PIC had not made any investments into Sagarmatha when it was considering listing on the JSE, PIC Inquiry hears


PRETORIA – The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) missed an opportunity to invest in Sagarmatha Technologies when the company was considering listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

This is according to Dr Iqbal Survé, the Chairman of Sekunjalo Investment Holdings, which has business interests in Ayo Technology Solutions (AYO) and Sagarmatha Technologies.

On Wednesday, he told the PIC Commission of Inquiry, headed by former retired Judge Lex Mpati, that the PIC had not made any financial investments into Sagarmatha when it was considering listing on the JSE.

According to Survé, Sagarmatha is a company that renders a multi-sided platform (defined above as an “MSP”), which comprises technologies, services, or products that add value primarily by enabling direct interactions between two or more participating parties.

“Prominent examples include Uber, Airbnb, E-Bay, Amazon etc. Essentially, they serve two or more customer bases and facilitate transactions between the participating parties. One of the primary benefits to MSP companies is their scalability,” he explained.

In addition, Sagarmatha has a proven track record of customising and developing technology platforms in media, e-commerce, classifieds and syndication content in its current business verticals.

“It has operated these with capital efficiency and has previously elected to limit its own growth until recent times, when it applied to be listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange by way of a Private Placement in April 2018,” said Survé.

He further explained that South Africa and Africa, needed its own leading MSP company to compete with multinational companies.

“If this does not happen, multinationals will extract all value from Africa for the benefit of Europe and the U.S.A.  South Africa is well poised to develop the continent and upskill its people,” he said.

He also revealed that the purpose of the Private Placement was to execute the vision of Sagarmatha to provide African subscribers (consumers and business) with a prime experience of digital media, e-commerce, social media and business market place.

“Previously, Sagarmatha had raised capital locally through the private equity markets and has utilised this limited capital to establish its technology base, which Sagarmatha has in Silicon Cape, which is an African haven for software developers,” said Survé.

This story first appeared on Business Report