HAVAÍC is an investment and advisory firm that specialises in investing and supporting early-stage, high-growth post-revenue African businesses driven by technology with global prospects. As a complementary offering, HAVAÍC provides corporate advisory and capital raising services to its portfolio companies as well as emerging, internationally scalable businesses.


To optimally support our investments, HAVAÍC is run and operated by partners with extensive local and international experience (raising capital, M&A and strategic analysis), providing personalised and bespoke transactional expertise and strategic advice. Our portfolio companies retain their independence and are encouraged to maintain their unique cultures. We are deeply invested in our ventures, ensuring greater commitment and accountability. 

OUR VISION is to provide a non-traditional investment offering that delivers annualised returns of at least 30% through participation in early stage (proven product), high growth African businesses with global prospects.

OUR MISSION is to facilitate success and realisation of international potential of emerging African businesses through strong advisory relationships and transactional expertise (M&A, capital raising and strategic insight).


Ian Lessem

Managing Partner


Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, Ian’s passion for building businesses runs in his genes. This, coupled with over a decade of pan-African investment banking experience across a myriad of infrastructure and real estate projects, corporates, financial institutions and sovereigns, makes him perfectly placed to invest and advise early stage high growth businesses. Ian has a special talent for raising capital and is an expert at strategically aligning businesses for growth, investment and exit.

Grant Rock



Grant is a connector and outgoing individual, who enjoys exploring new places, meeting new people and learning about new businesses.  He has a talent for finding new business opportunities, and providing business-minded, practical advice. For nearly 20 years Grant worked as a corporate transactional lawyer, solicitor and executive in South Africa, London and New York, on a wide range of transactions in banking, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, debt and equity capital markets, and private equity. He is passionate about tech, photography, art and various outdoor sporting pursuits.

Rob Heath



Much to his family, friends and teachers’ frustration (and at times, appreciation), Rob is an inquisitive, active, original and determined individual. This has led him to perform in and be exposed to a variety of disciplines, sectors and activities in academia, business and sport. After post-grad studies and completing his chartered accountancy articles, Rob worked and travelled in Africa, the USA and the UK as an executive, business founder, CA and advisor. Rob brings practical operational experience, a wealth of multi-sectoral knowledge and detailed financial acumen to the HAVAIC team. Recent sector exposure includes consumer engagement, trend identification, urban mobility, health, financial inclusion and the technologies that surround those.



including strategy, research and local and international fund raising
investing in and raising capital for start-up and early stage high growth technology businesses
HAVAÍC is built on the solid foundations of its founders in investment banking, legal and M&A, corporate finance and advisory services, complimented by diverse operational expertise, and as applied in the emerging market context of Africa. 




Rob Hamer
Investment Committee Chair

Rob is currently the Senior Director of Growth Capital at Maia Financial in Sydney, Australia. He was previously the co-head of Alternative Investments at Ashburton and co-head of Investment Banking at Rand Merchant Bank and several other management roles at RMB. His institutional banking career was focused around the return and risk on corporate loans and private lending in various forms. He was also closely involved in RMB’s principal equity and mezzanine investing activities.


Previously Chairman of Bowmans and head of the firm's Corporate Department, Jon retired as a partner this year, having spent his entire working life with the firm. He now consults to Bowmans and specialises in corporate governance and advising boards of directors. His expertise extends to corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets and securities law.


Jonny is currently co-Managing Partner at Universum Wealth, a UK-based Family Office and Investment Manager.  He was formerly with HSBC Investment Bank, joint CEO of Nedbank Private Wealth, Sasfin IC Chair and CEO of Close Brothers Asset Management (UK).


Darren holds a PhD in Mathematics and is the former head of Investec Life, Investec Specialist Investments, and previous member of Investec CIB manco. In addition to his extensive banking career, Darren is an active investor in both local and international start-ups, and is a director of Lucova Inc, a US based tech driven consumer platform.


Given his interest in assisting growth companies to access capital and his admiration for innovative entrepreneurs, it was merely a matter of time before Jonty would find himself advising a venture capital company. Jonty’s analytical approach is useful in evaluating companies’ likely capital requirements and considering the appropriate returns that investors are likely to seek. Jonty spent most of his career at Standard Bank, where he worked on a wide range of transactions across industries and legal jurisdictions, which has resulted in his in-depth understanding of the ways in which different capital instruments can be used to address specific funding challenges.

Subscribe to receive investment news and information
  • LinkedIn - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle

Member of SAVCA 

Havaic Holdings South Africa (Pty) Ltd is a juristic representative of Prime Asset Managers (Pty) Ltd, FSP No. 33933

© 2021 HAVAÍC