Merrill Lynch South Africa has put R4 million while Royal Bafokeng R1 million to invest into five black-owned South African fintech startups after a pitching event at AlphaCode.
Merill Lynch awarded R 1 million into E-factor, Imafin, Invoiceworx, Stokfella, while Roayl Bafokeng put R 1 million into Heritage Capital Partners. The five were part of the 11 that pitched at the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) pitching event, an initiative of Merrill Lynch South Africa and AlphaCode, a Rand Merchant Investments club for fintech entrepreneurs.
Apart from receiving funding, the five of the eleven black-owned fintech businesses will become AlphaCode platinum members getting office space and one year of incubation.
According to CEO of Merrill Lynch South Africa, Richard Gush, “South Africa has the potential to become a fintech centre of excellence as it has an incredibly advanced financial services infrastructure. This provides an empowering context for emerging fintech entrepreneurs and financial technology innovators to develop solutions that meet the needs of different communities, many of whom have previously had little access to safe and reliable financial services.”
The winning businesses were selected because of their ability to meet the judging criteria which included their pricing and revenue-generating models and how delivery and implementation would occur. Senior Investment Executive at Rand Merchant Investments, Dominique Collett said she was extremely impressed by the energy and calibre of all the contestants.
Here is a detailed description of the companies;
- E-factor is an online marketplace that allows small and medium sized businesses to sell their invoices so that they can obtain payment within 24 hours.
- E-factor also offers investors a low risk asset class through invoice discounting. Investors can buy the invoices at e.g 3% discount to 30 days, (which translates to above 40% return per annum).
- All invoices are insured by reputable insurance companies.
Tito Mbatha, co-founder E-Factor. Mbatha is passionate about SME empowerment and success and wants to unlock cash that is sitting in money market accounts earning 7% per annum to the invoice markets to earn in excess of 40% per annum!
- Imafin, established in 2013, is a specialist payment and commercial credit firm driven by innovation on traditional payments models.
- Through the commercial credit offering, Imafin helps suppliers and their customers to focus on their core business by removing credit risk in their procurement transactions, converting credit sales into instant cash and extending payment terms.
- The solution is offered in partnership with Diners Club International, a subsidiary of Standard Bank South Africa.
- Additionally, they also offer payments advisory to banks, retailers and other financial institutions. They have concluded a number of key advisory assignments in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Nivan is a co-founder of Imafin with extensive experience working in the payments industry. Prior to starting Imafin, Nivan held senior position at MasterCard.
- Invoiceworx is an online platform that enables SMEs to save time and money when applying for credit at financial institutions.
- Through the platform, SMEs have access to a range of finance options such as trade finance, merchant finance etc.
- In 2015, Invoiceworx participated in a global fintech competition and were one of the top 10 finalists out of 250 participants.
Siya is a co-founder and CEO of Invoiceworx. He is a serial entrepreneur with an investment banking background and a passion for small businesses. In 2010 he founded Bonsai Capital a consulting company in the Enterprise Development Sector. Through his own experience and working with other small businesses, he quickly realised the inefficiences in the credit market which gave birth to Invoiceworx.
Mdu is COO of the business and has over 20 years in the banking sector across companies such as ABSA and Standard Bank heading up their credit divisions.
- Stokfella offers a digital platform for stokvels to manage their day to day affairs with ease.
- Stokfella aims to digitise a 19th century industry by leveraging off mobile technology; to provide solutions that allows for organizing, communicating and wealth management.
- The company’s dream is to see every stokvel group and its members, pursue their financial freedom through them.
Tshepo is Soweto born who has a M. Engineering in Mechanical and experience in mining and bank activity base costing. His passion lies in exploring and understanding behavioural economics to solve African (continent) challenges.
Is a tech-preneur passionate about bringing the best digital solutions to the African continent.
Heritage Capital (www.heritagecapitalpartners.com)
- Heritage Capital is a black female owned and managed business that seeks to invest growth capital into small to medium sized companies.
- The intention is to stimulate growth, job creation and local production through investments.
- Heritage Capital targets the industrial, consumer and services sectors of the economy.Philile MaphumuloPhilile Maphumulo has 10 years of corporate finance and private equity experience. She spent six years at RMB Corvest, one of the private equity divisions at RMB. Prior to that Philile was part of the Corporate Finance team at AMB Capital. Prior to starting Heritage Capital, Philile Maphumulo was the Chief Executive Officer of Nozala Investments.Kedibone Imathiu
Kedibone Imathiu has 10 years of investment banking and fund management experience. Prior to founding Heritage Capital, she led a team that has invested in a number health and education investments with a value in excess of R2 billion in her role as Fund Principal at Public Investment Corporation.