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Universum Core African Fund targets up to $20m at final close

Anna Lyudvig
March 3, 2021, 10:29 p.m.
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HAVAÍC, an African focused venture capital investor, has announced the second close of its Universum Core African Fund, a joint venture between HAVAÍC and Universum Wealth.

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HAVAÍC, an African focused venture capital investor, has announced the second close of its Universum Core African Fund, a joint venture between HAVAÍC and Universum Wealth.

Following a successful first close in 2020, a third and final close of the Fund targeting up to $20m is expected later this year.

Ian Lessem, Managing Partner at HAVAÍC, said: “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.”

“The first and second close was largely anchored by our fund 1 investors comprising of local and international private investors and family offices. Close to $10m was raised in this process. The third and final close, expected to take place in the third quarter of the year, will be largely made up of institutional investors, with a fInal closer of up to $20m being anticipated,” Lessem told Africa Global Funds

HAVAÍC has a proven niche for investing in African technology enabled businesses and supporting their growth both locally and into international markets.

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

Jonathan Sieff, Managing Partner at Universum Wealth, said: “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.” 

HAVAÍC, whose portfolio companies provide technology enabled solutions for close to half a million customers in over 180 countries around the world, provide investment and strategic support to post seed, pre–Series B, African technology startups.

The Universum Core African Fund has already added several investments to its portfolio, including Kuda Bank (Nigeria), Tanda (Kenya), Mobiz (SA) RecoMed (SA), Aura (SA) and HearX (SA / USA). 

“Having closed our first investment for the year in January, a follow on investment into HearX, we have secured an investment for an IOT business that provides live data allowing for predictive and preventive maintenance in the vehicle space; are finalising the investment terms to lead a series A for an existing portfolio company to aid their entry into the US market; and are finalising a due diligence for an investment in the on demand consumer space,” said Lessem.

With a portfolio and pipeline that continues to deliver, together with its JV partner Universum Wealth, HAVAÍC is well placed to remain one of the continent’s most active early-stage tech investors achieving international success.

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