Clive Butkow quits as Kalon Venture Partners CEO

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 07 Nov 2023
Clive Butkow, former CEO of Kalon Venture Partners.
Clive Butkow, former CEO of Kalon Venture Partners.

Clive Butkow has stepped down from his role as CEO of Kalon Venture Partners, after almost eight years at the helm of the South African-based digital venture capital (VC) firm.

Butkow established Kalon Venture Partners in 2016 after serving in various roles at IT services and consulting firm Accenture South Africa for 28 years.

Leron Varsha has been appointed as acting CEO of Kalon.

The VC company invests in post-revenue start-ups with high-growth and high-impact potential, in the form of equity. It also assists established, but still high-risk ventures, in expanding activity such as creating additional traction in SA, and launching into Africa and then foreign markets, as well as creating new product/technology lines.

Making the announcement in a LinkedIn status update, Butkow writes that he is filled with gratitude for the investors and high-growth entrepreneurs who entrusted Kalon with their dreams, and for the entire ecosystem that fuels innovation.

Kalon has invested in 12 local tech start-up companies across various disciplines over the years, including cyber security start-up Sendmarc, marketing start-up Mobiz, payments company Ozow, fintech firm FinChatBot and proptech company Flow.

In 2021, Kalon successfully completed its final Section 12J capital raise of R250 million.

Apart from his board role on 11 of the investee companies, Butkow is actively involved in fund-raising, sales and other business-building activities.

Butkow sits on various boards of VC-owned companies and is chairman of several of them.

He also supports numerous organisations with their entrepreneurial development initiatives, including Da Vinci Institute, Endeavor (assisting high-growth SA entrepreneurs), GIBS and the SAB Miller Foundation.

Prior to joining Kalon, Butkow was COO of Accenture South Africa. During his tenure, he had numerous leadership roles, including MD of Accenture’s technology and resources businesses.

Reflecting on Kalon’s portfolio of companies, he comments: “What makes these investments even more special is the rapid growth and success that many of Kalon’s portfolio companies achieved. It's been a joy to see their ideas turn into thriving businesses, creating jobs and pushing the boundaries of what's possible.”

Butkow says he will continue to champion innovation, and support the growth of start-ups and be actively involved in the entrepreneur ecosystem in SA.