IDF Capital is an established financier, investing in high growth SMEs/Entrepreneurial businesses. We invest with a gender lens strategy, backing innovative businesses that yield both commercial and social returns. We provide capital through short and long-term debt, quasi-equity and equity instruments. Since 2008, as the first female-owned and led multi-fund manager, we set out to bridge the gap in access to finance by providing responsive and innovative financial solutions to high growth entrepreneurial businesses in South Africa. Over the years, we have built an impressive track record in deploying intelligent capital that unlocks the economic potential of sub-Saharan Africa. As “Value Catalysts”, our investment philosophy is centred on creation of value at all touchpoints in our investment processes. Through our deepened understanding of the SME sector, IDF Capital has become a thought leader and a trusted partner offering bespoke SME funding and growth solutions. Our diverse and multi-disciplinary team brings on board deep industry expertise in assessing investment opportunities, creating value for both the investees and investors. As a women-owned and led Fund manager in South Africa, with a strong focus on female-owned entrepreneurial business, IDF Capital charted the course and narrative on the credible investment case for investing in women-owned businesses, an important fundamental pillar in Gender Lens Investing (GLI) strategy, that has gained worldwide acclaim.
Our story of impact is woven into the very fabric of our existence and purpose. With a relentless pursuit of positive outcomes, we strive to add value and make a meaningful difference in the entrepreneurs and the communities they serve. By adhering to a Gender Lens Investing (GLI) strategy, we empower women and enhance their economic participation, contributing to a more equitable society. We believe financial inclusion is a panacea to socio-economic challenges experienced in Africa, hence our purpose is to facilitate access to finance to entrepreneurial businesses. By pursuing impact outcomes, we see our business’ progression through the same impact lens.
As a female-led company, we take pride in fostering a diverse and inclusive investment portfolio, with 59% of our portfolio comprising female-owned ventures. This is a result of our entrenched Gender Lens Investing (GLI) strategy that ensures women economic participation. We have to date supported more than 77,000 jobs and invested in more than 280 businesses.
Our fiduciary responsibility to our investors is aligned with our philosophy to invest in businesses and economic activity that considers the most material Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) elements, whilst protecting our investments against ESG risk, and capitalise on dormant ESG returns. Our impact goal is to create a society that thrives on goodness, and in pursuit of that, we align our investment mandates and activities with the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The impact of our investments is measured and monitored throughout the investment life cycle, and we work towards institutionalizing sustainable impact even after exit.
Polo is an accomplished and experienced entrepreneur and private equity investor.
Simbisai’s portfolio includes strategy, operations, systems and investor relations.
Themba Ntini is the Investment Manager at IDF Capital and previously was a lead transactor for seven funds under management.
Pyi Maung is an experienced professional who holds an MBA from theUniversity of Cape Town – Graduate School of Business,
Mphethe is the Business Development Executive at IDF Capital. His role involves turning around complex distressed businesses in the portfolios that have good potential to succeed.
Mantshabeng started her career as an HR Graduate at Standard Bank in 2004, moved to Channel Life Insurance company as an HR Consultant.
Lebo’s role at IDF Capital involves detail reviewing of proposals (both commercial viability and compliance),
The working capital challenge is widely inherent in SMEs. They require working capital funding for growth, profitability, and sustainability. SMEs are riskier and less profitable than larger enterprises and they usually hit a brick wall when seeking working capital financing. In the past, many SME businesses offered concessions or discounts as incentives to secure immediate payment. However, in today’s competitive business environment most customers expect an extended timeline for payment. However, by extending payment terms, working capital is diminished, negatively impacting the business growth. This necessitated IDF Capital to explore innovative ways to circumvent the challenges and mitigate risks that are associated with funding SMEs for working capital. Invoice discounting and purchase order funding are appropriate and effective solutions to the challenge highlighted above.
TAPPING INTO AFRICA’S FUTURE
Improved business trading policies, increasing urbanization, a larger and more educated workforce, and rising consumer spending, make Africa one of the most vibrant, new frontier market economies in the world. IDF Capital is tapping into this market through its tailored financial services offering for African entrepreneurs. In 2015, IDF Capital jointly established a Sub-Saharan Africa SME PE Fund called Alitheia IDF in collaboration with Alitheia Capital of Lagos, Nigeria.
