Silicon Valley Fund Invests In South African Mobile Security Firm

Written by Peter Pedroncelli

Silicon Valley-based investment firm Endeavor Catalyst has backed South African authentication and app security company Entersekt through a funding round that was realized in September.

The successful funding round was a first for Endeavor Catalyst in South Africa, according to BusinessTech.

The South African mobile security solutions firm is led by entrepreneurs Schalk and Dewald Nolte.

They develop push-based authentication and app security technology to protect clients in several industries, including banking. Entersekt’s products include a platform called Transakt, which enables a one-touch user experience.

Entersekt’s clients include First Bank of Colorado, Absa, Nedbank, Capitec, Investec, Swisscard, Equity Bank, Ecobank, and Pluscard, according to TechCentral.

Launched in 2012, Endeavor Catalyst is the co-investment fund of Endeavor. It was set up to invest exclusively in Endeavor Entrepreneur-led companies and has raised more than $100 million in philanthropically donated and invested capital, according to an Endeavor press release.

Endeavor Catalyst has invested in 50-plus companies in 18 countries, including New York Stock Exchange-listed Globant in Argentina, in Turkey and Ruma in Indonesia.

Allen Taylor, managing director of Endeavor Catalyst, said he is confident in the growth and expansion prospects of Entersekt.

“We believe … in the idea that you can potentially build scale-up companies in every market across the world where Endeavor operates,” said Taylor, according to Techfinancials.

“The leadership of Schalk and Dewald Nolte, and their teams, is exceptional, as are their abilities as entrepreneurs. We are avid supporters of Entersekt and believe that they have what it takes to build a truly high impact global business,” he added.

Silicon Valley fund backing expansion

Entersekt’s security products protect around 100 million transactions a month, operating in the U.S., U.K, Switzerland, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, among others.

Schalk, Entersekt’s CEO, said the investment will be used to expand into more markets.

“We are delighted to welcome another strong partner on board,” he said in an Entersekt statement.

“Beyond the investment, which will further help finance our expansion, we hope to accelerate our move into new markets with the support of Endeavor’s very credible network of business leaders,” he said.

In June, Entersekt concluded a deal that saw multi-million dollar investments made to fund the continued international expansion of the firm, according to DisruptAfrica.

The Stellenbosch-based company was backed by investors Rand Merchant Investment Holdings (RMI) and Nedbank Private Equity (NPE), through startup accelerators and investment hubs such as Rand Merchant’s AlphaCode and Nedbank’s BoE Private Equity Investments.

The two investors acquired minority shares in Entersekt for an undisclosed amount, with the firm describing the investment as a multi-million dollar agreement.

Entersekt was founded in Stellenbosch in 2008 by four local entrepreneurs.