Lucid Ventures, a Venture Capital company launched earlier this year by kulula.com founder Gidon Novick today announced its maiden investment. Lucid has acquired a 20% stake in Jamie Oliver’s signature restaurant chain ‘Jamie’s Italian’ in South Africa.

 

Lucid is an FSB approved fund where its investor base benefit from a section 12J SARS income tax incentive.  The incentive was put in place to encourage investment in qualifying new ventures and high growth SME’s in the country.  Investors get a full deduction of their investment against taxable income. Lucid has an initial capital base of R80m and an investor group comprising experienced and successful South African entrepreneurs. The initial focus of the fund is on businesses in the fast growing casual dining sector.

 

Jamie’s Italian operates forty restaurants worldwide. The first South African restaurant will open in Melrose Arch in November, with plans to open a further four restaurants over the next few years. CEO Stephen Gersowsky, an experienced food entrepreneur and operator said “Jamie is arguably the world’s best loved celebrity chef.  His cooking style is accessible, he uses only the best ingredients and each dish has an exciting twist.”

 

“South Africa has a history of brilliant entrepreneurs. With a new source of Venture Capital funding now in place combined with strategic support and mentorship – our hope is that many more emerge and that we can play a part in their success” concludes Novick.