Four businesses that are shaking up financial services have been named as finalists in AlphaCode’s recently launched accelerator programme, AlphaCode Accelerate. AlphaCode is Rand Merchant Investment Holding’s (RMI) incubation, acceleration and investment vehicle that identifies, partners and grows early stage financial service ventures.
AlphaCode was founded to seek the next OUTsurance or Discovery. The first four fintech businesses selected for the AlphaCode Accelerator programme are: Entersekt, Livestock Wealth, Click2Sure and Invoice Worx.
AlphaCode has partnered with scale-up accelerator 10X-e to provide a R2.5-million programme offering mentorship, expert guidance and support services to help these businesses on the path to scale and job creation.
Dominique Collett, investments executive at RMI and head of AlphaCode, says these businesses will be part of a fully sponsored group of like-minded financial services founders ready to take a rigorous two-year journey tailored to build the next generation of financial services market leaders.
“Entrepreneurs facing similar challenges will undergo this transformative journey. We will provide access to top-class mentors and industry experts, impactful content and workshops and the opportunity to engage meaningfully with the RMI team to prime the business for future potential investment opportunities,” says Collett.
Jason Goldberg, 10X-E co-founder, says there’s a lot of help for startups, but very little for the most difficult part of the entrepreneurial journey, scaling up. “Even the top 1% of founders get stuck or fail in the scale-up stages, mostly because they do not know the terrain. It is dangerous ground that surprises at every turn with new perils.”
Siya Ntutela CEO of Invoiceworx provides inventory finance to spaza shops. “AlphaCode so far has helped us with finding our product market fit and connected us to the First Rand group of companies and we now have a contract with one of them. The funding they provided assisted us in building our technology and hiring staff. We have opened two new depots, we employ 40 people and service over 700 spaza shops. We believe the AlphaCode Accelerate programme will support us to refine our offering and help us to create business processes geared for a scaling company.”
Nthuthuko Shezi, founder and ‘cow executive officer’ of Livestock Wealth, offers the ability to own and manage livestock with an app, and connects farmers looking for funding to grow their farms, with investors looking to invest in cows. “AlphaCode has been a great partner and supporter of Livestock Wealth since 2016. We have great expectations of AlphaCode Accelerate as a useful partner for our next phase of growth and expansion beyond South Africa.”
Schalk Nolte is CEO and founder of Entersekt, an innovator in mobile-first fintech solutions in authentication and a mobile banking app that helps protects tens of millions of end-users worldwide. He believes the programme will provide Entersekt with additional access to experts to help achieve their goals. “We have embarked on a global expansion drive. Scaling fast has its challenges and we hope the programme will help us improve on our operating model, so that we can continue to grow our software-as-a-service business sustainably.”
The programme kicks off on 1 November this year and lasts for two years.
In addition, AlphaCode is closing applications tomorrow (7 September) for AlphaCode Incubate which seeks to identify and reward early stage, high potential, innovative entrepreneurs to boost the development of fintech and financial services in South Africa. Sixteen businesses will be invited to pitch for eight places on this programme. The final eight businesses will complete a customised twelve-month programme and will benefit from an entrepreneurial package worth R2 million each.