KaiConnect: Investing in a Sustainable Future

The name “Kai” derives from one of the largest rivers flowing across Southern Africa, also known as the Orange River. “Kai” symbolises nature’s provision for humanity, emphasising the importance of responsible care for Mother Earth to ensure the sustainability of life for all.

Our Shared Vision

At the heart of our team partnership lies a deep commitment to transforming the world. Impact investing isn’t just a concept to us. It’s our guiding principle. We believe in the power of businesses to create positive change, not just in boardrooms but in the lives of everyday people. With this conviction, we embarked on a mission to craft innovative and accessible investment solutions for small growing businesses.

Innovation and Accessibility

Bringing together our collective expertise, experience and cutting-edge technology, we’ve pioneered pathways for SMEs offering environmentally friendly products and services. Our goal isn’t just to provide financial solutions but to empower eco-conscious entrepreneurs, enabling them to flourish and make a difference.

A Personal Commitment

Our journey with KaiConnect isn’t just professional – it’s deeply personal. We’re driven by a genuine desire to see businesses thrive, communities prosper and the environment preserved. Through KaiConnect, we’re not just founders. We’re partners in your success story. We’re here to foster a community where dreams are nurtured, where innovation meets impact and where every entrepreneur’s vision finds the support it deserves.

We invite you to be a part of our story – a story of passion, purpose and unwavering commitment. Together, let’s redefine the future of business, one impactful investment at a time.

Our Promise and Values

Our Promise

Fuelled by purpose, courage, and a relentless spirit of innovation, we are crafting a distinctive business. Our mission goes beyond profits – it’s about delivering long-term socio-economic benefits for entrepreneurs, businesses and communities. We pledge to our capital providers, shareholders, partners and stakeholders competitive returns, recognising that sustainable prosperity resides where others may not see. With honour, fairness, authenticity and audaciousness as our guiding values, we embark on this transformative journey, harnessing untapped potential and paving the way for a future where businesses thrive and communities flourish.

Our Values

The socio-economic development of communities while driving supply chain improvements.

Driving a sustainability mandate, with a focus on environmental improvements, and the long-term prosperity of communities and businesses

Putting the entrepreneur (SMME) at the center, by providing them with the necessary support, resources, and opportunities to succeed and make a positive impact in their communities

Transparency through reporting, measuring impact, and aligning with ESG frameworks

Enabling prosperity with purpose

Skills development, capacity building, and technology integration, with a keen focus on innovation, driving continuous improvement and creating meaningful jobs

Supporting marginalised communities, such as black women, youth, and individuals with disabilities which drives inclusivity and diversity in our initiatives

Driving the circular economy by offering opportunities to local communities and placing the needs and aspirations of the community at the centre of our efforts

Our Team

We are the faces behind KaiConnect, brought together not just by business, but by a shared vision for a better world. As longtime friends and business partners, our journey has been shaped by a common passion — a passion for serving humanity and creating transformative change through impact investing and impact innovation.

We are KaiConnect

Executive Directors



Tony is an entrepreneur, activist, and exemplary businessperson with over 25 years of experience, applying his knowledge and understanding of growing and scaling businesses in the investment and asset management industry in Africa. He has a deep knowledge and understanding of venture capital and private equity applying disruptive innovation methods to these asset classes. Tony has co-founded start-ups in the financial, ICT and energy sectors and scaled them into leaders in their fields. He has served on various boards as Director and Chairperson in both listed and unlisted companies, offering his leadership and go-getter spirit.


  • Bachelor of Arts (Industrial Sociology) – University of Cape Town
  • Higher Education Diploma – University of Cape Town
  • Executive Management Program for Growing Companies – Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, USA



Chris brings over 25 years of business and executive experience in banking and asset management. He has served in executive positions in various asset management companies, as well as developed entrepreneurial business models mainly in the wealth and investment industry. He provides broad experience across investment management finance and operations, business development, and risk management.


  • Bachelor of Commerce (University of Witwatersrand)
  • Bachelor of Accounting (University of Witwatersrand)
  • Board Exam, Public Accountants & Auditors Board – South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA); CA(SA)



Philani has made his mark with his impactful leadership as a management consultant, entrepreneur, and executive. As a co-founder and Managing Partner of E4EAfrica, he has invested, accelerated, and mentored start-ups in Edtech, Fintech, Agritech, AI, e-commerce, logistics and transport, automotive, and Proptech. His experience has also led him into senior management positions in South, East and West Africa.


  • Bachelor of Accounting – UKZN
  • Executive Development Program – Wits Business School
  • Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) – INSEAD



Petra is a social entrepreneur who has commerciliased a few African ventures including incubators and accelerators operating in the Enterprise & Supplier Development space. Her latest award-winning 3D printing tech start-ups solve for localisation and supply chain constrains. She is passionate about creating skills for the future using exponential technologies like 3D printing, AI, VR/AR, IoT, quantum computing etc. Petra has been recently recognised as a winner of the Inspiring50. She is an executive board member of the Institute of Inventors and Innovators South Africa and the ambassador of the Women in 3D Printing Johannesburg.


  • BSc Law with Management (Hon) – University of London
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) – Open University

Executive Chairman and Advisors


Ben is a dynamic executive with over 25 years of expertise delivering results in all facets of operations, finance, business development, governance, risk, financial reporting, banking, employee benefits, real estate, private markets, and asset management. As well as founding ALT Capital Partners and leading the business as the CEO, he also serves as a Non-Executive Director on many other boards, guiding their business where necessary.


  • Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting & Business Management – University of Natal (Pietermaritzburg)
  • Honours in Accounting Science (Hons. B.Compt) – University of South Africa
  • Board Exam, Public Accountants & Auditors Board – South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA); CA(SA)
  • Fellow, Emerging Leaders Program – University of Cape Town Business School, Duke University (Value- Based Leadership)


Rod Poole was until the end of February 2022 the Chief Change and Business Transformation Officer at the Standard Bank Group, South Africa. Rod was an employee of the Standard bank Group for a period of 38 years. He was a member of the Group Executive Committee/Leadership Council and the Corporate and Investment Banking Stratco and is currently a board member of Standard Advisory Services (London), Standard Bank Mauritius and Standard Bank Eswatini. Rod has spent most of his career in Corporate and Investment Banking.


  • Bachelor of Commerce – (University of Witwatersrand and UNISA)
  • Rod has worked in partnership with MIT, Microsoft, Amazon, Salesforce, Apple, Facebook, Oliver Wyman, Boston Consulting Group, London Business School and various other organizations in the development and execution of the Group’s strategy


Mike is an experienced entrepreneur, executive and business leader. Having lead businesses in West Africa and South Africa, his wealth of experience has given him an edge in corporate strategy, specifically on revenue growth and developing sustainable competitive advantage. He was the founding CEO of a JSE-listed media and entertainment company, a Partner in an investment banking business and a senior Partner in Deloitte, focused on innovation and growth.


  • Bachelor of Arts (Rhodes University)
  • Higher Diploma in Education – Rhodes University
  • Master of Business Leadership – University of South Africa
  • Coaching for Development – GSB, University of Cape Town


Melanie has an extensive background in the investment banking industry, specifically in corporate finance and capital markets where she has drawn on her legal background to advise on and execute local and cross-border transactions in the listed and unlisted space. She is currently focused on the venture capital and private equity industries, emphasising the need for sustainable development, and improving economic opportunities for girls and women.


  • Bachelor of Arts (Law and Philosophy) – University of the Witwatersrand
  • LLB – University of the Witwatersrand
  • Chartered Governance Professional – Chartered Governance Institute of Southern Africa