OUR TEAM

The Crossfin team is experienced in investing in and managing technology businesses in emerging markets and has a proven track record of converting deal flow into well-structured transaction and profit generating technology businesses.

The team are active business partners and trusted advisors to portfolio management teams, which enables strong business growth with limited capital investment.

 

Dean Dean is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Crossfin and has close to 20 years’ experience of investing in ICT businesses in Africa with a background in corporate finance. His experience is broad and extends from pure investor to corporate development to hands on responsibility within the senior finance and executive leadership functions at both the operational and corporate levels.

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Anton Gaylard

Co-Founder & CXO

Anton is the co-founder and Chief Exponential Officer at Crossfin. He has more than 25 years of technology, retail, eCommerce and M&A experience in entrepreneurial and corporate entities with a specific focus on technology, payments, strategy and operations. His experience enables him to provide high quality strategic and operational solutions to both business development and value creation.

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Dean Sparrow

Co-Founder & CEO

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Laura Cowan

Finance Executive

Laura holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree and Honours in Accounting and qualified as a Chartered Accountant (SA) with Deloitte South Africa in 2006 and is the Group Finance Manager. In early 2007, Laura worked on a Deloitte secondment in Toronto, Canada for 3 months. On her return to South Africa in June 2007, Laura joined UCS and her first project was the design and implementation of the consolidation software, Cognos Controller, in conjunction with external consultants. During her time with UCS and CEI, Laura has been instrumental in streamlining the monthly financial reporting processes.

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Mark Hyslop

Chief Legal Officer

Mark is the Chief Legal Officer at Crossfin Technology Holdings Proprietary Limited (and prior to this, at its holding company Capital Eye Investments Limited) and has more than 30 years of general commercial law experience including 29 years of experience in IT law. Mark is responsible for all corporate and transactional legal support for the group and is further focused on all the legal aspects of the existing Capital Eye portfolio. Specifically, Mark is actively involved in mergers and acquisitions, general commercial matters and client related IT law engagements for the provision of technology and services.

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Edward Pitsi

Non-Exec Director

Edward is the Managing Partner and co-founder of the Ethos Mid Market Fund I, he is also a member of Ethos’ Executive Committee. Edward has a depth of experience in private equity, overseeing the growth of businesses from small to large corporates which are ready for listing or exit to bigger strategic players. He led the Ethos Mid Market investments into Crossfin, Autozone, Kevro, Echo, Gammatek and Synerlytic. He was also involved in the successful delisting and ultimate exit of Universal Industries. Prior to Ethos, he worked in the Acquisition and Leveraged Finance team at Barclays Africa Group. Before this, he worked at Price Waterhouse Coopers. Edward is a CA (SA), holds a Masters in Financial Management Sciences (University of Pretoria) and a Master of Business Administration (EMBA) from INSEAD.

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Naomi Nethengwe

Non-Exec Director

Naomi is a senior associate in the Ethos Mid Market Fund I. Naomi was involved in the acquisition of Crossfin by the Ethos Mid Market Fund and currently also serves on the boards of Gammatek and Synerlytic. She has been involved in exploring various investment opportunities in her time at Ethos. Prior to joining Ethos, Naomi worked as an Analyst at Investec Asset Management focusing on value listed equities. She completed her articles through the Investec CA Programme where she formed part of various teams across Investec Bank. Naomi holds a Bachelor of Accounting (Honours) from the University of Pretoria. Naomi is a CA (SA) and a CFA Charter holder. 

  • Naomi Nethengwe
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Roger Grobler

Non-Exec Director

Roger is a partner and co-founder of the Ethos AI Fund which was founded in 2018. Roger has in-depth experience in insurance, data and artificial intelligence, and private equity. He led the Ethos AI Fund acquisitions of Crossfin, Tyme Bank, Channel VAS and Vertice MedTech. In all these businesses he has worked with management teams from an artificial intelligence angle to improve operations. Roger is also a board member and a founding shareholder of RAIN South Africa. He  sits on the board of Rhino Africa, Quintessential Design and NMRQL Research. 

Prior to joining Ethos, Roger pioneered the actuarial pricing of car insurance in South Africa in the 1990s. He spent some years executing numerous transactions as a dealmaker in FirstRand. Roger spent 7 years in Australia and 7 years in India. In Australia Roger started Real Insurance, which he led as CEO from inception. Real Insurance is part of Hollard Australia and has grown into one of the largest sellers of direct insurance in Australia. In India Roger established Quantium’s India office, a leading big data business. Roger holds a Masters degree in Actuarial Science from the University of Pretoria, and is a CFA charterholder.

