Vunani Technology Ventures selected by Microsoft South Africa to assist with its R475m BEE initiative

Vunani Technology Ventures, a subsidiary of Vunani Capital, has been selected by Microsoft South Africa to work on its R475m Equity Equivalent BEE initiative.

May 26, 2011

The EE investment is aimed at developing several majority black owned Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) into global software companies. Vunani Technology Ventures are set to begin work on a seven-year business plan for the first four businesses identified as part of Microsoft’s BEE investment.

Vunani Technology Ventures specialise in mid-market software entrepreneurs who demonstrate the potential to become major players in the ICT industry, providing them with the necessary advice and capital to facilitate the next level of growth. Vunani Technology Ventures’ high impact advisory services provide these companies with strategic management, operational support and management coaching, amongst other support services. For Microsoft, the skills and knowledge offered by Vunani Technology Ventures provide a platform to assist these entrepreneurs in fast-tracking their growth.

CEO of Vunani Technology Ventures, JB Maree, says:

“Our offering of high-impact advice is ideal to assist Microsoft and other multi-national companies manage innovative enterprise development solutions. The response to the Microsoft BEE initiative was overwhelming.We believe this is an important step in the evolution of the SA Venture Capital model in supporting black entrepreneurship with SA.”

Maree continues,

“This initiative is not just about picking winners – rather it is about identifying potential and partnering with talented entrepreneurs to develop winners. This approach is what is required to establish a viable software entrepreneur market in South Africa.”

At present, South Africa is a net importer of software. Initiatives like these aim to establish a viable ICT entrepreneur market in South Africa.The four firms identified for the Microsoft BEE initiative are involved in healthcare, pre-paid electricity for local government, consumer and gaming, mobility and IT security.

Through the initiative, Microsoft has recently achieved a Level 2 BEE rating, making it one of the most empowered ICT multinationals in the country, as well as advancing entrepreneurial growth in South Africa.

Kethan Parbhoo, Equity Equivalent Lead, Microsoft South Africa says:

“We are really excited about working with Vunani Technology Ventures to develop the relevant business and investment plans for each ISV. It will become the blueprint for us to invest in other ISVs, according totheir specific needs. This incorporates the funding, technical, business, operational and financial skills required for each ISV to be successful. Vunani Technology Ventures, therefore, plays an important role in ensuring we lay the right foundation for these partners to succeed.”

Maree concludes:
“The Microsoft transaction is a land mark initiative which gives us the opportunity of partnering with Microsoft to accelerate the growth of these companies.  A leading powerhouse in the IT Sector, Microsoft has resources, highly-skilled people and channels to customers and markets. The selected BBBEE companies and entrepreneurs have an amazing opportunity in front of them.”