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Startup News Roundup – Peach Payments Raises Additional Funding & More (26 – 30 April)

Posted on Apr 26th, 2021
Articles Tech
INAfrica Launches Online Global Marketplace for Local Tour Operators
InAfrica launches online global marketplace for local tour operators.

Peach Payments Raises Additional Funding

Fintech startup Peach Payments has received funding for an undisclosed amount, according to an ITWeb report.

The latest round of investment in the business was again led by Umkhathi Wethu Ventures (UW Ventures) in partnership with Allan Gray – with other existing investors participating as well.

Pan-African venture fund Launch Africa Ventures also joined in as an investor in this round of funding.

Peach Payments is a payment gateway and an integration layer which allows online and offline merchants to accept payments across all channels – website, mobile sites and mobile apps. It gives them access to all payment methods including credit/debit cards, bank transfers, mobile wallets, electronic wallets and mobile operator billing.

Rahul Jain, co-founder of Peach Payments, says the investment has been earmarked for growth acceleration outside of SA and to scale up the business’s current products and services, operational and engineering teams.

“This new investment round is a great indicator of the confidence our investors have in our core business model and hypothesis,” states Jain. “Peach set solid growth targets for itself in 2020, and we far outperformed those expectations. COVID and the acceleration of digital commerce provided strong tailwinds for the business − we doubled down during 2020 and invested heavily in identified growth areas to make the most of the opportunities.

According to Peach Payments, it saw a rapid increase of 400% in customer acquisition last year and revenue growth of 130%.

Buy Now Pay Later Fintech Startup Secures Funding

Fintech startup Payflex has scored a significant vote of confidence from an Australian-listed multinational.

Payflex is backed by Zip Co Limited (ASX: Z1P), a buy now pay later player with a market cap of over R55 billion. Paul Behrmann, Payflex CEO and founder, says the investment and support by Zip Co is a vote of confidence in local fintech innovation and the market opportunities inherent in South Africa.

“Although Zip was launched in Australia, it has expanded into the USA, Britain and New Zealand. With a leader in the buy now pay later (BNPL) space investing in Payflex from inception, we have the financial muscle to expand our footprint and provide merchants with comfort that the company they are dealing with has solid financial backing,” he says.

Payflex’s BNPL model allows customers to shop at over 650 well-known online stores like Cotton-on, Superbalist and The Pro Shop. Payments are split over four interest-free instalments.

The process is simple and quick for customers – the assessment is done in seconds and customers only pay a fee if they miss a scheduled instalment. Payflex accepts any Visa or Mastercard cards (debit, credit or cheque).

Higher value purchases and sales

Merchants which offer Payflex as a payment option report higher order values of purchases by up to 70%. They have also seen sales increases of up to 30% and repurchase rates of up to 70%. “Most importantly for merchants, transactions are settled daily directly into their bank accounts. Once the transaction is approved, the merchant is guaranteed payment, putting an end to the e-commerce problem of credit card chargebacks,” says Behrmann.

Merchants pay no setup fees when partnering with Payflex and only pay transaction fees on successful orders.

Payflex quadruples customer sign-ups as e-commerce booms

Covid-19 has fast-tracked the growth of South Africa’s e-commerce sector – local online retail is set to pass the R62 billion mark this year, which is almost 4.5 times the 2018 figure of R14 billion.

Consumer trust in online shopping has increased and with it, greater traffic across all sectors. Shopping online has become more sophisticated, with shoppers expecting experiences to be intuitive, streamlined and frictionless. According to Behrmann, Covid-19 has changed the rules of retail: greater competition, rapidly changing customer expectations, and the emergence of new technologies have caused fundamental changes.

“Consumers will continue to demand greater personalisation and convenience, simple payment methods and more control over their finances, so merchants need to ensure online shopping is part of their growth strategy,” he says.

Most leading brands have boosted their online offering over the past year. During that time, Payflex has more than quadrupled year-on-year customer sign-ups. “South Africans need a payment solution that does not rely on costly credit and is simple to use. Traditionally, paying via instalments in South Africa has been associated with high-interest charges. But this BNPL solution allows them to plan ahead and make interest-free purchases,” says Behrmann.

SEE ALSO: Peach Payments & Other Alphacode Startups That Are Solving 5 Of The Biggest Challenges In Fintech

INAfrica Launches Online Global Marketplace for Local Tour Operators

InAfrica, a free online directory was launched last week. The platform is aimed at supporting adventure, tour and experience operators to maximise their bookings in the domestic and regional market.

The platform offers a safe, efficient and user-friendly experience where people from all walks of life can find a variety of tour and activities to meet their tastes, interests and budgets and book them in real-time, online.

Travellers can now access a variety of activities hosted by local tour companies in South Africa, Lesotho and Mozambique. By the end of the year, they are planning to expand to a total 8 destinations including Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

For travellers, the booking process is smooth and efficient and starts with travellers selecting the country they want to visit or type of experience they are interested in from the homepage. Available tours and departures will then be displayed according to those preselected filters and after setting up a preferred date and budget, clients can choose the tours they want to take part in. The platform is totally secure and bookings are confirmed within seconds.

On the merchant side, in addition to listing and advertising their experiences on the platform, we give tour providers the option to create their own personalised website and showcase their services on a seamless, user-friendly interface.This service is very popular with smaller businesses who don’t have the resources needed to build their own websites.

The platform offers a safe, efficient and user-friendly experience where people from all walks of life can find a variety of tour and activities to meet their tastes, interests and budgets and book them in real-time, online.

“As someone who has travelled over 30 countries myself, I knew that the experiences being offered would appeal to many like-minded travellers all over the world. I could also see the reality of how much local communities and guides relied on tourism income for their survival,” explains Phakamile Hlazo, the founder of inAfrica. Hlazo is not only a seasoned traveller but also a tourism entrepreneur who has been working with over 120 travel SMEs (Small and Micro Enterprises) and is familiar with their challenges.

“Developing the inAfrica marketplace was the most effective way to connect these two sets of people (travellers and tour operators) and showcase meaningful experiences to consumers who would otherwise just never find them when searching online for things to do while in Africa.” says Hlazo.

SEE ALSO: Startup Peach Payments’ New Partnership Brings Alibaba’s Payment App Alipay To SA