E Squared Ventures Portfolio Summit 2022

We held the E Squared Portfolio Summit this past weekend (17 September 2022) to recognise and celebrate our portfolio companies for their achievements to date. At our event we encouraged businesses to build collaboration and healthy company culture in their teams for scaling. Notable guest speakers included comedian Jason Goliath, Endeavor MD Alison Collier and serial entrepreneur Nic Haralambous.

We launched our inaugural Responsible Entrepreneurship Awards to recognise each portfolio business for its alignment with our values and desired behaviours. Over the course of the next few days, we will be sharing with you the businesses that embody our values of Long-term commitment, Spirit of humility and significance, Excellence, Responsible Stewardship, Diversity, Collaboration and behaviours of Growth and Traction, Governance and reporting, and Social impact.

Thank you to all our stellar hard-working smart-thinking responsible entrepreneurs that attended the event – we learned a lot, got to meet the dynamic partners behind the founding teams and had a lot of fun!

Fast vs. Far: Competition makes us fast – collaboration takes us further

Drumroll for the overall winner

Responsible Entrepreneurship Award


They were awarded for being a business that has both embodied the values and put into practice the behaviours that we, at E Squared, believe represent Responsible Entrepreneurship. 

The young and dynamic founding team, comprised of @Lungelo Linda Gumede, @Ludwick Marishane, and @Lesedi Makena, are driven by a common passion for long-term contribution and who work collaboratively to leverage their complementary skills and approaches to maintain a culture of excellence and to support responsible decision-making aimed at achieving a shared growth and impact vision. 

Edtech start-up @Excel@Uni empowers tertiary students by increasing their odds of graduating on time, training them to be work-ready, and helping them earn an income while studying. 

The business has developed operational and financial systems and processes that support its impressive growth and traction. Their year-to-date revenues for 2022 are significantly higher than for the same period last year and the business has driven customer service excellence and a positive impact on the lives of their growing list of users.


The awards for Long-term Commitment


Muhammed Hajat accepts the award on behalf of Nafasi Water and CEO Susie Nkambule

This business has demonstrated: 

· Long-term commitment to: 

ensuring availability and sustainable management of a scarce resource  

pan-African impact 

clear long-term KPIs 

Technical & innovation excellence

Cape Bio

Daniel Ndima accepts CapeBio’s award from Tshilidzi Matlala

This business has demonstrated: 

Strong industry relationship-building  

The ability to build a strong management team and Board  

Sustained but flexible focus on Long Term vision 

Ongoing product development, research and innovation

The awards for Spirit of Humility and Significance


Nishant Lalla and Jan Lutzeyer accept the award from Danielle Crouse

This business has demonstrated:

Innovation around community impact and engagement 

Innovative impact-focused user retention and support strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic 

Strong vision and mission drive 

Humility and integrity 


Lowell Scarr accepts the award from Thembisile Radebe

This business has demonstrated:

Strong resilience in face of COVID-related constraints 

Strong commitment to ecosystem capacitation training and development 

Strong passion for the impact purpose of the business 

Strong culture of service and contribution 

The award for the value of Excellence

Media Measure

Naeem Ganey accepts his award

This business has demonstrated:

Constant systems innovation around innovation and efficiency-enhancement 

Focus on ongoing customer-focused product development 

Tireless commitment to high-value over-delivery and value creation for customers  

Commitment to ongoing learning and improvement 

The award for Responsible Stewardship


Sakhile Mabena accepts his award

This business has demonstrated:

Commitment to responsible management of Fellowship resources 

Self-sacrifice and cautious cost-containment and management 

Commitment to contribution to Fellowship 

Openness and honest engagement

The award for Diversity and Inclusion

Oh My Cake!

Rita Baptista accepts the award on behalf of Oh My Cake

This business has demonstrated:

Commitment to team culture and development of staff 

Commitment to female employment and earning opportunity-creation 

Mutual respect between founding and operational team 

Digital Africa Ventures (DAV)

This business has demonstrated:

Strong management team cohesion and collaboration 

Commitment to constructive post-investment partnerships with investees 

Focus on, and passion for, investment in black-owned businesses, and for pan-African growth

The awards for Collaboration


This business has demonstrated:

Strong, collaborative founding team with supportive and complementary skills 

Strong spirit and practice of collaboration with customer and user community members 

Strong culture of dialogue and community engagement

Media Measure

This business has demonstrated:

Strong collaboration-driven approach with customers and clients 

Strong company culture, with an intentional focus on team development and leadership from within 

Strong, mutually beneficial partnership of trust with service provider/s 


The award for growth and traction


Matthew Piper accepts the award for Khula

This business has had a:

Positive EV Growth since E Squared Investment and 

Sustained growth in diverse revenue streams 

The award for Governance and Reporting


The business has implemented and maintained: 

A state-of-the-art custom sales pipeline tracking tool  

Timely, accurate monthly reporting to E Squared, feeding from internal reporting processes and systems 

A strong understanding of its KPIs and performance and sustainability drivers

The awards for Social Impact


The business has driven impact through: 

Providing a simple-to-navigate, easy-to-use app-based tool to equalise access to ecosystem customers and suppliers for producers nationally 

On-boarding 200+ suppliers selling 5000+ products, enabling users across the business stage, LSM groups and locations to gain guaranteed access to inputs at fair, standard prices 

Providing access to formal demand market for informal industry players 


Esethu Cenga and Tshepo Bhengu accept their award

The business has driven impact through: 

Industry lobbying for regulatory change and sub-sector recognition 

Stimulating and promoting the circular economy 

Diversion of waste from landfill  

Bringing together diverse players along the sector value chain to drive integrated value-adding solutions and products

A hearty congratulations to all these amazing entrepreneurs. We are privileged to be able to journey with you!

Our Allan Gray Fellow portfolio companies include: Nafasi Water, Xplorio CapeBio Technologies, Nambu, Media Measure, Ofin, OhMyCake, Digital Africa Ventures (DAV), Khula!, Excel@uni and Rewoven.