Musa Ventures’ Tandadzo Matanda On Winning The Women Leading Tech Innovator Award

Musa Ventures’ Tandadzo Matanda On Winning The Women Leading Tech Innovator Award

Tandadzo ‘Tando’ Matanda (pictured) is one half of Musa Ventures, a venture assessment platform designed to help close the $5 trillion global SME funding gap between women and minority-owned ventures.

The other half of Musa ventures is her mother, Dr Margaret Matanda or ‘professor’ as Tando calls her, “because ‘mum’ sounds weird in work meetings”.

‘Mum’ also happens to be a Fulbright Scholar, a British Commonwealth Fellow and a Kellogg Fellow. It’s no surprise then to know that Tando cites her as her inspiration.

“A quarter of Australian SMEs have inadequate access to finance. They don’t have enough money coming in, be it from banks, credit lending or any other source to help them actually grow their businesses. And it just hinders their ability to create healthy scalable businesses,” explained Matanda.

“And it goes all the way up to 60 per cent in developed markets. And female and minority founders in both developing and developed markets are disproportionately affected by that funding gap. This has huge implications particularly when you consider that SMEs contribute 40 per cent to the GDP of most countries, and they employ about 90 per cent of people.”

L-R: Tandadzo ‘Tando’ Matanda; Dr Margaret Matanda, Musa Ventures.

Musa evaluates ventures holistically, focusing on the metrics crucial for business success and attractiveness to funders. Leveraging the capabilities of AI and advanced statistical modelling, it has developed a venture assessment platform that levels the playing field, helping diverse founders track the metrics that matter in their funding story, pulling together insights on core pillars of business including the investment case, go-to-market readiness, IP and market opportunity. its goal is to help founders get funding ready, teaching them how to fortify their business’s health and helping create a robust pipeline of capital-ready deals for debt and equity funders.

Proud Zimbabwean Australians, the family moved to Melbourne when Matanda senior was completing her PhD at Monash University. Tando, as a social entrepreneur-turned-venture capitalist with an equally impressive set of credentials as an alumnus of both Cambridge University and the Boston Consulting Group, has followed in her mother’s footsteps to defy the odds.

And how does she find working with her mum? “I actually love it,” she said, “she was already one of my best friends and we have the same North Star.

“She’s dedicated her entire professional career to empowering businesses and women entrepreneurs… and I think there’s so much that tech as a whole needs to do in terms of leveraging and harnessing the intelligence and knowledge of people who are at the end of their careers because if we don’t start pulling what they know and digitizing that, we’re going to lose a lot of insights and a lot of intelligence. So I was like, am I going be the person building this and coding this or someone with 40 years of experience?

“If the future is coded by tech bros from Stanford, it isn’t going to reflect everyone,” she continued. “It’s going to have a singular vision and a singular focus and a very singular perspective. It’s so incredibly important that the technology that runs the future is built by heterogeneous and diverse groups of people.

“As Einstein said, you cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it. We cannot expect to solve inequity if we’re not equitably giving people the access to solve the problem of inequity. So am I just going to wait till somebody solves the problem that disproportionately affects people like me? Am I just going to wait for somebody else to solve that, who doesn’t know our unique circumstances?” she laughed.

“That’s why I rolled up my sleeves. That’s why, the Professor rolled up her sleeves because we’re like no one’s coming to save us!”

Find out the rest of the Women Leading Tech Awards winners and the inductees to the inaugural Women Leading Tech Power List!




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