- Silicon Valley-based VC company, Plug and Play has announced that it will open its first African office in Johannesburg later this year.
- The venture capital firm — which is behind global tech brands such as Google, Logitech and PayPal — made the announcement in a Covid-19 webinar series hosted last week.
- During the Covid-19 webinar series titled: “Digital Solutions for Africa,” Plug and Play also called for launch partners to help it support innovative African startups.
Speaking on the new development, former Goldman Sachs investment banker, Grace Legodi, who will be heading up Plug and Play office in South Africa, explained that Plug and Play has an ecosystem of more than 20 000 start-ups, 400 major corporate partners and over 180 venture capital firms across 35 global locations.
According to her, the company aims to connect entrepreneurs with some of South Africa’s biggest corporations, government departments and universities to build one of the highest quality innovation platforms in the country as well as for the rest of the African continent.
“Plug and Play chose South Africa as the location for its office because it has the most developed corporate sector on the African continent to effectively link with start-ups and Johannesburg was the best city for the Plug and Play office because the majority of South Africa’s corporate offices are in the city,” said Grace Legodi.
“We are an innovation platform bringing together an ecosystem of change-makers with the aim of helping new technology get to market faster.
“When we formally launch our services in Johannesburg later this year, our initial focus will be centred around helping corporate South Africa work with start-ups in the execution of their innovation strategies.
“We want to help talented African start-ups to grow and become global companies that will help drive the economy, and create the jobs that we so desperately needed,” said Legodi.
The company will also be keeping a very close eye on other main city centres of South Africa such as Cape Town and Durban. If there is a need to expand then it will consider doing so.
The company’s innovation platform consists of three pillars: venture capital, start-up business development accelerator as well as corporate innovation.
“Plug and Play has been in the early-stage investment space for over 20 years. Today, it invests in over 300 technology companies worldwide alongside our venture capital partners.
“Our key value proposition in the venture capital segment has been as a global investor for start-ups that have global ambitions. We have an appetite to take a risk on entrepreneurs that are committed to taking a risk on themselves.
“Looking at the snapshot of our investment portfolio, we currently have over 900 active investments. Almost a dozen have grown to become unicorns exceeding a $1-billion valuation,” added Legodi.
In Africa, Plug and Play is currently invested in companies such as Flutterwave, WorldCover, and HealthLane, amongst others.
Legodi said, “We hope that our South Africa plans will be a springboard to invest further in African technologies that can be just as successful locally as on the global stage”.
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