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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.
  • How to take your business global

    Many South African businesses have ambitions far greater than the domestic market. This is particularly true of financial services as our system is the most advanced in Africa, with first world infrastructure that resembles that found in developed markets. Consequently, financial services solutions developed here are highly relevant to developed markets. Andile Maseko, head of strategy and ecosystem at AlphaCode says, "There are a number of strong examples of South African fintech companies that have become global successes. By focusing on the right aspects and learning from key players, you can turn global ambitions into reality." AlphaCode is the Rand Merchant Investment...

  • Fintech business pays hosts in advance for Airbnb bookings

    Further disruption in South Africa’s accommodation and property letting sector is on the cards as AirAdvance, a fintech startup, provides those offering private accommodation through Airbnb easy access to affordable finance. It uses a confirmed Airbnb booking as collateral for a cash advance. Founder of AirAdvance, Jozette Chetwynd-Palmer (pictured above), says, "Using Airbnb to generate revenue is growing rapidly in South Africa as it joins the rest of the world in the sharing economy. In fact, last year, Airbnb stats show that South Africans hosted over 830 000 guests in their homes." Findings released during Airbnb’s Africa Travel Summit found that...

  • SA fintech Akiba Digital launches fun savings app for SA millennials

    Financial literacy remains a barrier for the youth. There is currently no platform that offers financial insights and proactively empowers or educates millennials about personal financial issues such as credit, lending, savings and investments. As a result, an increased number of millennials struggle to meet their financial goals as they are not equipped with adequate knowledge to make good financial decisions. Some of the reasons why millennials aren’t saving effectively include fragmented financial literacy, inconvenient channels to access financial products, complex financial product language, low affordability and accessibility to financial advisors and planners. Enter Akiba. Akiba is working towards becoming a data-driven...

  • AlphaCode awards R16m in support, funding to eight promising fintechs

    Last night (18 October), Rand Merchant Investment Holdings (RMI), through AlphaCode, awarded entrepreneurial packages valued at R16-million to eight of South Africa’s most promising financial services startups. The entrepreneurial packages consist of R1-million in grant funding and R1-million in support, which includes mentorship, monthly expert-led sessions, exclusive office space in Sandton, marketing, legal and other business support services as well as access to the broader RMI network. 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...

  • 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...