The Rand Merchant Investment Holding (RMI), through AlphaCode, has granted entrepreneurial packages valued at R16 million to eight of South Africa’s most promising financial services startups.
It was noted that all businesses are less than two years old and at least 51% owned by black South Africans.
Meanwhile, each business will receive a package valued at up to R2 million including R1 million in grant funding and R1 million in support services.
Benefits 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, RMI’s extensive network of thought leaders, potential clients and capital.
The AlphaCode Incubate initiative, in partnership with Merrill Lynch South Africa and Royal Bafokeng Holdings, identifies South African financial services entrepreneurs with ‘extraordinary ideas’ and businesses that could impact the financial services industry.
More than 200 startups applied to participate. Of these, twelve made it to the final pitch evening and eight recipients were selected.
The Incubate programme has disbursed R21 million in funding to 23 black-owned financial services businesses since it began four years ago.
Commenting on this achievements, the head of AlphaCode Dominique Collett said, “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.” He added.
During the event, contestants had just three minutes to pitch their businesses, with a couple of minutes set aside for questions from a top panel of judges.
The distinctive panels includes: co-founder of Discovery Barry Swartzberg, CEO of Vitality; Danie Mathee, CEO of OUTsurance; Mary Vilakazi, COO of Firstrand, Account Investment Manager at Royal Bafokeng Holdings; Katlego Kobue, iKatlego and investments executive at Remgro and Dominique Collett ;Raymond Ndlovu.