Incubation hub AlphaCode hosted the conclusion to its Incubate initiative on Thursday evening.

As part of this, eight fintech startups, under two years old and boasting a 51 percent black ownership were awarded R2 million in funding. That funding is comprised of R1 million in grant funding and R1 million in support services.

“This includes mentorship, monthly expert-led sessions, exclusive office space in Sandton, marketing, legal and other business support services as well as access to like-minded entrepreneurs, Rand Merchant Investment Holding extensive network of thought leaders, potential clients and capital,” said AlphaCode.

As many as 200 startups applied to participate in Incubate which has awarded R21 million in funding to 23 black-owned financial service businesses in the last four years.

“We have seen a notable improvement in the quality of applications year on year. This is indicative that AlphaCode is making an impact in the maturing of the fintech ecosystem. 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. In fact, two of the participants this evening came through our Explore programme,” said head of AlphaCode, Dominique Collett.

The eight businesses awarded R2 million were:

  • Mari – A digitised layby platform which allows for digital payments and savings.
  • Spoon Money – A group-based micro-working capital finance platform for female informal traders.
  • IsiDuli – Credit product for the development of backyard rental stock in townships.
  • Oyi Medical Card – Payments technology integrated into prepaid card for restricted medical spend only.
  • Budgie – Budgie is a free interactive application, that facilitates and assists spending based on a user’s created budget.
  • okGo.live – On demand vehicle insurance specifically targeted at out of warranty vehicle owners.
  • Olova – Olova offers a single payment platform for public transport systems.
  • GetVanced – Income advancing platform based on employee’s earned income.

AlphaCode Incubate is made possible with help from Merrill Lunch South Africa and Royal Bafokeng Holdings.