Venture capital firm HAVAÍC invests $400,000 in ShopEx in Nigeria


Cape Town-based venture capital (VC) HAVAÍC has announced the completion of its first investment in ShopEx, a Nigerian retailer.

HAVAÍC announces that it is investing US$400,000 from its US$20 million HAVAÍC Universum Core African fund. The investment is part of a US$625,000 convertible note round alongside existing angel investors.

ShopEx leverages a combination of traditional and digital channels to market, sell and distribute some of the world’s leading brands in Nigeria and other African markets, including Nutri-Bullet, Copper Chef, Power XL, Dream by Genie, Myfit Jeans and Contour .

Founded by CEO Isi Abebe and advised by Expert Media Partners (EMP), ShopEx digitizes and integrates the customer journey across many channels or platforms, from TV to Instagram, to improve customer engagement and sales conversions.

Integrations with leading last mile partners streamline the fulfillment process through a nationwide 24-hour delivery service. Overall, the technology monitors revenue, media spend, sales agent data, inventory, customer engagement, transactions, fulfillment, and logistics in real time to optimize success.

“The launch of ShopEx coincides perfectly with the rise of e-commerce and the maturing of logistics and payment platforms across Africa. These are essential components to creating a truly omnichannel experience,” said Abebe. “We look forward to rolling out an exciting lineup of new products and strengthening our technology to deliver an exceptional customer experience and expand our offering to other markets.”

Going forward, ShopEx said it is poised to capture Africa’s fast-growing e-commerce market, buoyed by high mobile phone penetration rates and growing social media. In the past five years alone, e-commerce revenues have increased by 250%.

This figure is expected to further increase by 64% to reach US$46 billion by 2025. In Nigeria, the company is uniquely positioned to meet the demand for quality, globally sourced products among the country’s young middle class fast growing.

The latest round of funding will allow ShopEx to continue to grow its team, brand, product deals, inventory and operations in new markets with Ghana already underway, the company said.

“ShopEx has the experience and network to take advantage of one of the most untapped retail opportunities in Africa,” added Ian Lessem, Managing Partner at HAVAÍC. “Additionally, their scalable technology means ShopEx can leverage social media and key partnerships with companies such as Multichoice, Jumia and Alibaba to spearhead the growth of multi-channel shopping in the marketplace.”

Marking the venture capital firm’s second pan-African fund, HAVAÍC last month announced the third and final closing of its HAVAÍC Universum Core African fund. Now also having its latest portfolio company in ShopEx, the fund has already deployed a third of its funds to African tech start-ups including CrowdForce, CompariSure, Kuda, Mobiz, HearX and Tanda, among others. The fund is on track to make up to 25 investments over the next three years.

This announcement follows a strong performance for HAVAÍC in 2021. The venture capital firm’s portfolio companies now serve a total of 5 million customers in more than 180 countries around the world. Last year, HAVAÍC portfolio companies raised $110 million in fresh capital and increased revenue by 160%. To date, HAVAÍC has completed three international exits, delivering annualized returns to its investors of 155%.

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