Black Women-Owned South African Fund Managers
We have our roots in business and private equity. We are passionate about making a difference in the world through the allocation of capital with impact. We invest in SMEs using our ‘Gender Lens’ which assessing what the future of gender in that SME could be, and by implementing our gender development programme guided by the management team. Our portfolio companies don't have to be women-owned to qualify for investment - just positively predisposed to us helping them get there.
Founded in 2017, FyreFem’s mission is to be a careful custodian of private equity capital while making sure that all capital allocated by us helps to change the world, starting in Africa. We aim for healthy SME’s in our portfolios, healthy returns, healthy societies, and healthy economic systems. We focus on SME’s throughout their lifecycles, from incubated venture capital funds, to portfolio companies in growth phases, all the way through to working with distressed assets to nurse them back to health with capital injections (only where capital can remedy the distress). We like to see productive SME’s, assets and productive people. We value growth but equally enjoy repurposing, if value is restored. We value transparent and fair dealings and have a great deal of respect for diversity. SDG 5 and 8 guide our investments.
FyreFem focuses on high growth SME post-profit investments in job-rich sectors such as food, manufacturing, services, fintech, energy and mining supplies. The Fund focuses on the SME space with criteria that the enterprise value of the SME target is R300 million or less.
We bring women into portfolio company ownership, C-Suite and the boardroom during the period of our investment in a structured 5-year programme with our “FyreFly Development Programme”. We ask our portfolio companies to sign up to the FyreFly Development Programme at term sheet phase so that we can work during our investment period to make sure we leave women-owned SME’s in our wake.
We believe that not only is funding needed for growth in the South African SME space but critically, skills development is needed during the critical period in which growth capital is introduced to the SME.
We secured and unsecured growth funding to SMEs that are more than 2 years old, in support of either growth or acquisition mandates. We have a preference for funding women owned businesses or those that are seeking to create women ownership using the loan funding as a mechanism to do or over the term of our loan.
Our model is to create women ownership in SME’s through direct facilitation between prospective women owners and SME’s. We upskill the new women owners. We present our SME’s to Impact funders to access growth capital. We use our deep networks in Finance and Private Equity to achieve these outcomes and pair this with deal structuring skills to facilitate the entry of new owners. We create and upskill women owned SME’s so that they can take a seat at the board and C-Suite with confidence. This programme is called is the FyreFly Development Programme.
Women who are selected from the SMES to partake in this programme will benefit from the following initiatives:
Monthly development modules in essential business subjects;
Cohort Circle Engagements with leading women in business;
One-on-One Consultation and Coaching;
Sponsored Insight Events
OUR GENDER FOCUS
Our name comes from our desire and commitment to contribute to towards the development and transformation of the private equity industry and to be more representative of women. In our unique position we seek to meaningfully transform not only our own work environment but that of our portfolio companies through specialised post-investment strategies. FyreFem will work closely with its Portfolio Companies to ensure transformation of women staff takes place at every level i.e. Board, Management and Staff. We seek to empower women through our “FyreFly Development Programme”.
HOW WE MAKE SUPER RETURNS
We find the right deal.
We access our multiple origination channels to find businesses that require capital and are aligned to our philosophy.
Our strong and well established networks include private equity and impact funds, business rescue practitioners, audit firms, corporate finance advisors and law firms.
We are hands on
We work together with our portfolio companies to build value.
We help our businesses up-skill relative to the Financial Regulatory environment, BEE, SD Goals & Governance Codes.
We also understand financial engineering and the Companies Act. We know how to access incentives and grants and certainly are plugged in to the market for deal opportunities for our portfolio companies.
Gender divesity improves performance
The IFC's 2019 report notes that gender diverse fund managers have an increased IRR of 20% over the mean emerging market IRR of 6.4% for Sub Saharan Africa (5% for multi-market) or 7.8% for growth equity.
We want to ensure that our decision are made by gender diverse teams and that our portfolio companies benefit from this. The same report finds valuation enhancements from gender diverse teams at this level also.
Our staff is made up of individuals from different backgrounds who use their experience in the financial, legal, business rescue worlds to help businesses and restore companies to good health and growth. Check out the people who make FyreFem such a great Investment Management Firm. Get in touch with us if you’re interested in joining our team.
Founding shareholder and Chairwoman of FyreFem Fund Managers
As a founding director Nhlanhla is invaluable to provide the FyreFem board with strategic guidance and deal sourcing. Her background as economic advisory in the Presidency and her current board positions at Capitec, Pioneer Foods, Ansys, Aurecon and many others, provides the team with invaluable expertise. Nonhlanhla has won the SABC Lebone Businesswoman of the Year Award and several other awards for business leadership and social entrepreneurship. She has a BA from the University of Fort Hare and an MA in City and Regional Planning from the University of Cape Town. In addition, she has completed modules in Management at the Washington State University, a Fellowship in Urban Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Certificate in Finance at the Wharton School of Business (USA), a Senior Executive Leadership Programme at Harvard University and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Technology Management at Warwick University (UK).
Founding shareholder FyreFem Fund Managers
CEO of FyreFem Fund Managers
Cathy originates, assesses and structures all new transactions. A Business Rescue Practitioner and Private Equity player and SAVCA board member, Cathy has experience and skills also as merchant banker, corporate financier, and always asks the right questions when evaluating a great deal.
Cathy has worked at blue-chip companies in investment banking and corporate finance including Investec, Deloitte and EY. Cathy started associate company, Firebird Advisors where she is leveraging her corporate finance, merchant banking, private equity and business rescue skills. She has extensive BEE and transaction experience during her tenure as Chief Investment Officer of a boutique Private Equity firm. She is a board member of the South African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (“SAVCA”). She was voted 5th in the 10 Power Women Shaping Africa’s Private Equity Market by AfkInsider.com in the Fall 2015 Edition of Women in Private Equity Awards. She is a registered Senior Business Rescue Practitioner and has experience in working with distressed assets and turnarounds. Cathy has a passion for re-igniting growth and reviving troubled businesses.
Shareholder FyreFem Fund Managers
Director of FyreFem Fund Managers
Director and shareholder in FyreFem, Nthabiseng is a qualified Charted Accountant by trade with over 10 years of experience acting as a chairperson as well as a board member for several companies, both private and those listed on the JSE.
OUR CLIENTS & PARTNERS
Incubator and VC Fund
Savant is a long-term strategic commercial partner to select South African hardware technology companies. Savant is in the business of de-risking excellent South African technology ventures from an early stage and helping them grow into sustainable South African businesses with global market appeal.
FyreFem provides financial compliance services to Savant.
Seed and early stage technology VC Firm
4Di Capital is an independent venture capital fund manager based in South Africa’s “Silicon Cape”, specialising in high-growth technology venture opportunities, at the seed, early-and growth-funding stages. The fund manager has offices in Cape Town, South Africa and Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.
FyreFem provides financial compliance services to Savant.
Business rescue practitioners, turnaround consultants and business intelligence
Business Rescue Partners have a sterling record of success in taking businesses through business rescue and the turnaround process with smart systems. The team makes sure that only those businesses that can really be rescued are taken on.
FyreFem and Business Rescue Partners have worked together since 2016.