Venturing & adventuring

In 2017 I left my operational leadership role at Automattic, after helping guide WooCommerce into it’s new home. It was a rollercoaster of emotion.

Since then I’ve enjoyed a re-defining season – an MBA of real-life experiences. Getting closer to the coalface again. Immersing myself in new technologies, sectors, communities & curiosities. Meeting an array of smart, passionate entrepreneurs.

Thanks to these experiences I’ve made a handful of investments in some inspiring, impactful and predominantly 🇿🇦 Cape Town based startups.

Updated: December 2019

Context: In 2008, together with 2 strangers, I started a WordPress theming company called WooThemes. A few years later the company birthed WooCommerce. An ecommerce plugin that took us on a rocket ride and culminated in an acquisition.

My startup investments

Invested in 2016

Founded by engineers with a passion for security. Securing South African homes and businesses with an IoT device that sits between your alarm system and your CCTV cameras. Providing immediate, informative insights and video verifications.

Invested in 2016

A company that breathes creativity. On a mission to equip anyone and everyone with the tools, confidence, and knowledge to build a business, grow a brand, or stand out in an increasingly crowded world.

2020 – Sold to GoDaddy

Invested in 2016

NicheStreem built a technology that enables it to provide unique, curated music streams for specific markets around the globe and looks set to make waves in the global online music industry, one niche community at a time.

It’s first product app being Liedjie, a dedicated Afrikaans music streaming service.

2017 – Retired after a valiant effort

Invested in 2018

JONGA is the only community-based security system, providing affordable & effective protection for you and your home by empowering low-income communities to work together.

Invested in 2019

A team passionate about grocery shopping with a mission of making quality food more easily accessible to South Africa’s townships.

Invested in 2018

Castle One brings together talent and resources to build a more connected experience for people and businesses in the property space. Coming out of hibernation soon.

My investment philosophy

Sentian catching a criminal (at our house).

Understand the model + relate to the mission

There must be ample opportunity to leverage my learnings and networks to provide practical support to achieve a mission I believe in.

Showcasing the Jonga offering in Khayelitsha.

Driven by smart, hard working, good people

I like to work with experienced and complementary co-founders who have the ability to elegantly seesaw between strategy and execution.

Yebofresh food deliveries.

Making a positive impact in South Africa

A self-imposed moral obligation to invest into the local SMB space, to rally against socio-economic problems and help birth meaningful businesses.

With a seemingly diverse portfolio, and my capital deployed, I’m now focussed on identifying the unifying forces. Helping make the businesses stronger and collectively better positioned for success.