Last week AlphaCode held an event where the accelerator platform awarded R16 million in funding to eight South African financial services startups.
The company, which is operated by Rand Merchant Investment Holding (RMI), offered up entrepreneurial packages consisting of R1 million in grant funding and R1 million in support.
The latter takes the form of mentorship, expert-led sessions and exclusive office space in Sandton, Johannesburg. Added to this is legal, marketing and business support, as well as access to the RMI’s network of services.
For this funding initiative, AlphaCode says more than 200 startups applied for consideration, but the following eight were deemed to be the best:
Akiba Digital – A gamified mobile app making it easier and more rewarding to set, manage and meet savings goals.
ISpani Group – Provides access for insurers into traditionally under-insured communities through prepaid vouchers and USSD sold by a network of “spaza” shop vendors.
Jammi – De-risks tenant rent default through offering tenants incentive-based discounts on food, transport and bolt-on retrenchment cover.
Nisa Finance – An invoice financing platform that enables financiers to issue invoice-backed loans to SMEs quickly and affordably by fully-automating the application and invoice verification through ERP system integration.
Pago – A low-cost mobile micro payments platform for the informal sector to enable an inclusive economy by digitising remittances through the use of blockchain technology.
Prospa – A mobile savings wallet for low-income earning South Africans that makes it easy to save small amounts infrequently using prepaid vouchers.
SELFsure – Enables millennials to significantly reduce car insurance premiums by self-insuring part of the risk via peer-to-peer lending.
Yalu – A self-service credit life insurance platform which replaces a customer’s current policy with a more affordable, simpler and rewarding policy.
It should be interesting to see how the assistance from AlphaCode will help these eight local startups in the coming years, but it’s clear to see the platform has designs to assist South African businesses and entrepreneurs.
“The intention behind AlphaCode’s Explore, Incubate and Accelerate programmes is for RMI to discover the next OUTsurance or Discovery; we want to identify, partner and grow the future of financial services in South Africa,” says Dominique Collett, head of AlphaCode and a RMI senior investments executive.
Speaking of AlphaCode’s other programmes, the accelerator is now focused on those in the fintech field, with its Explore initiative looking for 20 entrepreneurs.
“AlphaCode is also now also seeking additional fintech entrepreneurs for our Explore programme. This offers a 12-month data science and business skills programme for 20 aspirant South African fintech entrepreneurs in conjunction with The Explore Data Science Academy,” Collett concludes.