[DailyPay in PR Newswire] Top American Companies Demonstrate Commitment To Their Employees’ Financial Wellness By Partnering With DailyPay To Support “America Saves Week”

Leading American companies are prioritizing their employees’ financial wellness by teaming up with DailyPay to support employee savings and “America Saves Week.” The annual event that kicks off today is organized by the nonprofit America Saves, an initiative of the Consumer Federation of America. The event’s mission is to encourage and support Americans to save effectively, aimed at motivating individuals and families to take better control of their finances and achieve financial stability.

Read more here.

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New Intel Capital Anthony Lin chief reiterates commitment to diversity – Silicon Valley Business Journal – Silicon Valley Business Journal

New Intel Capital Anthony Lin chief reiterates commitment to diversity – Silicon Valley Business Journal  Silicon Valley Business Journal
“startups when:1d” – Google News

South African VC firm Knife Capital gets first commitment for its $50M fund, to invest in 10-12 Series B rounds – Yahoo News

South African VC firm Knife Capital gets first commitment for its $ 50M fund, to invest in 10-12 Series B rounds  Yahoo News
“startups when:1d” – Google News

South African VC firm Knife Capital gets first commitment for its $50M fund, to invest in 10-12 Series B rounds

Knife Capital, a South African venture capital firm, is raising a $ 50 million fund for startups looking to raise Series B financing. With Knife Fund III called the African Series B Expansion Fund, the firm seeks to directly invest in the aggressive expansion of South African breakout companies. It also plans to co-invest in companies across the rest of Africa.

The first fund, known as Knife Capital Fund I or HBD Venture Capital, was a closed private equity fund managed by Eben van Heerden and Keet van Zyl. The firm offered seed capital to startups. It also generated significant exits from its portfolio — VISA acquisition of fintech startup Fundamo, and orderTalk’s acquisition by UberEats come to mind.

In 2016, the VC firm launched its current 12J offering with Knife Capital Fund II. The fund (KNF Ventures) which invests primarily in Series A stage has eight startups in its portfolio. Last year the firm told TechCrunch of its intention to extend the Fund II and open to new investors. The plan was to give startups access to networks, money and expansion opportunities.

“We want to help South African and African companies internationalize,” said co-managing partner Andrea Bohmert at the time. A testament to its cause, one of its portfolio companies, DataProphet, raised $ 6 million Series A to expand into the U.S. and Europe.

Bohmert tells TechCrunch that the third fund aims to address the critical Series B funding gap that has characterised the venture capital asset class in South Africa, resulting in businesses not reaching full potential or exiting too early.

“Lately, we see an increase in companies able to raise $ 2 million to $ 5 million funding rounds. And while the companies are operating within their home country, in our case South Africa, such amounts take you far due to the local cost structure,” Bohmert says. “However, once these companies start gaining international traction and need to build an infrastructure outside of their home country, they need to raise significant amounts to afford so. There are currently hardly any South African VC funds, perhaps other than Naspers Foundry, that can write checks of $ 5 million or more and are willing to deploy them to finance the externalization of South African companies into larger markets.”

As a result, Bohmert argues that Africa has become an incubator for international VCs who can write these checks but cannot provide the local support most of these companies still need. Likewise, there are instances where international investors actively search for local co-investors in South Africa to invest in a round, and not finding one might blow the chances of them going further with the investment. This is the gap Knife Capital intends to fill by launching this fund, Bohmert says.

“We want to be the local lead investor of choice for South African technology companies looking to internationalise, co-investing with international investors who can lead the Series B discussion and further.”  

This week, Knife Capital secured $ 10 million out of the 50 from Mineworkers Investment Company (MIC), a South Africa-based investment firm. The commitment positions MIC as an anchor investor to the fund alongside other local and international investors.

Nchaupe Khaole, the CIO at MIC, explained that the move to change the way local institutional investors approach venture capital investment has been in MIC’s pipeline for a while. And by partnering with Knife Capital, this idea can begin to materialize.

“Our commitment brings to the table the investment, along with many of our strengths as an experienced player. One of which is our ability to influence the companies within our portfolio to partner with us and effect real, tangible change to the South African economy. We are delighted to be a key catalyst in the success of this funding round,” he said.

As per other details, Knife Capital aims for a first close by May and a final close by the end of the year. Most of its participation will be co-investing, and the idea is to that in 10 to 12 companies.

Startups – TechCrunch

Biden’s commitment to diversity sets the tone for business leaders

I have a confession to make: my company fell short of its DEI goal in 2020.

Heading into the year, our goal was to build a workforce that’s 44% women and 14% Underrepresented People (URP). We made some strides, but currently those figures are 43% and 13%, respectively.

