Thursday, April 18, 2019 UTC

AGF Magazine - March 2019 issue

  • We focus on fixed income opportunities in both public and private markets. Read on to find in which fixed income instruments and in which African markets to invest on pp. 10-11. In addition, Ashley Benatar of Ashburton Investments shares his views on benefits and risks of investing in mezzanine debt on p.22.
  • We speak with Jérémie Ceyrac, Head of Equity, Responsible Investments at Proparco to learn more about the French development institution, financial products on offer, recent investments in Africa and African impact investment scene (pp. 13-15).
  • This month’s market feature focuses on Nigeria. Sven Richter, Fund Manager, Drakens Capital, writes about his recent trip to the West African country and his observations. “While Nigeria is attractive as an investment destination, the GDP growth is a disappointment for a county that we expect to be one of the leaders in Africa,” he says (pp. 16-17).
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News > Private Equity > Deals

Kalon Venture Partners invests R10m in Flow

Staff writer
Jan. 28, 2019, 9:43 p.m.

Word count: 492

South African venture capital firm Kalon Venture Partners has invested R10m in local property tech platform Flow, an app that rewards tenants for good behaviour.

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South African venture capital firm Kalon Venture Partners has invested R10m in local property tech platform Flow, an app that rewards tenants for good behaviour.

Clive Butkow, Kalon Venture Partners CEO, said: “At Kalon Venture Partners we invest in technologies that are disrupting their respective industries and have large target addressable markets.” 

“Flow passed both these criteria with flying colors and also passed our most important investment criteria which is having the ‘A’ team. The three founders have all built successful businesses, which is quite rare in South Africa, and have the ‘execution intelligence’ to grow a product into a large profitable enterprise.”

In addition to the R10m invested by Kalon Venture Partners, there is a co-investment of R10m from an international VC, which is in its final stages. 

The proptech startup was founded by serial successful entrepreneurs, Daniel Levy, Gil Sperling (Popimedia co-founders) and Jonathan Liebmann (a property disruptor and innovator best known for creating the highly successful Maboneng Precinct in downtown Joburg). 

With Flow, the first app of its kind in the world, tenants in South Africa get rewarded for registering, adding their property details, paying their rent on time, looking after their homes, and much more. 

Tenants can use the app and be rewarded for good rental behaviour even if their landlord isn’t active on the app (although, there are many benefits for landlords to sign up to Flow too). 

Great tenants can earn thousands of points every month, increasing their Flow score and accessing incredible rewards. For these rewards, Flow has struck partnerships with a number of leading brands in the lifestyle, entertainment, homeware, fashion and travel space, all of which are valuable within the lives of millennials (those between the ages of 22 to 37) – a group which makes up a large portion of renters in South Africa.

Funding will be used to accelerate the development, to fuel growth and increase the base of tenants already using Flow; as well as to increase the range of rewards available to tenants.

Gil Sperling, CEO of Flow, noted that the property industry, locally and globally, is one of the few verticals which has not seen much innovation, making it an industry ripe for disruption. 

“Compared with any other industry, the property industry – and in particular the rental market – is archaic and disconnected. There’s also a massive paradigm shift in how people should rent which is inspired and driven by their lifestyle choices, and is something proptech could and should leverage big time. People are used to being connected all the time and transacting digitally, in real-time; and they want transparency in their dealings with companies (including their landlords).” 

“These are some of the key factors that inspired the creation of Flow. Through scaling with technology and economies of scale, we can revolutionise the economics of rent, providing a more seamless experience and more value to tenants,” he said. 

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