It is easier to invest in private companies than it is to unlock value from these investments. While the venture capital (VC) & private equity (PE) investment space is gaining more and more momentum in Africa, the process of exiting these investments remains a challenge.

What many investors and entrepreneurs don’t realise is that positioning a business for a successful exit already starts in the due diligence process – even before investment. Exit strategies will most likely influence the investment term sheet and govern the relationship between the entrepreneur and investor. It is therefore critical to align interests between them.

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Exit-centric business building ensures that growth is engineered so that companies become enticing prospects for stakeholders to do business with – and possibly acquire. It involves generating meaningful traction off a solid foundation of corporate governance and focusing on achieving set milestones.


The investment approach is based on an understanding of the growth gaps in executing an ambitious strategy and overcoming the challenges faced at each stage of the business building cycle from startup to sale. The business should be packaged and enabled to rapidly react to any window of opportunity for corporate activity. Knife Capital also assists portfolio companies with maintaining a virtual data room at all times.


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2015 – Garmin acquired iKubu – a startup that specialised in radar and computer vision technology. iKubu came through Knife’s Grindstone Accelerator programme. They developed a micro radar system that alerts cyclists of what’s happening around them on the road.
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2011 – GE acquired the technology assets of CSense Systems – A predictive analytics software business with industrial applications. On the back of this success, Knife subsequently invested in another high-growth business with one of the CSense co-founders and remain invested there.
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2011 – Visa acquired mobile financial services startup Fundamo for $110m. Apart from investing, Knife helped position Fundamo for exit-readiness and was integral in the negotiations.
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2017 – Knife assisted in positioning sports radar business FlightScope for exit, resulting in lucrative offers. But worked with the entrepreneurs to facilitate a Management Buy-Out for a mutually beneficial outcome. Subsequently IMG Arena acquired FlightScope Services.
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2018 – Uber Eats acquired online restaurant ordering systems provider orderTalk. Knife walked a meaningful journey with the entrepreneurial team, and remain close friends with the CEO who regularly mentors entrepreneurs in Knife’s current portfolio.
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2021 – Visitor Management startup WizzPass completed Knife Capital’s Grindstone Accelerator programme in 2020 and approached Knife to act as Exit advisors given rising inbound interest. FM:Systems (a dominant provider of digital workplace solutions globally backed by AKKR) acquired the business.
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2022 – Through our Family Office network, Knife managed an investment in Proglove, a leader in industrial Internet-of-Things (IoT) wearables. ProGlove has recently been acquired by private equity investor Nordic Capital.