In a statement yesterday (15 October), Havaíc said it has advanced the first round of financing — for which it has acquired a 10% equity stake — with an allocation for follow-on funding at Instant Property’s option. If the option is exercised, Havaíc will hold in total up to 17% equity stake in the real-estate portal.
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As part of the deal Havaíc executive director Grant Rock will join the Instant Property board in a non-executive capacity.
While Instant Property founder and executive chairman Wayne Berger (pictured above) would not disclose just how much Havaíc had invested in the Johannesburg-based startup — which he founded last year in February — he was able to tell Ventureburn yesterday that the investment is the “largest fund-raise” the startup has held thus far.
Prior to the deal the startup concluded an angel investment round. Berger again did not want to disclose the size of that deal. He hinted however, that Havaíc’s investment is “more than double” the angel round.
Havaíc investment in Instant Property is almost double the value of the startup’s earlier angel round
The startup’s other backers include venture builder iShack Ventures — in which Berger is a managing partner — and another private firm with a “significant property portfolio” that he would not name (as they wished to maintain their privacy, he said).
Currently Instant Property has over 9 million square metres of commercial property space listed on its portal and over 2.5-million square metres of office, warehouse and retail space currently available for sale and to let.
Berger said the funding will go into additional software engineering resources to grow the portal’s machine learning and big data capabilities.
“Secondly, we will invest in marketing initiatives to increase awareness of the Instant Property’s innovative software as a service offering to landlords, commercial property brokers and businesses looking for space to rent,” he added.
Berger said he also wants to expand into new markets on the continent. He added that he is “already engaging” in talks with partners in Botswana and Kenya, as well as those in other African territories.
Next month Instant Property will be exhibiting at the West Africa Property Investment Summit in Lagos Nigeria.
Commenting on the deal, Grant said in recent years there have been “significant investment” in realty tech — both from existing players as well as international investors and he believes that the Instant Property market place is the missing link in a sector that is “ripe for disruption”.
Featured image: Instant Property founder and executive chairman Wayne Berger (Supplied)