The e-commerce industry in South Africa has experienced a boom since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — and Black Friday was no exception….
A UK-based fintech — that allows consumers to buy, store and use cryptocurrency and which was founded by South African Kyle Redelinghuys — received “good” initial interest from users in a pre-sale that kicked off in May, says a top official at startup BVNK. The pre-sale aims to raise £15-million*.
“We haven’t raised any significant amounts through these users as (we) have been focusing on private deals to lead the pre-sale. Once these deals are concluded we will focus on the public sale,” BVNK head of business development, Kyle Hauptfleisch, told Ventureburn in an email last Friday (8 June).
The platform — founded by Redelinghuys (pictured above), a former Visa principal consultant, in 2016 — also provides the tools for developers to build their own local solutions. Users can open Bitcoin accounts that are backed by independent wallets and buy Bitcoin via EFT.
The pre-sale, which runs until 31 August, is to help facilitate a market on BVNK for localised financial solutions. The company aims to then run a public sale to raise £2-million*, at a startup date which will be determined by deliverables.
In a statement to Ventureburn in April, Redelinghuys said the platform aims to give people that are unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies the opportunity to participate in a simple and secure manner.
BVNK hasn’t raised any significant amounts through users as the startup has been focusing on private deals to lead the pre-sale, an official at the startup said
He added at the time that the fintech is building a library of financial services, backed by cryptocurrencies, to enable communities in Africa to build localised solutions that make sense as well as create business opportunities.
Hauptfleisch said the company formally launched in South Africa in September last year and has had “an amazing response” to its software as a service (SaaS) offering and have secured multiple agreements in a very short space of time.
He said while the platform takes a small fee for transactions on its consumer product, the aim is to generate much of its revenue via a business-to-business model.
“There we charge a monthly licensing fee depending on the size of the implementation and work with the client to align with their business model. We are revenue positive, but unfortunately the details are confidential,” he added.
The company has so far received two rounds of seed investment from private investors and is currently in discussion with a couple of backers, he said. “Once these deals are finalised, we will share the details,” said Hauptfleisch.
He added that the company does not require a license in the markets it is currently targeting at this point as the platform’s functionality is all backed by cryptocurrency.
“Part of our road map involves acquiring licenses to operate in a fiat capacity, but for now we are focusing on the cryptocurrency space,” he said.
*Editor’s note (13 June 2018): In the initial version of this article BVNK head of business development, Kyle Hauptfleisch said the startup is looking to raise £2-million in the pre-sale and £15-million in the public sale. BVNK has subsequently flipped the presale and public sale goals — presale is now at £15m and public at £2m — due to high interest.
In addition Hauptfleisch pointed out that BVNK is predominantly a B2B business, and that the startup’s consumer application was launched to “get fast feedback from real users”.
Since the launch the platform has added Litecoin and support for mobile money purchases (Bitcoin & Litecoin). The startup has also released an iOS application at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bvnk/id1391659787?ls=1&mt=8