Convergence Partners Investments rebrands to Solcon Capital

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 13 Jun 2023
Andile Ngcaba, chairman of Solcon Capital.
Andile Ngcaba, chairman of Solcon Capital.

Convergence Partners Investments, the deep-tech investor started by Andile Ngcaba in 2003, has rebranded to Solcon Capital.

In a statement, the firm says the move comes as the company launches a big push to empower global deep-tech growth through platform economics.

Convergence Partners Investments (now Solcon Capital) was the first vehicle structured as a permanent capital vehicle in the Convergence Partners stable.

Ngcaba remains firmly invested in and continues to drive the growth at Convergence Partners, which will continue to focus on private equity through its current and future digital infrastructure funds.

Under this new brand, Solcon will focus on international deep-tech investments in generative AI and large language models (LLM), synthetic data and big data, cyber security and quantum computing across South Africa, India and Southeast Asia, leveraging scale through platform economics, says the firm.

It adds that Solcon is already demonstrating its leadership in innovation and disruptive solutions. It is working on its flagship AI-based investment management platform, Solcon 360, to be unveiled at its 20th anniversary celebrations in October.

According to the company, this platform will enable investment firms to manage pipelines, virtual data room and operations of their portfolios more effectively.

With its own large-scale LLM, the firm notes Solcon 360 will allow investment companies to capitalise on generative AI and build custom models tailored to their investment needs.

As part of the rebranding, Solcon also announced the appointment of Pramod Venkatesh as CEO, starting 1 August.

He will spearhead the global growth of the company. The firm says Venkatesh has extensive experience in managing and building deep-tech companies from the ground up, garnered from Silicon Valley.

Prior to joining Solcon Capital, Venkatesh was group CTO of inq. where he was responsible for building products and solutions around AI, SDN and edge computing.

Ngcaba, chairman of Solcon Capital, comments: “Solcon Capital has a 20-year history of innovation and disruption through investments in companies that have built undersea cables, long-haul fibre, big data, etc. In this new chapter, Solcon Capital will be known as one of the leading global deep-tech investment companies.

“We are excited to bring onboard Pramod Venkatesh, with extensive experience in Silicon Valley and expertise in building deep-tech companies. Pramod will execute Solcon Capital’s 2035 strategy. With Pramod at the helm, we will continue to disrupt deep-tech and are excited to show what the future holds.”

Brandon Doyle, director of Solcon Capital, says: “The exponential growth of Convergence Partners in the past 20 years and our geographic expansion to new Asian markets makes this strategic move of rebranding our permanent capital vehicle to Solcon Capital timely and ideal given the strides we have made. 

"We welcome Pramod to drive our global deep-tech strategy and ensure we make use of cutting-edge technologies to assist us with portfolio management.”

Says Venkatesh: “The technology sector has undergone some incredibly transformative changes, with significant innovations in AI, LLM and space tech, which have already begun to dramatically reshape the global business landscape.

“As a deep tech investor, along with our rich two-decade-long history in Africa, Solcon Capital has been a fundamental driving force behind the radical transformation of the continent’s tech ecosystem.

“As we step confidently into the future, we remain committed to leveraging our global portfolio to extend our African footprint, while concurrently investing in African deep-tech companies in their global expansion efforts. I am profoundly grateful to the shareholders, directors and the chairman for entrusting me with the responsibility of spearheading Solcon Capital on its journey towards actualising the 2035 deep-tech strategy.”

Solcon Capital will celebrate its 20th anniversary on 25 October, through a conference and hackathon on Web 3.0 and generative AI in Sandton, South Africa.