SA VC firm HAVAIC concludes first investment in Nigeria’s ShopEX

SA VC firm HAVAIC concludes first investment in Nigeria's ShopEX

South African-based venture capital (VC) firm HAVAIC, has announced the completion of its first investment in ShopEx, a Nigerian omnichannel direct-to-consumer retailer. 

According to a statement, HAVAIC has finalised investment of US$400,000 from its US$20 million HAVAÍC Universum Core African Fund. The ShopEx investment forms part of a US$625,000 convertible note round alongside existing angel investors. 

ShopEx mobilises a combination of traditional and digital channels to market, sell, and distribute some of the world’s most successful ‘As Seen On TV’ brands in Nigeria and other African markets, including Nutri-Bullet, Copper Chef, Power XL, Dream by Genie, Myfit Jeans, and Contour.

The company digitises and integrates the customer journey across numerous channels, from television to Instagram, to improve customer engagement and sales conversions. Across the board, the technology monitors revenue, media spend, sales agent data, inventory, customer engagement, transactions, fulfilment, and logistics in real-time to optimise success, the statement explained.

Isi Abebe, founder and CEO of ShopEx said, “The launch of ShopEx perfectly coincides with rising e-commerce and maturing logistics and payment platforms across Africa. These are vital components for creating a truly omnichannel experience. We look forward to rolling out an exciting pipeline of new products and bolstering our technology to deliver an exceptional customer experience and expand our offering into other markets.”

ShopEx is poised to capture Africa’s fast-growing e-commerce market buoyed by high mobile phone penetration rates and social media growth. The company’s e-commerce revenue grew by 250%, over the past five years alone. The figure is projected to rise a further 64% and top US$46 billion by 2025, added the statement.

The latest funding round will enable ShopEx to continue growing its team, brand, product agreements, inventory, and operations into new markets with Ghana already underway. 

“ShopEx has the experience and network to take advantage of arguably one of the most untapped retail opportunities in Africa,” added Ian Lessem, Managing Partner at HAVAÍC. “What’s more, their scalable technology means ShopEx can leverage off social media and key partnerships with the likes of Multichoice, Jumia, and Alibaba to spearhead the growth of multi-channel shopping in the market.”

The announcement follows a strong performance for HAVAÍC in 2021. The VC firm’s portfolio companies now serve a combined 5 million customers in over 180 countries across the globe. Last year, HAVAÍC’s portfolio companies raised US$110 million in fresh capital and increased revenue by 160%.

To date, HAVAÍC has achieved three international exits, delivering annualised returns to its investors of 155%.