Savant Technology Incubator Invests Undisclosed Sum In S.A.’s Security Startup Jonga

By  |  August 16, 2019

South Africa’s security startup Jonga Systems has raised an unspecified amount of seed funding from the Savant Venture Fund, the investment arm of Cape Town-based hardware tech incubator Savant. 

The investment which will be used by the startup to implement its go-to-market strategy, is Savant’s second investment since earlier in the year. In June, the incubator invested over USD 600 K in Cape Town-based medtech startup SmartBlade. Securing USD 7.8 Mn from the SA SME Fund, the V.C. arm of Savant reached it first close this February. 

Jong was founded in 2016 by Ntsako Mgiba and Ntando Shezi. The firm majors in the provision of community-based home security to lower-income consumers.

This product resembles Memeza which was launched by South African innovator and entrepreneur Thuli Mthethwa after her sister was violently attacked in her family home in Tembisa, Johannesburg in 2012.

Jonga has designed, manufactured, and tested hardware devices in Khayelitsha, which work alongside a mobile application. The device is triggered by motion sensors around the home and alerts members of an owner-built distribution list via the phone app. The system confirms from neighbors, family, security firms, and the police, showing that the alarm system is genuine. 

Savant is not new to Jonga, as the startup has been part of its technology incubator since early 2016. The startup has now raised its first seed funding round under the auspices of the TIA Seed Fund provided by the hardware incubator. It will use the money to produce more than 500 devices, attain market traction, and gain commercial proof of concept, all for a broader V.C. consideration. 

Before joining Savant, Jonga had gotten separate financial injections from different sources. The startup raised USD 43 K in seed funding from Savant-administered Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) last year.

Jonga got another USD 25 K from TIA via South African accelerator mLabs in 2016. The founders said they have also secured USD 59 K from angel investors Dale Williams, Melvyn Lubega and Mark Forrester. 

According to this report by the British Association of Private Security Companies (BAPSC), private security firms can contribute to the improvement of the security situation in African societies as well as promote economic development. 

“We have worked with Ntsako and Ntando for a few years now and like who they are, how they work, and what they’re doing. We believe they are providing a socially relevant solution into an underserved market, and if they can get their pricing and their business model right, they can really grow the business. The funding is to work on getting that right,” Savant founder Nick Allen told Disrupt Africa.

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