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LaunchLab assists start-up to secure R4 million staged investment

Mobile shopping application start-up, MySidekick, secured a R4 million staged investment from Stellenbosch-based technology funder and developer Alchemy-A.

Based at the Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab business incubator, MySidekick, one of the LaunchLab payments and big data focus area service providers, has developed an application that provides users with relevant shopping deals that add value by saving shoppers time and money.

The investor, Alchemy-A, is part of the EMSS Technology Group and provides seed funding to start-ups and invests in post-revenue ventures that are ready to scale. MySidekick is part of the LaunchLab’s Lift-Off Programme, which aims to grow start-ups from a valid idea to a proven business model by providing mentoring, assisting with market validation and creating opportunities to access markets and funding. The founder and CEO of MySidekick, Leonard Brewer, connected with the investor at a LaunchLab talk earlier this year where Alchemy-A co-founder Frans Meyer was a speaker.

Engaging with MySidekick, Meyer was impressed by the start-up’s pitch and business model. “We believe that retailers will spend money on the targeted advertising the application offers, especially once high consumer numbers have been reached,” said Meyer. He added that further developments will focus on the end-user and feels confident about the potential of the application.

Expanding on the investment and future role of the investor, Brewer said Alchemy-A would play an active role in strategy and product development. “We are very pleased with the investment agreement. It has given us additional resources required for growth and expansion,” said Brewer.

Philip Marais, CEO of the Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab, said that securing venture capital funding is one of the key challenges start-ups face in South Africa.

“In a small or under-developed entrepreneurial ecosystem, access to funding and investment facilitation support is limited.

Actively playing a role in mobilising the venture investment relationship is just one way that reflects how active we are in supporting investment-ready start-ups with high growth potential,” said Philip.

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