Vakayi Capital, a venture capital firm that is the country’s only small and medium enterprise (SME) focused impact investor, has committed ~$375,000 to Homelux Property Development. Homelux is one of the leading property development companies in Zimbabwe and will deploy the funds towards the development of residential stands in the Tynwald South suburb area of Harare. Specifically, the capital will be utilised to construct tarred roads, storm drains water and sewer reticulation systems. The project is being implemented on a nine hectare piece of land which will be subdivided into residential stands measuring approximately 400m2 each. There will also be provision for a shopping centre and a pre-school in the development.
“This is our first investment in Zimbabwe since our launch and we are extremely delighted to have this opportunity to invest in such a knowledgeable and experienced entrepreneur. The investment satisfies our twin objective of delivering meaningful impact whilst generating attractive risk adjusted returns,” said Chai Musoni, CEO, Vakayi Capital.
Homelux was founded by Justin Machibaya in 2002. He is a highly qualified and experienced property “guru”, having more than 20 years of industry experience. Homelux is alleviating the housing shortages in the country, which currently has an estimated backlog of over one million affordable units.
“We are very excited about this support from Vakayi Capital, which we believe is the beginning of a long, mutually beneficial partnership. We are particularly happy about the long-term nature of the investment, as it will give us the leverage to undertake several other housing development projects over the next five years” said Justin Machibaya, CEO and Founder, Homelux Properties.
“This investment by Vakayi is the first of many that we expect to make in the SME space over the next few years. Vakayi focuses its investment activity on SMEs in essential services such as education, healthcare, property and clean energy. We are planning to make two more investments in the healthcare and education sectors before the end of the year,” said Patrick Makanza, CIO, Vakayi Capital.
There are not many areas where greater social impact can be generated than the affordable housing sector. Zimbabwe is seized with biting housing shortages, particularly in Harare due to the rapid urbanisation witnessed over the past few years which has not been matched by sufficient affordable housing investment by the public or private sector. At the same time, Homelux is a well-established business that has demonstrated the ability to deliver quality products over the years.
“Harare faces similar challenges as other fast growing cities, including being plagued by shortages of safe, affordable housing”, said Will Poole, Managing Partner, Capria. “We’re pleased to support Vakayi’s first investment in Homelux, a company that shows it’s possible to deliver build-ready plots of land with nearby conveniences in high quality neighborhoods at reasonable prices. We look forward to continue working with Vakayi as they support small and growing businesses in Zimbabwe’s essential services sector.”
Vakayi SME Fund commenced operations late 2016 and has to date been supported by the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF), a Dutch government initiative investing in fund managers in emerging and frontier markets. DGGF has injected capital for investment and also technical assistance to for operating costs. Support has also been secured from Capria, an investment firm based in Seattle, USA. Capria provided investment capital and technical support as part of their acceleration and advisory programme. Vakayi was one three funds selected out of over 60 funds to be the first fund to join the Capria Network. Further, Vakayi has partnered with Lendahand, a unique Amsterdam based investor which invests through a crowd-funding platform. Lendahand has availed funds in support on Vakayi’s first investment and is expected to continue participating in Vakayi’s deals.
The participation of all these international investors demonstrates that foreign investors are willing to invest in good, viable deals that are properly structured and have had adequate due diligence performed.