Sea Monster to expand service offerings after R17m funding
IT WEB / 14 AUGUST 2020 - 15.56 / SIBAHLE MALINGA
Digital services firm Sea Monster is looking to scale its service offering following a $1 million (about R17 million) funding investment from financial services firm FirstRand’s Vumela Fund, which is managed by Edge Growth.
Based in Cape Town, Sea Monster is a nine-year-old firm specialising in 2D animation, cross-platform game development services, as well as augmented reality and virtual reality solutions that solve communication and change management challenges in organisations.
Sea Monster CEO Glenn Gillis.
With a workforce of over 35 people, the company’s client base includes Lemonade Day (US), First National Bank, Capitec Bank, Old Mutual and Shell.
The new funding deal, according to Sea Monster, will see the company scale from working on a project-to-project basis and transition to developing its own solutions to generate annuity revenue and aid its prospective global expansion plans.
“We realised that if we were to unlock the potential in Sea Monster, we’d need to find investment to build off-the-shelf solutions that we can sell to multiple customers in SA, and that will also aid us in our global expansion plans,” explains Sea Monster CEO Glenn Gillis.
“Sea Monster is ultimately still selling hours and the key is producing annuity income – and the Vumela investment will enable us to achieve this.”
The deal allows Sea Monster to tap into FirstRand’s supplier development strategy and investment firm Edge Growth’s post-investment support. It also makes Sea Monster 51% black-owned, by virtue of Vumela’s minority stake in the business and the company’s own empowerment structures, notes Gillis.
“By becoming 51% black-owned, we demonstrate our commitment to creating full value for all our shareholders, but it also frees us to focus on real transformation, rather than the tick-box exercise that black economic empowerment has become for so many,” adds Gillis.
“Ultimately, we want to continue to grow our talent base, not just for our company but for the country as a whole, and drive real transformation in the process. All of this aligns with Vumela’s mandate to invest in high-growth SMEs with good economic and impact returns.”
Sea Monster usually gets between 25% and 50% of its income from international clients, which varies from year to year, depending on projects.
The company says global expansion lies at the heart of its future ambitions.
“Going global is one of the other main reasons we took the Vumela funding. Once we can demonstrate traction and build out the product offering in SA with our trusted corporate clients, we can partner with resellers and distributors everywhere,” concludes Gillis.
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER