BY TOM JACKSON
Ten South African fintech startups have been selected for the ZAR10 million (US$665,000) AlphaCode Incubate programme, which provides funding, guidance, co-working space and opportunities to apply for further early-stage investment.
In all, 200 fintech businesses applied for the AlphaCode Incubate programme which aims to grow innovative financial services entrepreneurs and find the next OUTsurance or Discovery.
The 12-week intensive pre-incubation programme is valued at ZAR500,000 (US$33,000), including ZAR150,000 (US$10,000) in grant funding for each participant, and culminates in a demo day, where participants will compete for a place in a six-month step-up programme. Step-up offers grant funding of ZAR500,000 (US$33,000) for each startup and intensive incubation focused on achieving both product-market fit and financial viability.
The 10 selected startups include Bento, an out-of-the-box employee perks and benefits platform; Mapha, which buys and delivers goods from any local store in your area within two hours; OysterPay, a digital banking platform for gig workers; Melon, an easy way to invest in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies; and AgriCool, an e-marketplace that links smallholder farmers and buyers to a fair and reliable market.
Also selected are Imfuyo Technologies, which is developing a smart farming solution that will give livestock farmers better oversight of their operations at viable cost points; MatchKit, which helps athletes better commercialise their careers; Varibill, a billing and revenue management tool; Chama Money, which enables stokvels to operate online in an easy, safe and transparent way; and DentX, a machine learning platform for vehicle damage repair pricing.
“We are delighted by the quality of the applications for our programme. We have selected a diverse cohort and we look forward to supporting these disruptive, early-stage businesses with pioneering ideas so that they can make a meaningful impact in the financial services industry,” said Andile Maseko, head of ecosystem development at AlphaCode.