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All posts by AlphaCode

AlphaCode
AlphaCode, launched in September 2015, is the fintech investment arm of Rand Merchant Investment Holdings with the mandate to invest into a diversified portfolio of superior entrepreneur led, early-stage fintech focused businesses that have achieved some market traction and are poised for rapid growth. AlphaCode offers a state-of- the-art shared workspace designed as a clubhouse which members can use for hot desking, meetings and engaging with other members. The space is also designed to host frequent events such as fireside chats with leading entrepreneurs, dialogue sessions, networking functions and pitch evenings. Investments to date incluce Merchant Capital and Entersekt.
  • School payments app Karri expands offering to organisations needing to collect funds

    The Karri app, launched in April last year, has grown to just under 300 South African schools driven by parent and teacher demand for a solution to school payments. Due to the success of this collections platform, Karri has expanded its offering to include collections for just about any purpose or organisation that wants to collect from its members. Doug Hoernle (pictured above), the founder of Karri, explains,"Karri has provided a phenomenal solution to any school collecting funds for school outings, tours, civvies days and school fees. Instead of parents sending envelopes full of cash to their school, they can...

  • Explore Data Science Academy, Alphacode seeks aspiring SA fintech entrepreneurs

    Do you have an idea that could make you South Africa’s most successful fintech entrepreneur? Are you looking to acquire the skills to launch a data-driven fintech business? Then Explore 10X is looking for you. The Explore Data Science Academy (Edsa) and Rand Merchant Investments (RMI) fintech division, AlphaCode, have announced a 12-month data science and business skills programme for 20 aspirant South African future fintech entrepreneurs. Successful candidates will go through an intensive six-month data science-training programme, where they will learn how to design a 10X business along with the core digital skills needed to build a fintech organisation. This...

  • Four top fintech businesses selected for AlphaCode’s R2.5m scale-up programme

    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...

  • AlphaCode seeks next OUTsurance or Discovery, offering R16m in support

    AlphaCode, an initiative of Rand Merchant Investments (RMI), has set aside R16-million to identify a new generation of financial services entrepreneurs through its AlphaCode Incubate initiative. Explains Dominique Collett, head of AlphaCode and RMI senior investments executive,"The RMI board believes it is important to identify, partner and grow the next generation of financial services entrepreneurs so that the group can continue its legacy of innovation with businesses like Discovery, OUTsurance, MMI and FirstRand. "Because the South African financial services landscape is changing rapidly due to the rise of new technology, dynamic regulatory environment, increased cyber security risks and a different type...

  • Insurtech is transforming a staid South African insurance industry

    One of the hottest trends in South African fintech in 2018 is insurtech -- which has gained momentum over the last two years, says Dominique Collett, head of AlphaCode, a club for fintech entrepreneurs powered by Rand Merchant Investment Holdings. "It was initially seen as a major threat by insurance companies, but now insurers are taking a far more proactive approach to seize opportunities in this space and are starting to collaborate with startups. Exciting new models are transforming a staid industry characterised by opaqueness and outdated systems,” says Collett (pictured above). As millennials enter the market with different expectations, the insurance industry is...

  • Regtech, the new fintech, driven by complex financial regulations

    "There are three elements driving interest in regulatory technology (regtech) in South Africa and abroad," explains Dominique Collett, senior investment executive at Rand Merchant Investment Holdings and head of AlphaCode, a club for fintech entrepreneurs. "These include customer demand for an enhanced experience, cost reduction and the simplification of compliance due to burdensome regulation in the financial services industry," adds Collet (pictured above) Regtech is innovative technology developed to address regulatory challenges. Whilst regtech focuses on compliance, risk management, regulatory reporting and transactions monitoring, the focus in South Africa has been on identity management. Most financial services businesses including banks, wealth and asset...

  • AlphaCode head calls on SA to become a fintech centre of excellence

    Dominique Collet, senior investment executive at Rand Merchant Investment Holdings and head of AlphaCode has called on the South African fintech scene to become "a centre of excellence". "Now that the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has established a fintech programme to track and analyse developments, South Africa has all that is required to become a fintech centre of excellence," says Collett (pictured above). She believes the country has "an advanced banking and financial services system with a sound regulatory regime". "We have extremely competent regulators, top entrepreneurial talent and innovative businesses that are attracting considerable local and global investments. The missing puzzle piece...

  • Goodbye online crooks: SA startup keeps money safe till buyers, sellers both agree

    As online fraud in South Africa escalates, buying and selling goods using online platforms places both buyers and sellers at risk. After Jethro O’Brien, CEO and co-founder of TradeSafe.co.za, was duped while trying to buy car parts that had been advertised online, his idea for TradeSafe was born. TradeSafe is a licensed, independent fintech company that safeguards a buyer's funds in trust (escrow) until the seller delivers what was promised. Only once the buyer is happy with the goods or services received, does TradeSafe release the funds. Explains O’Brien, “We act as a buffer between a buyer and a seller. The...

  • South African fintech in 2018 – what can we expect? [Opinion]

    Fintech continues to surprise with little to touch the rise of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in 2017.  This will continue in 2018 and I make some predictions based on what we see happening globally and what we see taking place with our members at AlphaCode, a Rand Merchant Investments club for fintech startup entrepreneurs. Bitcoin At the end of 2016 I predicted that 2017 was going to be the year that the world would embrace bitcoin. I thought it would go mainstream but I had no idea how mainstream it would become. We have seen the bitcoin price increase from $1000 at the beginning...

  • Four black-owned fintech startups each win R1m at Alphacode pitching event

    Four black-owned South African financial services startups each won R1-million last night at a pitching event hosted by AlphaCode. The event was held on 31 October and was run for the third time in collaboration with AlphaCode, a club for next generation financial services entrepreneurs powered by RMI Holdings. 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. 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...