South African Internet startup Skyrove
announced today that it has signed a multi-million rand investment deal with 4Di Capital
. This investment comes on the heels of Skyrove recently securing funding from leading ISP, Cybersmart. “We are focused on developing relationships with companies such as Cybersmart
and 4Di Capital as they are pioneers in their field. They can help us accomplish our goals.” says Henk Kleynhans
, Founder and CTO of Skyrove.
Both of these deals are strategic in nature. The 4Di transaction injects a significant amount of capital onto the balance sheet, whilst also bringing intellectual capital to the business via the active board participation of recognized industry players. The new investment also brings with it access to 4Di’s worldwide networks and resources and provides capital for additional growth. This funding follows the successful angel round backed by Vinny Lingham
and Michael Leeman
, who both retain seats on Skyrove’s Board.
Through the recent Silicon Cape
event a conversation began between SMME’s, Government, Academia, Media and various other stakeholders on making Cape Town the next Silicon Valley and taking SA technology startups from ‘garage to global’. What started as a dream for Justin Stanford
(4Di Capital) and Vinny Lingham (Yola), boasted into a colossal event with over 500 in attendance and many key note speakers such as the Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille
, who presented her summation, support and call to action. Skyrove had the pleasure of sponsoring the event with Internet access.
“We are pleased to align ourselves with 4Di and Cybersmart,” says Kleynhans. “This is not simply an investment in our company, but an important addition to our capabilities of providing people with Internet access. Our partnership with 4Di and Cybersmart will deliver important insights that will lead to the expansion of our product offering, competitive advantage as well as increase sales and marketing activities.”
About 4Di Capital
4D Innovative Capital International Limited (4Di Capital) is an early-stage nurture capital Investment Company. Based in Jersey, the company is focused on sourcing and funding promising technology, software, web, media and telecoms opportunities from the earliest seed-stage through to late stage in unique emerging markets such as South Africa. 4Di Capital seeks opportunities which have the potential to be leveraged onto a global stage utilising the worldwide networks and resources which the company has access to.
Nurture capital is a term that has been chosen to differentiate 4Di Capital from the traditional venture capital (VC) model. 4Di Capital is a high value-add, hands-on, evergreen investor without typical fund lifetime constraints, which means that there is no requirement for investee companies to exit within a pre-specified time frame, and reaching long-term sustainable profitability is encouraged as an alternative option. 4Di Capital embodies the entrepreneurial style that it simultaneously seeks out, and to this end is run by entrepreneurs with real world experience in starting and growing businesses.
Cybersmart, a leading ISP in SA, has shown its commitment in developing Skyrove’s Wi-Fi Hotspot business by taking a minority stake in the business. Cybersmart’s research showed that running a hotspot business is technically quite challenging and that the cost of an investment in an established player would be significantly less than the cost required to develop a robust service in-house.
“After evaluating a number of hotspot offerings available, it was decided to pursue an investment in Skyrove as the company is currently Africa’s largest and fastest growing Wi-Fi sharing community network; the simple voucher system allows a user to redeem vouchers at any Skyrove hotspot and the credits never expire; the transparent management system is far superior than any of its competitors and the management team is a combination of highly skilled, young & innovative individuals, which really made it a ‘no brainer’”, says Laurie Fialkov, CEO of Cybersmart.
Skyrove enables anyone to easily start a Wi-Fi Hotspot and share their broadband internet connection to earn an income. From humble beginnings 4 years ago, Cape Town based Skyrove provides all the sales, support and development for the Wi-Fi service and strive to keep it an inexpensive, prepaid way to connect to the internet using your laptop. With many Authorised Partners across the country, 500 Wi-Fi Hotspots nationwide and 20 000 registered users, Skyrove is largest and fastest growing Wi-Fi sharing community.
Henk Kleynhans – B.Sc. IT CE (UCT) – Founder and Chief Technical Officer
Henk is an internet junkie with a passion for social entrepreneurship and Human Computer Interfaces. He came up with the Skyrove concept while a student at UCT because he could only afford an ADSL line by sharing it with digs mates and neighbours. In 2008 Henk was named by the Mail & Guardian as one of “200 Young South Africans… You Must Take to Lunch”. More recently, Henk was also invited by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to their Promise of Leadership Dialogue.
Vinny Lingham – Executive Committee & Strategic Advisor
Vinny Lingham is the CEO of Web 2.0 startup Yola Inc. Yola has raised a total of $25m in Venture Capital and has offices in San Francisco & Cape Town. Vinny was previously the founder & CEO of global search marketing experts, incuBeta and its subsidiary Clicks2Customers, with offices in the US, UK & Cape Town generating over $100M per annum in client revenue. Vinny also serves on the advisory boards of Yahoo! And CommissionJunction. In 2009, Vinny was chosen as one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders.
Michael Leeman – B.Bus.Sci (Actuarial) – Executive Committee & Strategic Advisor
Michael is an actuary who initially worked for Southern Life and founded Futuregrowth. In 1998 he joined African Harvest and founded African Harvest Capital. In 2001 he founded Miombo Capital, an independent financial services and marketing consultancy. Michael is based in San Diego, California and is a Shareholder and Director of Clicks2Customers
. Michael also has an array of investments and advisory roles with a number of other Web 2.0 start ups, including Yola
He has extensive experience in innovative financial product development, socially responsible investments and empowerment investment banking. Michael obtained his B.BusSci in Actuarial Science from UCT in 1991, receiving the degree with distinctions in actuarial science, economics and statistics.