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African tech start-ups set to reach new heights

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Ian Lessem, managing partner of venture capital firm HAVAÍC.
Ian Lessem, managing partner of venture capital firm HAVAÍC.

The coming months show promising signs of continued growth and investment in African technology start-ups.

So says Ian Lessem, managing partner of venture capital (VC) firm HAVAÍC, pointing to the performance of HAVAÍC and its portfolio companies as the reason for his assertion.

Cape Town-based HAVAÍC supports early-stage, high-growth African businesses, and in 2020, saw the commercial adoption of technology increase at unprecedented rates, it notes.

The VC investor reveals it concluded eight investments in technology companies located in SA, Kenya and Nigeria last year, and its portfolio companies grew their revenue by 93% during the same period.

“It’s an exciting time for the continent’s start-up and investor communities. Fintech, e-commerce and e-health show immense promise for further growth, both in terms of funded ventures as well as for their local and international adoption and revenue growth,” notes Lessem.

He adds that African start-ups are reaching new heights in terms of broad global appeal. “With our portfolio servicing close to half a million clients in over 180 countries across the globe, and with the majority of our investments having successfully moved their intellectual property or operations into markets such as the US and UK, as well as achieving multiple international exits, HAVAÍC’s portfolio companies are well on track to fulfilling their international potential.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced people and organisations the world over to pivot and quickly adapt and re-strategise in obvious ways, Lessem says the coming months will be interesting as more subtle, but no less impactful solutions, come to the fore.

“Innovation thrives in times of challenge and uncertainty, and given the disruptive nature of our investments, HAVAÍC’s investment thesis to support local and act global is resulting in capital inflows and foreign investment into Africa, while delivering ‘dollarised’ returns to our portfolio companies and investors.”

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