Technology entrepreneurs get the boost

By Thandisizwe Mgudlwa

The well known Oppenheimer family is investing in South African venture firm 4Di Capital, to back technology entrepreneurs.

“Amid increased calls by the private and public sectors for greater support of South Africa’s growing pool of entrepreneurial talent, local venture capital firm, 4Di Capital, announces that E. Oppenheimer & Son has joined 4Di Capital Fund 1 as the fund’s newest investor.

4Di Capital has already made seven investments in South African ventures, and recently announced its first profitable exit of mobile community startup Motribe Networks to MXit, the largest social network in Africa. The addition of the Oppenheimer family investment will double the size of the Fund, enabling 4Di to expand into further new investments while also having more capital available to accelerate the growth of its current portfolio.

Rachel Slack, a Director of E. Oppenheimer & Son, said, “We believe that South Africa has exceptional entrepreneurial talent and are excited to join the 4Di Capital family, where we hope we can assist in leveraging the resources available to us in support of young, high-impact entrepreneurs wishing to develop and launch their new innovations onto the global stage.”

4Di Capital focuses on investing in early-stage technology ventures with global potential. This new addition to the firms investor base brings together the extensive global networks of the Oppenheimer family with those of the current 4Di investors – including Reinet Fund S.C.A.,F.I.S. –  and the hands-on venture investing and operating experience of the 4Di management team.

While Justin Stanford, Founding Partner of 4Di Capital and co-founder of the Silicon Cape Initiative, said, “4Di Capital is well positioned to take full advantage of South Africa’s potential as a global technology innovation hub.”

He continued, “We are very pleased to have the Oppenheimer family on board to assist us in capitalising on the growing number of exciting new technology opportunities that need startup capital and support to penetrate the global market.”

The 4Di team comprises a combination of experienced global venture capitalists and successful young entrepreneurs, and has already established itself as a leading new generation venture capital management firm headquartered in South Africa’s ‘Silicon Cape’ in Cape Town.  It is ideally positioned to capitalise on the dynamic global trend towards micro venture capital or seed accelerators, involving smaller investments and a quicker turn around to exit.

Laurence (Laurie) Olivier, US based Senior Partner of 4Di Capital commented, “Recent shifts in technology and the global venture capital arena have created opportunities for entrepreneurs in emerging markets to take advantage of an increasingly integrated global technology landscape and lower cost of market entry, especially in the software, mobile and internet sectors.”

Furthermore, barriers to entry have dropped significantly and now technological talent anywhere in the world has the potential to flourish if provided with the right enabling environment, capital and support.

And 4Di Capital is also an independent early-stage technology venture capital firm based in South Africa’s ‘Silicon Cape’.

“Nurture capital is the term that best describes 4Di Capital’s purpose and philosophy. We understand that in the early days of any business, support, mentoring and access to networks is just as important as seed capital.

“Using tried and tested international venture capital best practices, adapted for local use, we believe in agile entrepreneur-friendly finance without frills, and in working as a team with our investees to achieve their true potential.

Also, 4Di Capital Early-Stage Technology Fund 1 targets startup investment opportunities with high growth potential at the seed- and early-stages in the mobile, enterprise software and web sectors. We look for founder teams with hungry passion, commitment, domain expertise and deep insights into the large market problems they wish to solve with their technology solutions.

In addition, E. Oppenheimer & Son International is the investment holding company of the Oppenheimer Family interests, founders of the global mining company Anglo American (, and managing shareholders of De Beers (, the world’s leading diamond company, until its recent acquisition by Anglo American.

“E. Oppenheimer & Son International has an extensive private equity portfolio through Stockdale Street, an investment company that invests in leading private equity funds in the United States, Europe and Asia; and through Stockdale Street South Africa, which invests directly in South African companies, often working alongside leading South African corporations and private equity firms.

The Oppenheimer Family interests have deep African roots, with four generations of investing experience on the continent. They have an intimate understanding of doing business in Africa, and a commitment to furthering the socio-economic development of the continent.

Based in Luxembourg, Reinet Fund is a private equity investment fund.
The Fund is managed by Reinet Fund Manager SA, under the Chairmanship of Mr Johann Rupert.

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