South Africa

South African Shark Tank investments and where these companies are today

M-Net and Telkom SA brought Shark Tank to South Africa in 2016, and the five sharks invested in sixteen companies in the first season.

In the show, entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of successful South African business moguls, known as the “sharks”.

The sharks then decide whether they want to invest their money and time in deserving and potentially lucrative business ideas.

The South African sharks in the first season were:

  • Gil Oved – The co-founder and co-CEO of The Creative Counsel, South Africa’s largest advertising agency.
  • Marnus Brookryk – Founder and CEO of accounting firm The Beancounter and co-founder of a video interview software company Wamly.
  • Romeo Kumalo – The co-founder and CEO of pan-African investment firm LLH Capital and previous COO of Vodacom International.
  • Dawn Nathan-Jones – The executive director and Investor at Over the Rainbow and Growealth SA and the previous CEO of Eurocar.
  • Vinny Lingham – A South African Internet entrepreneur who is the co-founder and CEO of Civic, an identity protection and management startup based in California.

The first season of Shark Tank South Africa aired five years ago and saw 16 companies that were successful in acquiring investment from one or more of the sharks.

They invested R6.95 million in the first season. Lingham accounted for 40% of the total with R2.8 million.

The companies that received an investment in season one are listed below, with a look at where they are today.

Native Décor

Owner: Vusi Ravele

Investor: Gil Oved

Native Decor creates furniture and home decor products using sustainable timber. Its minimalist style, which underpins all designs, is mostly inspired by South African cultures, landscapes and wildlife.

Vusi Ravele secured offers from every shark in the first episode of Shark Tank South Africa, eventually settling on an offer from Gil Oved.

Ravele stepped into the shark tank willing to give away 25% equity in his business for R400,000 of investment. He settled on giving away 40% to Oved for R400,000 with an additional R3 million line of credit.

The business seems to be a success and is currently running an online store that supplies its products to customers nationwide.

Vusi Ravele

Comfy Mummy Rocking Chairs

Owner: Sarah Jeffreys

Investor: Vinny Lingham

Comfy Mummy Rocking Chairs sells custom-designed and manufactured rocking chairs for nursing mothers.

Four Sharks declined the proposal before Lingham offered Jeffreys R400,000 in exchange for 30% equity in her business – which she accepted.

Today, Jeffreys is no longer the owner of Comfy Mummy. Its new owner is Claire Bateman, who designs and develops new additions to the range – the Retro, Oslo and London Rockers.

The Company is still operational and sells its range of rocking chairs via its online store. Comfy Mummy notes that the business is a growing brand and has sold over 4,000 Comfy Mummy Rocking chairs.

Sarah Jeffreys

The Candle Box

Owner: Tanya Byrne

Investor: Dawn Nathan-Jones

The Candle Box makes hand-carved and customised party candles from locally-sourced products.

Owner Tanya Byrne struck a deal with Nathan-Jones for R500,000 in exchange for 50% equity in her candle-making business.

According to our research, The candle Box is inactive and has been deregistered due to annual return non-compliance since June 2021.

Tanya Byrne


Owner: Gavin Horn

Investor: Vinny Lingham and Romeo Kumalo

Numberwise is an online maths learning tool that was developed by Trevor Lagerwall. It is a computer program designed to help students to master the basics – the four operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Lingham and Kumalo offered Horn R500,000 in exchange for 30% equity in his business – which he accepted.

Since 2016, The online mathematics literacy app has grown and is being used by schools and private clients across the country and beyond, with more than 10,000 downloads on Google Play Store.


Ja Brew

Owner: Jacques Nel

Investor: Marnus Broodryk

Ja Brew was a South African micro-brewery founded in 2014 by Jacques Nel.

Broodryk offered Jacques a R250,000 loan in exchange for a 50% stake in Ja Brew, which he accepted.

Our research shows Ja Brew has been inactive since 2017 with no evidence of ongoing concern.

Jacques Nel

The Perfect Hair

Owner: Taryn Gill

Investor: Romeo Kumalo

The Perfect Hair is a range of hair care products focused on South African women.

Taryn Gill impressed Kumalo and accepted R400,000 in exchange for 40% equity in her business.

Perfect hair is a success, with its range of products being sold in 348 retail stores nationwide – including Clicks, Foschini, Takealot, Cosmetic connection, and Spar.

Taryn Gill

T-Squared Clothing

Owner: Thabiso Mokomele

Investor: Dawn Nathan-Jones

T-Squared Clothing is a South African street and urban clothing brand based in Cape Town. All garments are handmade and locally produced.

T-Squared Clothing is still going strong with its collections featuring a range of hats, shirts, socks, and jackets available via its online store.

Thabiso Mokomele with Dawn Nathan-Jones

Creative Doormats

Owner: Henco and Chantelle Wiid

Investor: Gil Oved

Creative Doormats offers personalised doormats for the gifting market. 

