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

ShopEx mobilises a combination of traditional and digital channels to market, sell, and distribute some of the world’s top brands in Nigeria and other African markets.

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

HAVAÍC says it is investing US$400,000 from its US$20 million HAVAÍC Universum Core African Fund. The 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 top 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 digitises and integrates the customer journey across numerous channels or platforms, from television to Instagram, to improve customer engagement and sales conversions.

Integrations with leading last-mile partners optimise the fulfilment process via a nationwide, 24-hour delivery service. 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.

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“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,” said Abebe. “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.”

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

The figure is projected to rise a further 64% and top US$46 billion by 2025. In Nigeria, the business is ideally placed to meet the demand for quality globally-sourced products among the country’s fast-growing, young middle class.

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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, the company said.

“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.”

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Marking the VC firm’s second pan-African fund, HAVAÍC announced the third and final close of its HAVAÍC Universum Core African Fund last month. Now also counting its latest portfolio company in ShopEx, the fund has already deployed a third of its funds into early-stage African technology companies, including CrowdForce, CompariSure, Kuda, Mobiz, HearX, and Tanda, among others. The fund is on track to complete up to 25 investments over the next three years.

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%.

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