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Sanari Capital, backed by leading institutional investor 27four, is pleased to announce its R25 million (USD 1.5 million) investment in LightWare LiDAR, a South African company supplying world-class microLiDAR sensor technology to leading global companies.

Established in 2012, LightWare gives ‘eyes to machines’, designing and manufacturing the world’s smallest and lightest precision LiDAR systems for use in drones, robots, autonomous vehicles, smart cities and other applications.

With more than forty years of management experience in the field of laser rangefinders, LightWare delivers leading-edge LiDAR technology to global halo clients including the largest internet, logistics and drone companies in the world. LiDAR is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure distance to objects. With more than 95% of its devices exported worldwide, LightWare has built a solid reputation as a global player in autonomous navigation and collision-avoidance applications for LiDAR technology.

Sanari Capital, a private equity investment firm focused on high growth and international opportunities emanating primarily from South Africa, is backing the company’s global expansion. “Already the company has achieved international success in this niche and growing market. Based on the reputation of its product and management team alone, the business has attracted large multi-national companies as customers. Now with industrious marketing and the ability to supply customers with on-the-ground presence in international markets, we expect the company’s growth to accelerate dramatically,” said Samantha Pokroy, CEO at Sanari Capital.

Tailwinds for LiDAR were already emerging when the transaction was initially contemplated, driven by the staged regulatory opening of autonomous drone delivery in the US and widespread use of drones for the delivery of life-saving medical supplies to remote areas in Africa. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the adoption and use-cases for LiDAR technology. With emerging megatrends such as the demand for contactless solutions (delivery by drone, workplace robots, IoT monitoring and management), remote medicine, test kit and vaccine delivery, and e-commerce, the demand has intensified.

“Not only does LightWare present an opportunity for attractive financial returns, confirmed by its profiling by Silicon Valley veteran investment bank, Woodside Capital Partners, as one of the leading 99 growth companies globally expected to prosper amidst the pandemic, but it is also supportive of Sanari’s focus on ‘Doing Good whilst Doing Well’. We are pleased that LightWare can play such an important role in the COVID-19 response, promoting South African industry on a global platform and creating jobs and skills for our local market”, says Moushmi Patel, Partner at Sanari Capital.

James Portman, Founder and CEO of LightWare says: “Every company with aspirations reaches a point where it’s time to seek investment – and this time has come for LightWare. We’re pleased that Sanari Capital has come on board as partners in our ever-growing venture. LightWare is poised for massive international expansion, and our partnership with Sanari will fuel this aggressive growth, enabling us to rapidly bring a series of innovative products to a global audience.”

“We’re also pleased that this investment signals the beginning of our partnership with 27four, who in addition to committing to Sanari’s new R1.5 billion Lower and Mid Market Fund (Sanari LMM Fund) currently being raised, has worked with Sanari to warehouse the investment for the new fund. LightWare will therefore be the first investment for Sanari LMM Fund with another investment for the fund currently underway,” says Pokroy.

Rory Ord, Head of Unlisted Investments at 27four says: “We are excited to back Sanari to complete the investment in a cutting-edge business like Lightware, and worked closely with the Sanari team through the investment process. We are looking forward to the close of the Sanari LMM Fund and to doing more investments with the team.”

Visit the company’s website to learn more

About Sanari Capital:

Sanari Capital is a private equity firm focused on high growth lower- and mid-market investments emanating mainly from South Africa with regional and global scalability. Founded in 2013, Sanari specialises in founder-run, owner-managed and family-owned businesses, bringing an emphasis on digital and human enablement to unlock business potential. Sanari is a Profit with Purpose firm, promoting inclusive growth whilst delivering superior returns to investors.

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