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Bluedrop, a South African startup based in Johannesburg has secured a R300-million investment from Washington-based private equity fund J Sassoon Group.
The investment will be used for the development of its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder manufacturing plant, in the west of Johannesburg.
In a statement, Bluedrop said the project aims to create 110 direct jobs during construction and 35 jobs during commercial operation.
Bluedrop CFO Kenneth Maduna said: “As a 100% black independent company, we are delighted with the investment made by J. Sassoon Group. It shows that they trust us and South Africa as an investment destination. “
The company said it will set a new standard for manufacturing gas cylinders in South Africa using the highest standards in its manufacturing processes, as well as the latest technology.
According to Bluedrop, one of the challenges they faced was that they were in a pre-income phase in a competitive and highly regulated industry. “J. Sassoon’s approach complements the strengths of startups while reinforcing their weaknesses, ”said Bluedrop.
J. Sassoon Group CEO Bruce Fein said Bluedrop was the first South African pre-income start-up the company has invested in.
“We focus on startups, entrepreneurs and mid-sized companies. Bluedrop is the type of dynamic, forward-looking business we are looking for. We are convinced that this is a value-added investment, ”he said.
Construction of the manufacturing plant was scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of this year. It will take 12-14 months to complete.
To increase the number of investable women fund managers in Southern Africa, MiDA Advisors, a global transaction and financial advisory firm, and SAVCA are launching the Women Empowerment Mentoring and Incubation Fund Manager Programme (WE>MI) supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
“Through support and funding from USAID, the programme aims to increase the number of investable women-owned and women-managed fund managers in Southern Africa by providing technical assistance and investment support facilitation,” says Nadine Mentor, Partner and Senior Managing Directorat MiDA Advisors.
The WE>MI technical assistance will include skills development in the form of workshops and masterclasses, one-on-one mentoring, and facilitated access to resource partners for women-owned and women-managed fund managers in Southern Africa.
The investment support facilitation will focus on providing participants with investment support and investment readiness assistance to increase the success rate for capital raising amongst participants. Graduates of the programme will have the opportunity to pitch their funds to key investment sources in the United States, Africa, and Europe. The selected funds will invest in companies that directly benefit the Southern African region, with a particular focus on companies that benefit women.