Fur­ther ven­tures planned

Im­prove­ments may be ahead; li­a­bil­i­ties are down, a joint ven­ture is be­ing set up and the fund man­ager is gain­ing crit­i­cal mass

Financial Mail - - MONEY&INVESTING - Stephen Cranston cranstons@fm.co.za

Ethan Dube, the CEO of Vunani, has a strong rep­u­ta­tion as one of SA’S top cor­po­rate fi­nanciers. His rep­u­ta­tion was barely dented by Vunani’s spon­sor­ship of the failed list­ing of the Sa­gar­matha busi­nesses, which is col­lec­tively claimed to be an “African uni­corn”. That move was just tak­ing a fee for a ser­vice, and which spon­sor­ing bro­ker has never spon­sored a dud?

But Dube is tak­ing more of a risk by set­ting up a R100m joint ven­ture with Ayo Tech­nolo­gies, which would have been the heart of the pro­posed uni­corn. Dube de­scribes Ayo as a solid busi­ness built from scratch. “We weighed up the noise, but the main thing is that it was will­ing to do a deal on our terms.”

Ayo has re­la­tion­ships with busi­nesses such as IBM, Cisco and Mi­crosoft, which un­doubt­edly help the process along. Dube says the joint ven­ture will fo­cus only on ar­eas of in­ter­est to Vunani: tech­nol­ogy to en­hance fi­nan­cial ser­vices or fin­tech. Nat­u­rally Dube hopes it will be a dis­rupter, which should have a large im­pact

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