SA fintech startups grab US$350,000 at AlphaCode pitching event


Five South African fintech startups have secured a combined sum of US$350,000 (ZAR5 million) at a pitching event put together by Johannesburg-based fintech hub, AlphaCode.

The pitching event, which is the second edition, took place on October 11, 2016 at AlphaCode and saw 11 startups pitch for five minutes to judges to access the funds.

The judges included Dominique Collett, senior investment executive at Rand Merchant Investments; Richard Gush, CEO of Merrill Lynch SA; Albertina Kekana, CEO of Royal Bafokeng Holdings; and Sonja Sebotsa, principle partner at Identity Partners.

After the pitch session, E-factorImafin, Invoiceworx and Stokfella each received US$69,000 (R1 million) from Merill Lynch while Heritage Capital Partners received same amount from Royal Bafokeng Holdings.

“The winning businesses were selected because of their ability to meet our judging criteria which included their pricing and revenue-generating models and how delivery and implementation would occur,” said Collett.

The five startups are now platinum members at AlphaCode. They’ll be provided office spaces, one-year of incubation at the hub and business support services.

The Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) pitching event is an initiative of Merrill Lynch South Africa and AlphaCode to identify and reward high potential SA fintech entrepreneurs to catalyse the development of fintech in South Africa. 

“AlphaCode was established a year ago to drive and support innovation in financial services and to fast-track financial inclusion in our society. Our partnership with Merrill Lynch South Africa allows the mainstream financial services sector to help support emerging fintech innovators,” Collett added.

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