SA’s HAVAÍC launches newest fund, achieves second close

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South Africa-based, Africa-focused venture capital (VC) firm HAVAÍC has announced the launch of its newest fund, which has now achieved its second close.

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, it provides corporate advisory and capital raising services to its portfolio companies as well as emerging, internationally scalable businesses.

HAVAÍC had a mixed 2020, drawing attention for a legal wrangle with South African startup Custos Media Technologies, which was subsequently amicably resolved, but also making eight new investments and seeing three international exits. 

Its Universum Core African Fund has now achieved its second close. The fund is a joint venture (JV) between HAVAÍC and Universum Wealth, an international investment management firm with deep experience in both listed and private markets.

“Private markets are an important source of value and diversification for our clients. We have worked with the HAVAÍC team for several years and are delighted to partner with them on their pan-African Fund. HAVAÍC are exceptionally well-networked in the African VC space and have a proven ability to source compelling investment opportunities,” said Jonathan Sieff, managing partner at Universum Wealth. 

“They subsequently apply their strategic insights and deep understanding of best practice to deliver amazing value to the companies they have invested in and are increasingly demonstrating how their unique approach delivers favourable exits for their companies and our clients. We are delighted to continue to build our partnership with HAVAÍC and view the fund as an exciting opportunity for our clients, Universum Wealth and other investors.”

HAVAÍC, whose portfolio companies provide technology enabled solutions for close to half a million customers in over 180 countries around the world, provides investment and strategic support to post-seed, pre-Series B African technology startups. The fund allows both South African and international investors to invest into VC investments alongside local and international institutional investors that they otherwise would not have access to.

“I am buoyed by the results from the Fund’s second close and the interest shown by local and international investors supporting the fund JV between HAVAÍC and Universum Wealth. It is also gratifying to see the majority of funding commitments coming from international investors. This really speaks volumes for how VC in Africa is an asset class being noticed by international investors, who contribute not only foreign investment into our local economies but give our markets exposure to their international networks as well,” said Ian Lessem, managing partner at HAVAÍC.

Following a successful fund first close in 2020, and having already added several investments, a third and final close of the fund targeting up to US$20 million is expected later this year.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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