Having received three offers from the sharks, Henco and Chantelle Wiid accepted Oved’s offer of R150,000 for 25% equity.

Since 2016, Creative Doormats has been successful. It has sold thousands of door mats via its online store and is now expanding beyond doormats and rebranding Creative Doormats to Itchy Feet, with new products launching soon.

Henco and Chantelle Wiid with Gil Oved

GoZone Water

Owner: John and Len Oort

Investor: Marnus Broodryk

GoZone Specialist Industries is a water refill kiosk implemented in retail stores.

John and Len Oort accepted Broodryk offer of R750,000 in addition to funding for the rental of the unit to retailers for 20% equity.

GoZone Water now operates close to 100 stores nationwide, including stores in Namibia and Botswana.

The company is doing well and has partnered with Spar, Pick n Pay, Caltex, Engen, and President Hyper.

John and Len Oort

One of Each

Owner: Tamburai and Pauline Chirume.

Investor: Dawn Nathan-Jones

One of Each Tamburai Cherume pitched her custom foldover bags made from genuine leather and African prints.

The uniquely African bags impressed Nathan-Jones, and she offered Cherume R200,000 for 20% equity in her business, which she accepted.

Today, One of Each is thriving and offers products via its online store, including bags, accessories, apparel, and home decor pieces.

Tamburai Chirume


Owner: Kyle Haffendon and Michael Deon

Investor: Vinny Lingham and Gil Oved

Augmentors is an augmented reality mobile game built on the Bitcoin blockchain – the first of its kind.

Vinnie and Gil went 50/50 on the deal – 10% equity each – offering a R500,000 cash infusion. 

The game raised $500 000 in 24 hours and reached its target of $1 million (895 BTC) during the 30-day token sale, which ended in February 2017.

At the time, it was the most successful token sale ever conducted by a mobile video game project.

However, all game development stopped, and the studio was shut down in 2019 as NFT standards were not well developed, and the game could not bootstrap its game economy with the early smart contracts available at the time.


Thursdays Swimwear and Lingerie

Owner: Shona MacDonald

Investor: Vinny Lingham

Thursdays design and manufactures lingerie and swimwear for girls C cup and up.

MacDonald accepted Lingham’s offer of R200,000 for 30% equity plus all the working capital the business needs.

Today, Thursdays Swimwear and Lingerie is a success. Its sales keep growing via its online store, and it recently acquired funding of R140,000 to extend its size range to a G cup.

Shona MacDonald with Vinny Lingham


Owner: Vincent Viviers and Enrico Ferigolli

Investor: Gil Oved

Bottles is an alcohol delivery app.​

In 2016, Viviers and Ferigolli accepted Oved’s offer of R500,000 for 10% equity in the business.

Today, the app has taken off significantly. The app was bought by Pick n Pay in 2018 to scale up its beverage delivery business and position itself as the country’s leading on-demand alcohol delivery service.

Since its expansion to groceries, the application has signed up 350,000 users, offers over 5000 grocery and liquor products at in-store pricing, and delivers in an average of 90 minutes.

Vincent Viviers and Enrico Ferigolli

LC Infinity Innovations

Owner: Daniel van der Spuy

Investor: Romeo Kumalo

LC Infinity Innovations is a contraption that washes out colostomy or ileostomy bags.

Daniel and Adriaan van der Spuy impressed Kumalo and accepted R200,000 in exchange for 15% equity in his business.

Our research shows LC Infinity Innovations is currently inactive with no evidence of ongoing concern.

Daniel and Adriaan van der Spuy

Ice Cream Ninjas

Owner: Anton Fester

Investor: Vinny Lingham

Ice Cream Ninjas creates bespoke ice cream flavours and serves them with flair. They place ice cream on a frozen slab and then use their ninja skills to mix in whatever you want, from brownies, cookie dough, and peanut butter to fudge and popping candy.

The ice cream pop-up company accepted Lingham’s R1.5 million in finance, starting with R300,000 for a 30% stake in the business.

Today, Ice Cream Ninjas has hosted, and continues to host, events in partnership with notable companies such as Cotton on, Samsung, Sanlam, Absa, Protea Hotels, and the BBC.

Anton Fester (right)

Plan My Wedding

Owner: Chelsea Evans and Jason Newmark

Investor: Dawn Nathan-Jones and Gil Oved

Plan My Wedding is an app that helps couples source and book wedding vendors.

The planning company accepted a joint deal with Nathan-Jones and Oved for R200,000 for 25% equity each (R400,000 for 50%), who promised to reduce their equity stake once they’ve returned their investment.

Today, Plan My Wedding is flourishing. It has over 67 suppliers in South Africa and has expanded into Africa with suppliers in Zimbabwe, Angola, Mauritius, Botswana, Mozambique, Swaziland, Namibia, and Zambia.

Plan My Wedding


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