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HAVAÍC completes the third and final close of its HAVAÍC Universum Core African Fund

Updated: Jul 19, 2022

Cape Town-headquartered venture capital (VC) firm HAVAÍC this week announced the third and final close of its second pan-African investment fund. The Fund invests in start-ups born in Africa that use technology to solve real-world local, regional, and international challenges and make an impact in the markets they serve. The Fund invests in and supports early-stage, post-revenue seed investments up to later-stage growth Series A investments.

“The Fund’s institutional investors bring new international relationships and capital. Coupled with our experience in investing in Africa, this makes for a winning combination of local expertise, networks, and follow-on funding internationally. These are all necessary ingredients when scaling businesses,” said Ian Lessem, Managing Partner at HAVAÍC.

Since launching in 2020 under a joint venture with Universum Wealth, the Fund has invested in several South African, Kenyan, and Nigerian technology start-ups. Following its second close in 2021 and the inclusion of leading institutional partners such as South African-based Fireball Capital, the third and final close allows HAVAÍC to execute on its exciting pipeline of investment opportunities and leverage off its partnerships with existing and new investors in both Africa and across the globe.

“The escalating interest from local and international investors supports the growing prominence of African venture capital as an asset class. This is off the back of an influx of increased investment in recent years spurred on by growing awareness for these enticing African investment opportunities for local and international investors. And with the investment demand for African tech-enabled companies showing no signs of slowing down, this is just the tip of the iceberg,” added Lessem.

The Fund is on track to complete up to 25 investments over the next three years. A third of the funds have already been deployed into early-stage African technology companies in the FinTech, HealthTech, and SafeTech industries, including Aura, Kuda, Crowdforce, Mobiz, Comparisure, Tanda, RecoMed, and HearX.

“We are drawn to HAVAÍC’s track record of supporting businesses that use technology-enabled solutions to solve real-world problems,” said Justin James, Investment Partner at Fireball Capital. “The impact of our smart capital allocation will result in sustainable job creation in South Africa and on the rest of the continent. And we look forward to working with our partners to successfully internationalise these businesses onto the global stage,” he added.

The news follows the release of HAVAÍC’s 2021 results. The VC firm’s portfolio companies now serve a combined 5 million customers in over 180 countries across the globe. Last year, HAVAÍC‘s portfolio companies raised US$110 million in fresh capital and increased revenue by 160%. To date, HAVAÍC has achieved three international exits, delivering annualised returns to its investors of 155%.

“Investing in private markets has become an increasingly important consideration for private clients, and the continued success of our joint venture with HAVAÍC has ensured that we deliver the investment needs of our clients in this fast-growing asset class,” said Jonathan Sieff, Co-Managing Partner at Universum Wealth.

HAVAÍC announced the latest addition to its diverse 15-strong portfolio of companies in February 2022, Crowdforce, which empowers Nigeria's underserved and unbanked population. In the coming weeks, the VC firm is set to finalise investments into leading pan-African communications platform Talk360 and Nigerian e-commerce player ShopEx.

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