HBD Ventures US$5.1 million On Fundamo Growth in South Africa

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

HBD Venture Capital has invested US$5.1 million in technology developer Fundamo to help it tap into foreign markets with its mobile banking and payment software.

HBD is the venture capital fund set up by Cape Town internet billionaire Mark Shuttleworth. Fundamo is another Cape-based enterprise, which now aims to expand elsewhere in Africa, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and the US.

  It is already one of the top global players in its niche, and won the international Frost & Sullivan Technology Leadership award last year . Its software is used for the cellphone banking services offered by MTN, and is also used by cellphone operators, banks and financial services firms to manage banking and account payments over cellphones .

HBD CEO Julia Long said yesterday that Fundamo had exceptional potential, and because it did not have any strong competition locally, there were good opportunities at home and abroad.

"This is a very interesting company, not only because they spotted the gap in this market long before the rest of the world, but because they have consistently improved their product to the world-class standard it is today," she said.

The venture capital fund usually invested in immature companies yet to make a profit, Long said. "It is a more mature company than our usual investments. However, it still fits many of our investment criteria."

(Source: Business Day)