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Charmaine Padayachy

Non-Exec Director

Charmaine is a Chartered Accountant with a Masters Degree in Financial Management, and has over 20 years broad financial services experience in various sectors and spheres including general investing, private equity, leveraged finance and venture capital across Sub Saharan Africa, South Africa, the UK and Europe. 

She currently holds the position of Deal Executive at African Rainbow Capital, where she is primarily responsible for managing a diverse portfolio of companies. Charmaine also occupies various Board positions within the ARC portfolio, including TymeBank and Rain, and has also done so in her prior roles at both Absa Capital Private Equity and the Omidyar Network.   

After completing her articles at PWC, Charmaine moved onto Leveraged Finance at Standard Bank, and since then has worked for Ernst & Young’s United Kingdom Transaction Advisory Private Equity practice, which saw her relocate to London, as well as Absa Capital Private Equity. Her role prior to ARC was at the Omidyar Network, a Silicon Valley social impact and venture capital Fund with a global mandate, where she focused on the firms efforts on Sub Saharan Africa, particularly in the areas of Fintech, Agri-Tech, Consumer Tech and Edu-tech. This included significant exposure to the cutting edge of venture capital and tech investments on the West Coast of the US. 

Charmaine is also devoting some of her time to working on the SA governments initiatives in developing the early stage investing ecosystem in South African and coaching SA investing talent by participating on the Investment Committees of a technology seed and growth capital Fund established by the SA SME Fund.

  • Charmaine Padayachi
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Natasha Mashego

Non-Exec Director

Natasha is a Chartered Accountant working as a Deal Associate at African Rainbow Capital responsible for analysing new investment opportunities, transaction execution and portfolio management. Natasha was involved in ARC’s acquisition of Crossfin as part of a consortium of investors. 

Natasha completed her articles in the Nedbank CA Training Programme where she rotated through various divisions within corporate and investment banking. It was during this time Natasha worked as an Accountant in Finance focusing on corporate banking and then as an Analyst in Property Finance and Leveraged Finance focusing on raising debt for JSE listed companies. 

Once qualified, Natasha worked as a sell-side analyst covering listed property stocks and later transitioned into corporate finance, advising on a wide array of transactions, mainly in the property sector, such as: mergers and acquisitions, disposals, capital raisings, and corporate restructurings. 

Natasha holds a Bachelor of Accounting Science (Honours) from the University of the Witwatersrand and has completed Level 1 CFA.

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VALUES
Empathy
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We put ourselves in others’ shoes to understand their situation. This enables us to understand their problems and challenges and come up with solutions to these, as well as to understand their opportunities and find ways to help them exploit those to the benefit of all involved.

Integrity
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Dependable
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Respect
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As people and organisations of integrity we choose to do the right thing even when there is a cost associated to this decision. We operate honestly and above board. We communicate clearly and directly, and we avoid political manoeuvring and devious schemes to achieve our goals.

We know our own capability and capacity and based on this knowledge we carefully make promises that we can keep. Then we keep them. We avoid surprises and in the exceptional cases where we are unable to keep our original promise, we communicate this honestly, clearly, and timeously.

We show respect for our stakeholders by valuing opinions and treating everyone as equals. We listen to feedback and assess needs and look to assist and support where ever possible.  We employ fair tactics and respect the law of the land ensuring sound and reasonable business practices.

Partnership
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We see our stakeholders as our partners – whether they be investors, portfolio members, team members, customers, or even our customers’ customers. This means that in every situation we create opportunities that benefit all involved and create agreements in which everyone shares fairly in the benefit created, in accordance with effort and value added.

Passion
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We hire people who come with the batteries included. We make the effort to share our passion and we encourage and inspire each other to dream big and embrace those dreams with passionate action.

Visionary
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We lead the African continent by envisioning better futures. Where there is vision, people can be moved from lives that are perishing in quiet desperation, to lives of hope, a future, and abundance. We dream big, share our dreams, build executable plans to make our dreams reality – and then we execute!

Engaging
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We intentionally include people in our visions, dreams, passions and partnerships; inspiring them to engage their whole person in getting behind these. We help them discover, gain confidence in, and engage their strengths, allowing others to compensate for their weaknesses. This allows us to attract, engage, and retain the best talent in our industry, giving them a place to continually grow into their full potential.