The Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA) has announced the inaugural SAVCA Industry Awards. The awards will recognise portfolio companies, startups that have raised venture capital (VC) funding, and thrived as a result.

For a company to qualify to be nominated for the inaugural awards it needs to have its head office in Southern Africa, among other criteria.

"With an increased government focus on small business as a contributor to overall GDP and employment growth, these awards will serve to highlight the achievements of portfolio companies as they relate to innovation; environmental and social impacts; profit and investor returns; job creation and reputation,” said Tanya van Lill, CEO at SAVCA.

Moreover, another important criteria is that for a company to qualify for the inaugural SAVCA Industry Awards it needs have had investors exit within the past year. Nominations for the awards close on 15 April 2018.

"We are delighted to be associated with the very first SAVCA Industry Awards as lead sponsor. We are especially proud to be part of an event that recognises the exceptional performance of portfolio companies in the sector, as well as their contribution to society and Southern Africa as a whole,” said Lourens van Rensburg, Head of Investec Corporate and Institutional Banking.

Companies, including technology startups, can be nominated in various categories which include the following:

  • Small Companies - seed/early stage growth investments with an enterprise value of under R50 million and revenue of under R200 million.

  • Medium-sized Companies - expansion stage investments with an enterprise value of R50 million to R1 billion and revenue of R200 million to R2 billion.

  • Large Companies - with an enterprise value of more than R1 billion and revenue of above R2 billion per annum.

  • Chairman’s Award - recognising exemplary work within the sector, awarded at the judges’ discretion.

South Africa has a vibrant VC ecosystem and the awards will likely play an important role in highlighting its successes.

"We are looking for businesses that stand out amongst their peers; demonstrating skilled execution of particular projects as well as evidence of bold and authentic leadership. The positive impact that private equity/venture capital has had on the business also needs to be reflected – this includes mentorship, strategic advice, governance and new market access.” said van Lill.

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