At the ODU, and in particular with the Invest in Our Future Foundation, we talk about opportunities for networking, mentoring and assistance to fellow ODs whether it is financial, advice or merely emotional support.
Thaheer Mullins (2003W) takes up the story:
The Savant Venture Fund – where Nick Allen (1989G) and Thaheer Mullins (2003W) currently serve and are partners – has just invested significant capital into Locstat – where Sanjay Daya is a co-founder.
As a result, Locstat has been able to close its fundraising round to focus on high customer acquisition and launching additional value-adding revenue streams. The funding round will help the company acquire more local and international customers. Savant recognises the intricacies of Locstat’s deep tech capabilities as well as its ability to transform how industries process and utilise data.
Nick and Thaheer first met at a career fair held at the UCT Graduate School of Business, during the latter’s full time MBA studies in 2016. Towards the end of the year, Thaheer indicated that he was interested in joining Savant as an (Entrepreneur in Residence) intern. During the on-boarding process, Thaheer and Nick realised that they were both Bishops ODs.
Nick highlighted that Thaheer would be able to use his MBA learnings to offer multifaceted assistance to early-stage businesses. Nick took the opportunity to mentor Thaheer, who eventually progressed to a commercialisation manager in the organisation. Eventually, Nick positioned Thaheer to work on the venture fund where he progressed to partner in September 2022.
Thaheer and Sanjay met per chance at an industry event in early October 2022. At the time, Locstat was not in the pipeline or in mandate for the venture fund. When Sanjay and Thaheer realised they were cut from the same cloth (Bishops), they had a few coffee catchups.
Serendipitously, during this time, Savant had extended its mandate to include deep tech software startups. Given the knowledge shared over the coffees, it became apparent that there was a natural commercial fit for both Savant and Locstat.
From there, the two companies were able to enter into meaningful engagements around shared values, vision and a mutually beneficial deal structure. Both companies are now looking forward to a prosperous future and both recognise the OD thread that runs through its relationship.
The story does not end there - Sanjay has approached Thaheer to assist in the mentoring of Diocesan Scholars, which he has already commenced and has spoken to the 2023 Matrics. The current IIOFF recipients have also all committed to assist in ambassadorial roles with the current Matrics.
A bit more about the OD thread that connects Sanjay, Taheer and Nick:
Sanjay Daya (1994G)
After matriculating at Bishops, Sanjay joined a tech start-up, Locstat, with co-founder Ryno Goosen. He also entered into the restaurant industry by earning his way into his first franchise. After learning the industry, he stacked it with the appropriate management and has gone on to launch or buy into several other well-known restaurant brands. Since then he’s also launched a digital marketing company.
At the same time, his business with Ryno (Locstat) had accumulated a wealth of domain knowledge and expertise. Since 2004, it had deployed offerings across various industries when it constantly built, revised and re-deployed its IP and graph intelligence capability. Today it is able to integrate with a vast array of data heavy, high-growth and enterprise-level businesses.
Locstat is positioned as a business at the forefront of graph intelligence. It offers the next generation of advanced complex event processing and graph-based AI implementation. Sanjay is passionate about building a successful Global company in the 4IR space.
Nick Allen (1989G)
After Bishops, Nick delved into civil engineering. He later obtained an MBA and additional education in IP management, Venture Capital, Private Equity, and Corporate Governance. His career spans civil engineering, ICT management, incubation and venture capital. He is drawn to helping inventors and innovators turn their ideas and concepts into products and businesses that make people's lives better and/or solve some of the world's problems. He has a passion for building businesses from first principles.
Nick founded Savant in 2004 and has been commercialising technology businesses since then, taking food tech, medical devices and renewable energy businesses from concept stage to the international market. He’s currently managing partner in the Savant Venture Fund.
Thaheer Mullins (2003W)
After matriculating at Bishops, Thaheer went on to study literature and sociology. Soon after, he pursued a marketing qualification. After garnering enough experience in the field, he later received an MBA from UCT.
Thaheer joined Savant in 2017 as an intern and is currently a partner at in the Savant Venture Fund. He takes a hands-on approach to due diligence, deal structuring, execution and monitoring and evaluation. He is actively involved in helping ventures put together building blocks for commercial success.
Through his professional experience, qualifications (BA Honours, PGDM in Marketing and MBA) and diverse soft skillset, he offers a unique and perspective.
Here are five that you may know. More...
Here are five that you may know. More...