Feature coming soon.

As part of our commitment to AlphaCode, our Product Team is continually working hard on adding exciting new features, along with functional improvements.

Fintech, AlphaCode

R4-million awarded to four of SA’s top BEE financial services start ups

R4-million awarded to four of SA’s top BEE financial services start ups

Four black-owned South African financial services startups each won R1-million last night at an exciting pitching event hosted by AlphaCode.
  The Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) pitching event is an initiative of  Merrill Lynch South Africa and Royal Bafokeng Holdings which seeks to identify and reward high potential South African fintech entrepreneurs to boost the development of fintech in South Africa. The event was run for the third time in collaboration with AlphaCode, a club for next-generation financial services entrepreneurs powered by RMI Holdings.   Monetary awards were made to four of the 10 black-owned financial services businesses which pitched. The four businesses, as recipients of the grant funding, will become members of AlphaCode’s BEE Centre of Excellence and will receive additional business support services including free office space at a prime Sandton location.

To date, the programme has disbursed R13 million to 15 businesses over the past two years. The grant funding has ranged from R500 000 to R1 million per business.   The winning startups were:

  • Commuscore - an alternate credit scoring provider that captures payment and lending behaviours of consumers and micro-lenders in the informal sector. They provide an informal saving scheme administration and management tool that is able to build a credit profile based on various data points. Founders are Philile Mkhize and Priya Mistry.

  • Investsure provides fraud insurance to shareholders against losses in share price caused by actual or perceived deception committed by management. Their fraud insurance product operates on trading platforms and is targeted at individuals investing in the JSE and asset managers. Founders are Mbulelo Mpofana, Ignatius Nkwinika and Shane Curran.

  • Cascade was founded in 2016 by two actuaries, Mutoda Mahamba and Gavin Waldeck. Through technology and digital marketing, Cascade reduces the cost of insurance and gives the savings back to the consumer through an insurance savings product. Their product is the equivalent of a medical aid savings account within the short-term insurance market.

  • Everest Ventures, founded by Neo Ratau, is an entrepreneurial SME finance advisory service and investment management company offering comprehensive services such as capital raising, business case solutions, acquisitions and disposals and financial reporting. It’s the meeting point of large and small businesses providing access to funding and opportunities.

During the event, contestants from the 10 businesses had just five minutes to pitch their businesses with a few minutes set aside for questions from the esteemed panel of judges. The judging panel included Senior Investment Executive at RMI Holdings, Dominique Collett; Justin Bothner, Head of Investment Banking at Merrill Lynch South Africa; Albertina Kekana, CEO of Royal Bafokeng Holdings and Raymond Ndlovu, Investment Executive at Remgro Limited.

Chipo Mushwana, Head of Ecosystem Development at AlphaCode said, “We are delighted by the commitment and quality of the entrepreneurs of these high impact black-owned businesses that we see in the financial services space. This is testament to the need for our BEE Centre of Excellence. The winning businesses were selected because of their ability to meet our judging criteria which included their revenue model, the problem they are solving, how they differentiate from their competitors and their marketing plans.”  

Julia Benadie, Regional Executive of Operations and Corporate Affairs at Merrill Lynch explained, “Our company is wholly supportive of young entrepreneurs in South Africa and we recognise them as significant contributors to our economy. Disruptive ideas are to be supported and encouraged as we need to see creative fintech solutions emerge for the challenges that South Africans face today.”  

Mushwana continued, “We have seen that this funding is used for the development of technology platforms to create annuity revenue for the businesses; recruitment of highly skilled team members; purchasing of equipment such as laptops and boosting marketing and business development efforts.”

“We have also tracked the impact of these businesses over the last two years. Previous successes of this initiative include Isazi Consulting, a machine learning business which used the funds received in 2015 to build a data visualisation tool and made a 266% return on the investment. Livestock Wealth when they joined the programme had sold only 10 cows and with the funds received in 2015, increased marketing efforts and have now sold more than 1000 cows and attracted additional funding as well as a global audience.

Related Articles

Join AlphaCode

Are you ready to take your fintech business to the next level?Join the growing network of fintech disruptors shaping the future of our industry.

  • Green

    Membership

    Green membership is available to aspiring financial services entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and service providers.

    • Monthly newsletter with key industry insights, trends and news
    • Access to open networking events hosted at AlphaCode
    Join now
  • Gold

    Membership

    Our gold membership is open to financial services founders and co­founders with a full-time commitment to their businesses.

    • Access to our co­-working office space in Sandton
    • Business support services
    • Access to exclusive networking events & hosted dinners
    • Acceleration and incubation support
    • Informal mentorship from the RMIH investment team
    • Exclusive applications to competitions and conferences
    • Access to AlphaCode vetted service providers
    • Exposure to commercial opportunities
    Apply now
  • Platinum

    Membership

    Offered to high­ potential BBBEE businesses that have received enterprise development funding.

    • Free semi­-private office space for 6 months in Sandton
    • Business support services
    • Informal mentorship from the RMIH investment team
    • Access to exclusive networking events & hosted dinners
    • Exclusive applications to competitions and conferences
    • Acceleration and incubation support
    • Access to AlphaCode vetted service providers
    • Exposure to commercial opportunities within and outside the portfolio companies
  • Diamond

    Membership

    Offered by invitation only to businesses which have received growth capital investment from RMIH.

    • Receive growth capital investment from RMIH
    • Access to a co-­working office space in Sandton
    • Business support services
    • Access to exclusive networking events & hosted dinners
    • Formal mentorship from the RMIH investment team
    • Exclusive applications to competitions
    • Access to AlphaCode vetted service providers
    • Exposure to commercial opportunities within and outside the portfolio companies
    • Exclusive applications to competitions and conferences

Member testimonials

  • Alpha Code is a phenomenal platform to network with next generation fintech players offering leading thought leadership events in a world class environment. Look forward to watching the ecosystem facilitate the next ‘Uber’ of Africa.

    Dov Girnum, CEO Merchant Capital

  • AlphaCode has been instrumental in the growth of our business. Through the club, we have met many like-minded entrepreneurs and businesses with whom we have formed strategic partnerships. The team is incredibly generous with their time and continue to give us invaluable mentorship and support.

    Annabel Dallamore, CEO Stock Shop

  • Starting a business is a daunting prospect, especially one that has a focus on an unproven and experimental technology. I have benefitted enormously from the support and wisdom I have received from AlphaCode during my time as a member.

    Lorien Gamaroff, CEO Bankymoon

  • Being located in the heart of Africa's biggest financial services hub, we have gained a lot of credibility through AlphaCode. Our customers trust our brand by association, which results in increased sales of cows.

    Ntuthuko Shezi, CEO Livestock Wealth