When it comes to investing, the realm of venture capital is still in its infancy locally but the benefits of being backed by a VC firm is still notable.
But choosing a venture capitalist to partner with is something that requires thought and due diligence in order to find a partner that matches your business’ vision and mission.
A VC is of particular importance for startups that are looking at scaling.
One example of such a firm is HAVAÍC which in just five years has developed a portfolio of 13 companies from South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.
“We focus on bringing about strategic value in the companies we invest. Our approach is very much about solving backwards from the end goals and carefully considering what foundations need to be put in place, the next strategic moves, and which partnerships need to be cemented along the way,” explains managing partner at HAVAÍC, Ian Lessem.
What should you look out for when choosing a VC partner though? For one, it’s important to insure the VC has a good track record of meeting agreed investment terms and also provides good strategic support.
One company that has benefitted from partnering with HAVAÍC is AURA. The VC firm partnered with AURA when AURA had just one client. The startup has grown from strength to strength and this year it has announced expansions into Kenya as well as the UK.
“In a market where few investors are truly willing to invest and support early-stage ventures, HAVAÍC, plugs an important gap in the local venture capital ecosystem, and has proven to be a great partner for AURA,” says AURA chief executive officer, Warren Myers.
Something else that is key, is partnering with a VC firm or investor that has both local and international expertise. While local knowledge is important, as is the case with firms like AURA, expanding into new markets requires foresight a venture capitalist can provide.
“Being involved in the African tech VC space is like living in a book by Dr Seuss, where everything is wonderfully topsy turvy and upside down. Despite local economic head winds in South Africa and global challenges, African entrepreneurs continue to not only meet these challenges, but when armed with technology, the right people and partners and access to markets, whilst maintaining their unique identity and culture, they don’t merely survive but thrive,” Lessam concludes.