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

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.

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.

Building dedicated streaming services to serve passionate fans of niche music. It’s first product being Liedjie, a dedicated Afrikaans music streaming service.

Nichestreem was sadly retired in 2017. This after a monumental and admirable team effort.

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.

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

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.