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Ngcaba’s Solcon, IFC hunt for deep-tech investments

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's news editor.
Johannesburg, 28 Feb 2024
Andile Ngcaba, chairman of Solcon Capital.
Andile Ngcaba, chairman of Solcon Capital.

Businessman Andile Ngcaba’s investment firm Solcon Capital has partnered with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to identify and nurture investment opportunities in the deep-tech sector within India and South Africa, with the goal of propelling the digital economy in these burgeoning markets.

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

Under the terms of this agreement, IFC and Solcon Capital will collaboratively work to pinpoint and provide growth capital to promising companies in the deep tech domain.

The companies say this initiative will focus on critical areas such as 5G, AI, IOT, big data, and cyber security.

This partnership symbolises a synergistic blend of IFC’s profound insights into investing in the private sector in emerging markets with Solcon Capital’s two decades of experience in building innovative companies in the deep tech space.

“This exciting partnership combines IFC's expertise in supporting private sector growth in emerging markets with Solcon Capital’s deep tech investment, acumen and outstanding global investment track record,” says Sarvesh Suri, IFC’s regional industry director for infrastructure and natural resources, Africa.

“This is an exceptional opportunity to leverage our combined strengths to make a lasting impact by fostering innovation and growth in the deep tech sectors in South Africa and India, in the context of IFC expanding its scope into infratech globally.”

According to Solcon, the deep tech space is experiencing an unprecedented growth trajectory.

It notes that the 5G deep structure market alone, a crucial segment of this sector, was valued at about $20.19 billion in 2022 and is expected to skyrocket to $348.76 billion by 2030, marking a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 45.2%.

Similarly, it adds, the IOT market, with a valuation of approximately $544.38 billion in 2022, is anticipated to expand to $3.352 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 26.1%.

These sectors are thriving due to the rising demand for high-bandwidth and the integration of advanced technologies in diverse industries, says the firm.

It points out that technologies like 5G and IOT are not just transforming industries but are also significantly impacting everyday life and work.

“This is a move that promises to reshape the deep tech landscape in both India and South Africa. It’s a partnership that represents the strategic alliance aimed at unlocking and nurturing significant investment opportunities within the deep tech sector and by combining IFC’s extensive experience and Solcon’s two-decade journey of spearheading deep tech innovations, these investments will catalyse the digital economies of both markets,” says Pramod Venkatesh, CEO of Solcon Capital.

Ngcaba comments: “Through our partnership with IFC, we aim to accelerate the development of deep tech companies in both regions and facilitate cross-collaboration, leveraging diverse talents and markets. We are committed to fostering a thriving technological ecosystem that drives innovation and growth.”