signing legal agreements being allocated funding from the SA SME Fund,” he said.
This is an adaptation of an article entitled “Four Savant backed startups secure TIA seed grants totalling over R2.5m” on the Ventureburn website.