What to Expect in Fintech in 2019 and 6 African Tech Startups to Watch

Tebogo Mokwena and Kamogelo Kekana, co-founders of Akiba Digital.

To help usher in an exciting New Year, a number of startup founders, accelerator heads and ecosystem stakeholders will be sharing with us their plans for the new year and their biggest wish for the local entrepreneurship ecosystem in 2019. 

2018 was the year of insurtech, says Dominique Collett, a senior investment executive at Rand Merchant Investments and the head of AlphaCode.

Insurtech companies are transforming the insurance industry – including improving customer experience, simplifying policy management, and helping the industry be more competitive.

“This year we saw lots of new, interesting entrants in the insurtech space like Indie, Naked and Pineapple who are backed by big institutions.

“I think it is difficult for these niche insurers to scale quickly but expect these players to grow and new entrants to appear in the market. Players like Root Insurance make it much easier for new insurance entrants to get to market.”

Collett shares what 2019 holds for fintech in South Africa and gives a list of startups we should be keeping an eye on. 

Big developments in fintech

In our recent AlphaCode Incubate initiative which identifies South African financial services entrepreneurs with extraordinary ideas and businesses that could impact the financial services industry, we saw a lot of businesses trying to solve the problem of financial exclusion and ways to provide low income customers with relevant financial services products.

I am most excited about innovative SME financing solutions to help drive South Africa’s economy.

Startups to look out for in 2019

Pineapple creates a business network that allows small businesses to access group discounts, financing solutions and consistent stock supply.

Akiba allows you to track your savings goal, keep focused and get rewards for saving.

Franc is South Africa’s cheapest way to invest. It allows stokvel members to invest in money market and besides the membership fee of R5 per month, there are no other fees or deductions.

Prospa is a savings platform for people earning between R2 000 and R8 000 a month.

Nisa Finance automates invoice financing to make it easier for SMEs to access affordable cash-flow financing from financial institutions.

InvoiceWorx is an inventory financing platform that gives small retailers access to lines of credit from suppliers.

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Lebohang Thulo
Lebohang Thulo
Lebohang Thulo is the editor of SME South Africa. She enjoys keeping up with the country’s exciting and fast developing entrepreneurship ecosystem. You can find her at @lelele3