Here’s why these goals are important to me: I immigrated to America at 17 with my mother and brother from Nicaragua. I was promised a land where anything is possible with some know-how and hard work. Yet, growing up, I can’t recall ever seeing a business leader, an elected official, or even a school principal who looked like me. There was never a Black Marc Benioff or a Latino Steve Jobs in the press to make that kind of accomplishment feel possible.

Things have changed at the very highest levels, beginning with the election of President Obama in 2008, which can’t be understated for its impact on people of color. Now, as a new administration takes power, President Biden is doing something well overdue in building a cabinet that “represents the diversity of our nation.”

His team is highlighted by influential voices from the Black and Latinx communities, including Ambassador to the United Nations nominee Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Department of Homeland Security Secretary nominee Alejandro Mayorkas.

I thought back to how a 17-year-old me would have felt seeing a former refugee steering the future of our country and how differently my worldview might have developed. I became more motivated to double down on our commitment. After all, if the public sector is able to make this commitment, then surely it should be possible for businesses to do the same.

Every business should have a DEI game plan in 2021. Here’s ours:

Skip the board and tap employees for ideas

While the board room is becoming a more diverse place, ultimately, this isn’t where progress is made. Rather, progress is made when employees feel empowered to combine their skills with their passions.

This is exactly what happened in our company this year.

Watching the outsized impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on Black-owned businesses, several employees came to us with an idea: they wanted to find a way to use our products to help Black-owned businesses outlast the shutdowns. They started by working with William Murrell, owner of BlackBoston.com to understand his needs–and how we could help him connect with website visitors. By working with William’s network, we became more aware of the barriers that deter Black-owned businesses from adopting technology and created a repeatable process to bridge the gap.

These decisions, and the resulting initiative weren’t made in a boardroom–where so much time is spent determining the path to profitability–but rather among employees that wanted to improve their community and saw a way how.

To make these efforts more commonplace, we’ve hired a diversity-focused recruiter to make sure our teams better reflect our communities. We’ve also created processes like Balanced Hiring, to help underrepresented groups get to the interview stage and reduce bias in the hiring decision. On the other side of the coin, we also aim to learn from our leavers–so we understand areas for improvement and can help them thrive beyond our company.

Don’t let remote work hinder expression and belonging

Right now, people are not working normal hours; they are juggling childcare, remote work and more; for leaders, understanding and relating to that trauma is an essential. To date, we announced that we moved our fiscal year-end to January. This way, our sales and go-to-market teams could spend the holidays recharging with family, rather than scrambling to hit year-end goals.

Moreover, we are empowering and expanding the role of our employee-led Employee Resource Groups (ERG) to create safe spaces for expression among peers. Belonging is essential in any business, and as founders who have often found themselves a token in a boardroom, we know the value in having an outlet for employees to express themselves and encourage the sharing of learnings from individual successes, and mishaps.

These steps alone will not directly improve diversity, but they will go a long way toward building trust.

Don’t stop at race or gender: embrace diverse perspectives

The final consideration we are making is acknowledging that diversity is not solely inclusive of outward appearance. Rather, diversity of thought and background are critical factors to how teams collaborate to reach a unified goal.

After all, building a culture where differences aren’t acknowledged only seeks to push minorities further to the outskirts of organizational structure. Part of our focus on DEI will encourage diversity of thought as much as it does ethnic diversity–and hold ourselves accountable to employees that will speak up when it matters.

2020 was a year of trauma, and one where every person was alike in sharing the same fears and anxieties. Thankfully, we have a light at the end of the tunnel with two promising vaccines, and an incoming administration that knows the value in encouraging equal representation across gender and ethnic borders.

Regardless of these positive developments, our focus toward empowering diverse communities must remain steadfast. After all, the systemic issue of low representation of URPs in tech will not be ended because of these efforts alone, but through sustained attention toward addressing the issue and learning each day. We might have missed our mark in 2020, but now we will take the President’s lead and build equity within our offices in 2021, wherever they might be.

I encourage all business owners to make this same commitment.

Startups – TechCrunch

[Zoomcar in HT Auto] Once prestige, owning car is now seen as a commitment: Zoomcar charts path ahead

The need for personal mobility in Covid times has been rising but uncertain finances may mean unwillingness to commit to a large purchase. Greg Moran of Zoomcar explains car subscriptions can be a better option to not just car purchases but even ride hailing.

Read more here.

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Zone2boost reaches an investment commitment of €800000 with eight start-ups in its first year of activity – WebWire

Zone2boost reaches an investment commitment of €800000 with eight start-ups in its first year of activity  WebWire
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Jada makes commitment to Merak Capital to support early stage tech startups in Saudi Arabia – ZAWYA

Jada makes commitment to Merak Capital to support early stage tech startups in Saudi Arabia  ZAWYA
“startups when:1d” – Google News