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SA fintech Selpal has grown its revenue and customer footprint “fourfold” since First Rand announced that it had acquired an undisclosed minority stake in the Johannesburg-based firm in November last year, the company’s CEO Stephen Goldberg revealed yesterday.
The company, which Goldberg helped found in 2012, offers a point-of-sale device and tech platform aimed at township businesses.
Using the platform businesses can sell things like airtime and electricity to customers. In addition, customers that use the system can score loyalty points that they can then use to purchase products sold by the businesses using the system.
This, while a wallet system allows business owners to pay suppliers in credit they have placed in their wallet, rather than with cash.
Since First Rand’s investment, Selpal had “more than doubled” its employee numbers to over 100 people.
Speaking to Ventureburn yesterday, Goldberg said since receiving the investment from First Rand his company had “more than doubled” its staff numbers and now employs over 100 people.
“There’s a huge demand for these services,” said Goldberg. He said the company now services about 9 000 to 10 000 retailers and taverns based in 17 townships in Gauteng, which he added “literally service millions of customers” — and is now looking to launch nationally by next year.
Since the beginning of this year the company has been piloting the offering to a number of clients outside of Gauteng in a bid to better understand certain regional dynamics, he said.
He said First Rand and its various companies including FNB are keen to use Selpal’s channel to offer financial services to the informal market, while using the data collected by the platform to better understand the informal market.
Said Goldberg: “Township retailers need to get the respect that they deserve — they understand that technology is both an opportunity and a threat to them”.
Goldberg declined to name the two brothers who co-founded the business with him in 2012, saying that they prefer to “stay out of the limelight”. He however did reveal that the two have 23 years’ experience in the township market.
The company was self-funded by the three until 2017 when an angel investor invested an undisclosed amount in the company. Goldberg would not reveal how much the angel investor put in, or how much the three founders had committed of their own money.
Featured image: Selpal via Facebook