HAVAÍC taps Universum Wealth to establish new fund

Early-stage African tech investor HAVAÍC has entered into a joint-venture (JV) with Universum Wealth to establish a new Pan-African start-up business investment fund.

Named HAVAÍC’s Universum Core African Fund, the new fund will allow both South African and international investors to participate in venture capital (VC) investments alongside local and international institutional investors that they otherwise would not have access to.

Cape Town-based HAVAÍC’s portfolio of companies provides technology-enabled solutions for close to half-a-million customers in over 180 countries around the world, providing investment and strategic support to post-seed, pre-Series B, African technology start-ups.

Universum Wealth is an international investment management firm with deep experience in both listed and private markets.

Speaking about the JV, Jonathan Sieff, managing partner at Universum Wealth, states: “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. 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.”

According to a statement, the fund had a successful first close last year, and has now secured its second close of funding. It aims to have a third and final close, targeting up to $20 million later this year.

Ian Lessem, managing partner at HAVAÍC, comments: “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.”

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