HAVAÍC, a venture capital firm with headquarters in Cape Town, that focuses on funding early stage companies has closed its $20 million pan-African investment fund. The investment fund which HAVAÍC refers to as its Universum Core African Fund invests in startups with African origin that are using technology to offer smart solutions to Africa’s largely imbalanced ecosystem.
The Fund sees early stage startups through the first stages of funding from the seed round till their eventual exit after a series A round. 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.
HAVAÍC has plans to invest in up to 25 early stage startups over the next three years. This support will be made available for tech-enabled companies that solve real-world problems and create impactful solutions both locally and globally. In a press release, HAVAÍC stated that 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.
Ian Lessem, Managing Partner at HAVAÍC said 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,” he said.
The VC firm said its 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%. The VC firm is working to finalise investments into leading pan-African communications platform Talk360 and Nigerian e-commerce player ShopEx.
Justin James, Investment Partner at Fireball Capital, commented, “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.”