Information and communication technology professional Andy Brauer is the new chief technology officer of investment company Encha – an appointment in line with the company’s strategy to attract partners who are subject-matter domain experts with relevant industry-specific experience and capabilities.
According to Encha founder and executive chairperson Tiego Moseneke, Brauer, who previously served as chief technology officer for Huawei Africa and Business Connexion, brings with him a wealth of experience in the digital engineering technology space, spread through an array of sectors from banking to sustainable energy.
“He is joining Encha’s team with the objective of contributing his specialised knowledge of technology to complement Encha’s competencies, in order to accelerate our mission of growing globally competitive African enterprises,” says Moseneke.
Brauer feels he has a lot in common with Encha, including the company’s principles, ethics and values. “I have known [the owners] for a long time. They have a great ethos and professional principles, which is something that is often missing in the world today,” says Brauer, who also shares Encha’s belief in technology-underpinned solutions that are capable of including those who are otherwise excluded from participating meaningfully in the economy.
"The Internet has evolved over the years to become a meshed eco-system looking just like the galaxy, with no single point of failure. Energy is similarly moving into this direction. You need energy to pump water, water to grow food and food to improve and sustain the physical wellbeing of people.
“A central point of failure in this chain can lead to social upheaval that can result in turmoil in a country. Our thinking is to develop meshed ecosystems of solutions that competently address societal challenges while also avoiding single points of failure," says Brauer.
Encha senior executive Gontse Moseneke adds that, through the company’s intimate involvement in the technology space in recent years, Encha has been identifying numerous areas where disruptive technological innovation can be applied positively to grow enterprises and contribute towards improving the quality of life.
"We believe in entrepreneurial partnerships. As a result, we allocate and employ a portion of our modest capital base to seed ventures in which we partner with subject-matter domain experts to pursue value opportunities that are uniquely available to us.
“Ultimately, we strive to nurture and commoditise these ventures into investment-grade enterprises that are able to attract the backing of much larger pools of capital from blue-chip investors in the capital markets. With Andy now on board as a committed member of our team we aim to broaden and deepen the universe of our impactful activities," concludes Moseneke.
Encha is a strategy-led and research-driven investment house with interests in the property, energy and technology sectors. Its mission is to be a consistently successful investment house, creating wealth that will grow steadily over many generations and contribute significantly to the economic development of South Africa and of society across the African continent, while ensuring that its shareholders, management teams, co-investors and other stakeholders share equitably in its growth and success.
The company started from humble beginnings when it first acquired and managed equity investments in global companies, including Siemens Southern Africa and Nokia Siemens Networks SA.
In 2005, Encha expanded its activities into the property sector when it acquired a portfolio of commercial properties, as well as a business with property management capabilities. Encha managed and nurtured these properties into investment-grade assets, some of which it subsequently vended into Vukile Property Fund, a JSE-listed real estate investment trust.
As a result of this transaction, Encha acquired a strategic equity stake in Vukile. Encha continues to operate a substantial unlisted property business in its own name.
In 2006, the company expanded its activities into the hydrocarbons-based energy sector through its acquisition of highly prospective oil and gas acreage on the African continent. In 2010, Encha successfully vended its interest in the acreage into SacOil Holdings, which it had earlier founded and listed on the JSE main board.
In 2012, Encha partnered with the management team of Pattern Matched Technologies, a Fintech digital engineering company in which Encha acquired a strategic equity stake. This partnership has attracted – and today services – several blue-chip clients who operate their businesses in South Africa and elsewhere across the African continent.