The "Newtown" reference in our name is to Newtown in Johannesburg. This was the location where Dragons Den South Africa season 1 was filmed. It was also the place where Vinny and I agreed to start this business, while on set of Dragons Den. More importantly, Newtown in Johannesburg, South Africa is synonymous with urban renewal and reversing urban decay in inner city Johannesburg.
We think that Newtown Partners is similarly a business founded on principles of creating growth where previously there was none, creating new hope for how technology businesses can drive economic activity in a fundamentally positive way and reimagining things not as they are, but rather, as they could and should be.
Why do we exist?
- We abhor the status quo. We believe that early stage venture capital should be done differently in South Africa and we want to do it, not talk about it for another 10 years.
- We embrace failure as part of a process of disruptive creation. Solid technology entrepreneurs are mostly not born that way, but through a process of starting & failing with many startups, they become better and better at it.
- We believe that it's necessary to take a lot of bets, within a sensible & diversified portfolio, in order to uncover the handful of true gems. We want to place more bets on first-time entrepreneurs, so that the pool of strong technology entrepreneurs that have worked with us becomes bigger & we become the go-to venture capital firm in South Africa within the next 5 years.
- We're not bankers. We don't think like bankers and we don't manage our investments like bankers. We're partners who help technology entrepreneurs to better understand their chosen opportunity by applying solid product marketing and product management principles to their startups. We then create market access opportunities for them by tapping our networks. Money is only one small part of what we bring to our startup investments.
- We create startups that are going to blow the lights out within 3 years. If we can't get them onto a hypergrowth trajectory within 3 years, we probably never will and shouldn't waste any more time attempting to do so.