It all started when we noticed a gap in the venture capital market where a need for post-seed / pre-Series A funding for founders in our Grindstone accelerator, with minimal investment in women-led scaleups, made us realise that great opportunities were being missed.
We had an excellent pipeline of businesses emerging from our Grindstone Accelerator, which could provide investors with a de-risked opportunity for returns. The previous point and the funding gap for female-led and black-owned Pre-Series A capital presented a unique opportunity.
We launched the Grindstone Ventures Fund in November 2021 to offer post-seed equity and quasi-equity investments to fast-growing balanced portfolios to equally include female-led and black-owned scaleups that could demonstrate exponential growth. In this way, we’d be able to contribute to a more equal and inclusive ecosystem and fund the companies creating meaningful jobs.
As a female-led post-seed fund (that invests post-seed equity and quasi-equity investments in early-stage innovation-driven and technology companies with strong intellectual property and evident growth potential), Grindstone Ventures aims to deliver capital growth and sustainable cash yields over the long term. Our focus and key differentiator is staying true to our diversity and inclusion mandate.
We select scaleups founded by women and men equally (50% / 50%) and those from diverse backgrounds (50% / 50%).
Matter Industries specialises in smart infrastructure technology. Matter build and sell smart sensor networks that can be monitored in real-time using their software. Matter Industries currently sells these for water pipelines, is developing for smart farms, and has a smart city POC paid for by a municipality through grants.
AgrilogiQ combines world-dass undercover farming systems and hardware, such as venting motors and weather sensors/stations, with a cloud-based IP-intensive software platform to enable wireless and intelligent poly greenhouse automation and remote management.
Drive to Own provides alternative vehicle asset finance that is affordable, flexible, and financially inclusive. Drive to Own clients pay an all-inclusive price per kilometre driven, and the car automatically takes the payment. A client gets to own the car after driving specified kilometres.
Locstat Systems has developed the world's first graph-powered complex event processing platform to perform advanced analytics. Locstat deploys a SaaS model across various customers in financial services, maritime, supply chain and security industries.
Welo Health offers a convenient way for patients to receive healthcare services and medication without leaving their homes. They offer a subscription-based model for individuals who use public healthcare, and partner with insurance and healthcare companies to provide at-home healthcare services, including lab tests and consultations with health professionals.
Sticitt makes paying for education easier. They are currently focusing on schools in South Africa and have teamed up with d6 to offer a seamless payment experience for parents, students, and schools. Sticitt aims to create a youth bank as an alternative to its payment platform.
Locumbase is an online platform that helps medical practices and hospitals quickly and easily find qualified locum providers. A female-owned team runs it and offers a supportive environment for freelancers and organisations that rely on their services.
At Play Sense, toddlers get the best start to their learning journey through a unique micro-school model and an award-winning play-based program. The program focuses on developing children's super skills through play, ensuring they thrive.