South African venture capital firm Knife Capital has announced the twelve companies participating in its fourth Grindstone Accelerator programme.
Some of the noted companies in Grindstone’s previous cohort include ticketing solutions provider Quicket, augmented reality animation & gaming company SeaMonster; transport data company WhereIsMyTransport, and radar startup iKubu (acquired by Garmin). The participating companies in the previous cohorts have reportedly experienced an average of 56% Y-O-Y increase in revenue in the 12 month long programme.
Grindstone is about measurable growth, about building a foundation that can handle both challenges and opportunities. It is about being prepared, as interesting things happen to companies that are ready and able to act on short notice. – Andrea Bӧhmert, Knife Capital Investment Partner
This year Grindstone has partnered with organisations including FNB, Webber Wentzel, Creative CFO, Thinkroom Consulting, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft 4Afrika, M&C Saatchi Connect, GMG Technology, Matchboxology and Billybo Group. The programme draws on various speakers, mentors and corporates as value-adding partners to assist in supporting these high-growth SMEs.
Grindstone Accelerator is an initiative by SA’s active venture capital firm, Knife Capital. Earlier this year, SME market access company Thinkroom Consulting acquired a 50% stake in Grindstone.
In 2018, Knife has invested in DataProphet, a machine learning startup with a focus on manufacturing sector; Edtech startup SkillUp Tutors and PharmaScout, one point solution for healthcare professionals in South Africa.
The twelve chosen businesses for the fourth cohort are:
Allxs – NFC enabled closed-loop cashless payments and experience management platform – improving speed, safety and convenience for an enhanced customer experience;
Cradle Technology Services – provider of Granite Warehouse Management System, an affordable WMS for customers to take control of their warehousing and dramatically improve accuracy;
Ctrl – a digital short-term insurance broker platform allowing for effortless B2C engagement via a single advice app;
Digger App – an industry specific online recruitment matching platform using AI to enable employers to recruit better candidates, faster;
Kudos Africa – an ESG assessment tool providing companies with simple, affordable and valuable access to sustainability metrics, while providing investors with an efficient way to meet reporting criteria;
OneCart – online personal shopping assistant for household goods, achieved via an on-demand technology platform that connects multiple FMCG retailers to consumers;
Old School Group – a multi-brand sports group specialising in festivals, live events, travel, sportswear, sponsorship, brand creation and all-round sport commercialisation;
Sentian – a smart security platform making existing alarm systems more intelligent – enabling video verifications and powerful control over your home;
Sparkfolios – an online toolkit driving repeat peak performance via professional services for goal setting, task completion, performance & incentive management, motivation, instant rewards and staff recognition;
Suritec – data solutions company specialising in data analytics, content management, Location Intelligence, systems integration and consulting for government and commercial customers;
Sxuirrel – a peer-to-peer marketplace that enables users to find and share extra space (storage, parking and venues) via an easy-to-use online platform; and
Vizibiliti Insight Africa – addressing financial inclusion by developing alternative credit scoring methods for the financial service industry via AI.