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The Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Savca) said it is following the case between SA venture capital (VC) company HAVAIC and Stellenbosch based Custostech “closely” and will act in terms of its current Code of Conduct once the legal process has run its course.
This, after SA venture capitalists this week expressed shock over the VC’s decision to sue Custostech for $4.45-million (see this story).
The VC alleges that the startup reneged on a R3.5-million investment agreement. This, while the startup revealed to Ventureburn last week that it had been forced to lay off most of its staff (see this story).
In a statement issued today Savca CEO Tania van Lill (pictured above) thanked those in the startup and venture capital community for their concern in the matter involving the Savca member, HAVAIC and its dispute with Custostech.
Savca said it is following HAVAIC’s case against Custostech and will act in terms of its code of conduct once the legal process is over
She confirmed that Savca was made aware of the dispute after receiving an official complaint lodged by Custostech in December last year, after the case had already entered into litigation.
Said Van Lill: “Savca immediately escalated the matter to its code of conduct sub-committee for review.
“Supporting evidence was sought and the code of conduct committee discussed the matter at length, after which, legal counsel was sought as to Savca’s jurisdiction to intervene in commercial matters.
She said Savca’s legal counsel advised that as the process in the high court had already commenced, Savca would not be able to compel either HAVAIC or Custos to agree to mediation nor did Savca have jurisdiction over matters of a commercial nature, which were the subject of litigation.
“Custostech was informed of the outcome and Savca requested to be kept abreast of the matter,” she said.
Savca also informed HAVAIC of the official complaint and expressed its concerns to HAVAIC about the approach it elected to follow to deal with the matter and the potential negative implications it may have on the broader ecosystem.
Said Van Lill: “I can assure you that Savca is following the case closely and will act accordingly – in terms of our current Code of Conduct – once the legal process has run its course”.
Meanwhile, the founders of four of the VC’s investee firms say there was nothing untoward in their dealings with the VC (see this story).
Read more: HAVAIC acted with integrity with us, say founders from VC’s portfolio companies
Read more: SA venture capitalists shocked over Havaic’s bid to sue Custostech for $4.5m
Read more: SA’s Custostech lays off staff after VC sues startup for $4.5m over failed investment bid
Featured image: Savca CEO Tania van Lill (Supplied)