AIF invests in high performing diverse teams to achieve superior returns by leveraging the gender effect. Studies (by Harvard and Mckinsey) have shown that gender diverse teams are more inclusive, intuitive and conscious than their peers. This means that these businesses are more in tune with their markets, their employees and their stakeholders. They have the ability to bring in new ideas to solve problems, and develop the relationships to ensure success for the business, empower more people to be successful within the organization and with their
customers. With this insight, the AIF team is leveraging its combined experience of over 60 years and its extensive network to access a proprietary pipeline of gender-diverse businesses that leverage key leadership characteristics to achieve superior returns in sub-Saharan Africa. Building on the strong momentum from current funds in South Africa and Nigeria, AIF’s $100M Fund will continue to invest in and
support high growth small and medium enterprises (SMEs) led by gender diverse teams and poised to scale.
AIF has a strong pipeline of potential investees that offer:
capital appreciation through predictable growth and scaling; can become attractive trade sale targets (primary exit route) or secondary buy-out candidates; and have demonstrated strong cash generation, EBIT growth, corporate governance and operating standards.
Polo is an accomplished and experienced entrepreneur and private equity investor. Through IDF Capital, Polo has contributed towards channeling investments into women-owned SMEs across South Africa. In 2015, she co-founded Alitheia IDF to continue investing in high growth businesses across Sub-Saharan Africa that are women-owned and led.
Polo is an accountant by training and has varied experience in both the Public and Private sectors of South Africa which includes accounting and auditing, corporate finance, investment banking, public policy formulation, venture capital and private equity in the SME sector. She was tasked with leading the process of developing South Africa’s first ever Codes of Good Practice on Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment which is a Government policy seeking to transform the South African economic landscape to be more reflective of its population demographics. As a result of this work which has changed how Corporate South Africa interacts with the rest of the economy, she is considered a thought leader in areas of economic transformation and development.
Polo is an accomplished public speaker and contributor to thought leadership articles on transformation and entrepreneurship. She was also part of South Africa’s version of the Dragons Den show and is also a co-author of a book called “…..and for all these reasons, I’M IN…..”, which seeks to assist entrepreneurs to become investor-ready.
Stella is the Chief Financial Officer. Her role provides strategic financial leadership to the group and manages the financial health and governance of the organisation. As a member of the Executive Committee, her role has a direct influence on the organisational strategy and value creation/preservation.
Simbisai’s portfolio includes strategy, operations, systems and investor relations. Working closely with all functional areas, she is the custodian of the organisational key performance indicators and monitors the activities and results of each department. Simbisai monitors actual Fund Performance KPIs against set targets. In her role, she has successfully set up enhanced operational models and SOPs to ensure organisational efficiencies. Simbisai is a versatile professional and her multi-skills are an asset to the business as she offers strategic guidance to all business functional areas. She has led the capital raise and advisory mandates for the IDF Group.
Themba Ntini is the Investment Manager at IDF Capital and previously was a lead transactor for seven funds under management. His contribution to the total Portfolio includes deal execution and exits, and Value Creation (supporting the Post Investment Team) in various sectors. His roles and responsibilities include deal sourcing, due diligence, structuring, and portfolio management
Themba has 14 years experience in Due diligence, debt structuring, financial risk assessment and transaction implementation.
Pyi Maung is an experienced professional who holds an MBA from the University of Cape Town – Graduate School of Business, as well as a Bachelor of Business Science in Finance from UCT. He boasts extensive experience in Corporate Finance and Private Equity through his work at institutions such as Morgan Stanley and Old Mutual. This experience has enabled him to gain a thorough understanding of financial models, investment thesis formulation and implementation, and post-investment management. Strong analytical decision-making sets him apart from his peers and he has good communication skills. He has 9 years of experience working with investments in the listed and unlisted environment in Africa.
Mphethe is the Stakeholder Relations Executive at IDF Capital. His role involves turning around complex distressed businesses in the portfolios that have good potential to succeed; conducting effective portfolio management to reduce the portfolio risk of the company; and maintaining relationships with stakeholders introducing clients to networks.
Mantshabeng started her career as an HR Graduate at Standard Bank in 2004, moved to Channel Life Insurance company as an HR Consultant. Progressed to Nedbank for just over 9 years leaving as a Provincial HR Manager. She moved to Hollard Insurance as a Senior HR Business Partner for 6 years prior to joining IDF Capital as Head of HR in February 2022.
In her current role, she is responsible for the full HR Value Chain/HR Offering for the IDF Capital Group (Including subsidiaries).
Lebo’s role at IDF Capital involves detail reviewing of proposals (both commercial viability and compliance). He has 9 years experience in post investment, financial modelling, valuations, reporting, due diligence, deal structuring, post investment monitoring and value add services to the investment portfolio.
He has also been exposed to impact investing as well as assessing deals in line with ESG matrixes.