Funding overview for tech startups

Note: We do not provide services relating to funding.
There are many sources of funding available to inventors. We summarize our favorites below:
Funder Funding stage Requirements Limit
SPII, Product Process Development Scheme and Matching Scheme


Prototype development Non-repayable grant reimbursing between 50% and 85% of “qualifying costs” incurred

Development and subsequent production must occur in South Africa

SPII application must be accompanied by valid tax clearance certificate

Approval process takes between 3 and 5 months

For more information visit our SPII page

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Up to R1 million for small companies and R3 million for small, medium or large companies
Angelhub Early stage Focuses on financial services, gaming, internet/web services, IT services, media & entertainment, mobile, software and telecommunications

Costs R500 to have your application evaluated and listed on Angelhub’s website where the applicant is introduced to potential angel investors

Application process typically takes 1 to 3 months

R1million to R10million
Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), Idea Development Fund Early stage Provides funding to entrepreneurs and small companies to: assist with patenting costs; technologies incubation at TIA’s platforms; and/or development of a fundable proposal / business plan

South African registered companies, publicly funded research organization, Higher Educational Institutions and individuals / entreprenuers can apply. However, funding will only be released to a registered company and, in certain instances, directly to the service provider

Applicants must complete the TIA online Funding Applications template

Approval process can take 3.5 months

Maximum of R200,000 per transaction, except for intellectual property registrations and renewal costs, where the allowable maximum is R500,000 per transaction

Applicants are expected to make a financial contribution

Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), Product Testing Grant Post prototype Submit an application accompanied by a valid tax clearance certificate and a quote from SABS for product testing

Approval process takes 2 to 3 weeks

Up to R60,000 for SABS product testing paid directly to SABS
4DI Capital Very early /seed stage Technology venture capital fund manager

Primary focus area: mobile proprietary owned software with potential in Africa and global markets

Applicants complete an online proposal form. This may be followed by a face-to-face meeting

Approval process typically takes 3 months

Up to R3 million in return for up to 30% equity interest
Invenfin venture capital Post proof-of-concept where there is a working prototype or beta tested software at minimum Focus: differentiated products or businesses with a sustainable competitive advantage and international potential

Approval process typically takes 6 months

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Average current investments size is R8 million in return for up to 49% equity
IDC (Venture Capital Fund) Startup Equity funding provided to startup technology-focused businesses. The IP must be “globally unique” and “science based”

Submit a business plan with financial budget

Approval process could take one month from completion of a due diligence, but complex transactions (normally including equity investments) can take up to 4 months

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Funding from R1 million to R15 million in return for an equity stage of between 25.1% and 49.9%
DTI, Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme (EMIA) Promoting product sales Available to SA manufacturers and exporters who have traded for more than one financial year. Sole proprietors or partnerships may also apply

EMIA application must be accompanied by valid tax clearance certificate

Approval process takes at least 2 months

Individual exhibition participation including:

Return economy class airfares up to a maximum of R13,000;

Maximum of 15 days subsistence allowance of R2,000 per day;

Transport of samples costs limited to R17,500; and

Exhibition fees up to a maximum of R45,000

Khula Enterprise Finance, Khula Direct Product in market, bridging finance for expansion / acquisition of fixed asset Submit application form Loan amounts range from R50,000 to R3 million. Repayment period depends on the product type, but may not exceed 5 years
GroFin All stages of development Provides finance across all sectors except for non-profit businesses, governmental organisations and businesses primarily involved in primary agriculture

Application process involves submission of an application form, business plan including 5 year cash flow forecast, copy of ID and CV

Approval process takes 6 to 7 weeks

Between R500,000 and R12 million in the form of a term loan. Base interest rate is 14%, but varies on a case by case basis. Term of the loan varies from 3 to 7 years. 30% unencumbered cash required
Business Partners Focus: All sectors

Applicants: Companies with gross assets > R100m, annual turnover

More than R500,000 and, in exceptional cases, may exceed R5m. Average repayment period is 5 years. Current average value per financing transaction is R1.8m
Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), Technology Transfer Fund Post prototype Non-repayable grant to business with turnover less than R5 million per annum (i.e. small companies) for specific technology

Approval process takes 6 to 12 months

Up to R600,000
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