SOUTH AFRICAInvestment holding company Kagiso Capital has invested US$6.4 million in Stellenbosch-based specialist technology investment firm Alphawave Group.

Earlier this year, Alphawave received a big investment from US-based Five Elms Capital into one of its subsidiaries, Skynamo.

The amount of equity acquired by Kagiso through its investment was not disclosed.

Alphawave has 12 businesses that focus on everything from sensor technology to electronics and software development for augmented reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Companies in its fold include EMSS Antennas, Inrange, FieldSense, FarmRanger, Saigen, Callbi, Predictive Insights and Sozo Labs.

“Before the lockdown, we had multiple investment companies talking to us, but we were not actively looking for funding,” said Alphawave CEO Frans Meyer in a statement.

“We generate cash from established businesses in our portfolio to invest in new ventures. Capital of this kind can, however, accelerate the current businesses. It allows us to attract top talent more aggressively, finding technical people with sound engineering ethos and unique, internationally competitive skills in the domains we specialise in,” the statement further said.

The investment will also allow Alphawave to grow through acquisitions, rather than purely organically.

Kagiso Capital CEO Kgotso Schoeman said in the statement: “We want to be clear that this was not a BEE deal; it is a strategic investment decision. We want to rapidly impact innovation in this country and we think Kagiso’s interest and contribution on strategy, together with Alphawave’s experience and skills, could have profound effects, drawing talent from the broader demographics of our country into internationally competitive science and engineering firms.”

“You wouldn’t typically put together a 25-year-old Stellenbosch-based technology company with a black investment capital firm, but it makes so much sense. This is how we should be approaching business in South Africa where we can complement each other,” Lebogang Mosiane, Kagiso Capital’s chief operations officer, said.

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