SME South Africa is changing for the better. Learn more about the exciting updates here
LifeQ, a provider of biometrics and health information derived from wearable devices and used in world-leading health management solutions, announced it has secured $47 million from top investors around the world. LifeQ co-founders Laurence Olivier, CEO, and Dr. Franco du Preez, Chief Scientist, made the announcement.
“LifeQ is proud to partner with the world’s most distinguished investment groups to positively impact the future of health for all people,” stated Mr. Olivier. “We are in the midst of a global health crisis caused by sedentary lifestyle, increased work demands, and unhealthy foods resulting in rapid increase in chronic illnesses worldwide, many of which are preventable. The COVID-19 situation has brought this problem into stark focus. LifeQ has already been integrated into some of the world’s most innovative new wearable products by leading OEMs to bring consumers the healthcare of the future.”
LifeQ has two key value propositions: enabling wearable devices to provide business-grade and near clinical-grade health information streams; and using this data to generate health and wellness solutions for consumer, business and clinical applications. LifeQ is rapidly becoming the preferred health enabler and benchmark for the world’s top consumer electronics companies, powering the next wave of digitally enabled insurance and health management, and has already had significant, life-changing and even life-saving impact on real users’ lives.
“High accuracy, personalized, non-invasive digital health monitoring by wearable devices is the future of well-being and good health,” stated Dr. du Preez.
LifeQ has assembled a valuable shareholder base to assist with business expansion that spans an impressive list of institutions and strategic investors, including Invenfin, 4Di Capital, Allectus Capital, Mogul Capital, Tenhong Holdings, Analog Devices, Hannover Re, Convergence Partners, Stellar Capital Partners, Nedbank Corporate and Investment Bank, Delos, OneBio Seed Investment Fund, Virgin Group, Lireas, Allen & Co, and Acequia Capital. LifeQ has also drawn the backing of experienced entrepreneurs and family offices such as Rachel Diamond, Halls Investments, Bremer Investments, Errol Damelin, Dietco, among others.
Tiger Brands has established a venture capital fund as part of its effort to drive growth. The venture capital fund will be launched in June 2021 and aims to give Food and Beverage startups the much-needed access to capital and capability required to grow their businesses. The fund will assist entrepreneurs in securing capital while also helping Tiger explore new opportunities locally and across the African continent.
As a priority, the fund will invest in consumer brands and Intellectual Property within the Food and Beverage sector. There will be a secondary focus on capability and technology opportunities within across the value chain which can benefit the broader Tiger business. Relevant opportunities will include emerging and existing consumer trends such as Health and Nutrition, Plant Based foods, Convenience and Snackification.
Becky Opdyke, Chief Marketing Officer at Tiger Brands says “Our strategy and vision is not only to continue being Africa’s largest food manufacturer, but also to ensure that we stay ahead of the curve in terms of trends to better cater to the evolving needs of our consumers.”.
This initiative will provide Tiger with early access to opportunities, which in turn provides a pipeline of growth initiatives to fuel future growth.
Through this venture, Tiger Brands will expand its participation in new product categories, as well as enhance its access to capabilities to continue serving its consumer base.
Any fund-related queries may be sent to Venture.Capital@Tigerbrands.com.
Fintech startup and buy now pay later (BNPL) provider Payflex says that the part-payment platform grew from a shopper base of 2 000 to 85 000 in 12 months and its customer base soared from 70 merchants in 2019 to over 750 active stores this year.
In addition, online merchants in SA which offer a buy now pay later (BNPL) payment option are achieving up to 30% higher average order values from their customers, larger purchases and significant revenue increases through more sales conversions.
Payflex has seen over 12% month on month rises in new merchants on its platform this year. “The growth in our business, during a pandemic, mirrors e-commerce adoption and expansion,” says Jarred Deacon, head of growth at Payflex.
“With a BNPL payment option, customers tend to convert quicker and since they only pay for a quarter of their purchase right away, they tend to buy more and load their shopping cart. Merchants are settled in full for all purchases next business day, which increases cash flow and lowers fraud and chargeback risks. It’s a no-brainer,” Deacon explains.
Payflex’s BNPL model allows customers to shop at over 700 well-known online stores. 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, Mastercard or American Express cards (debit, credit or cheque).
There are an estimated two million online shoppers in South Africa and Payflex has over 80,000 signed up on its platform. BNPL payment options don’t affect the disposable income of customers, and free up cash flow over a six week period.
Costs and benefits
Merchants that offer the Payflex BNPL option pay no set-up fees. Low transaction fees on successful orders are tailored per business after a consultation with the Payflex onboarding team.
Payflex’s online digital mall allows customers to search different categories and shops that allow them to buy now and pay later. In Australia, BNPL providers are second only to Google as lead generators for their merchant partners. “A leading tech retailer in South Africa which offers Payflex confirmed that Payflex generates the highest number of referral leads, indicating that Payflex is following the global BNPL trends,” says Deacon.
BNPL also seems to be acquiring a greater portion of the transaction payments ecosystem, with a Payflex client – another leading local e-commerce business – indicating that its Payflex BNPL payment gateway is in the top three payment options for customers, up from ninth position a year ago.
Charlton Maseko, e-commerce director at KaryKase, says that with increased traffic attributed to the Payflex online store directory, the company has made Payflex its exclusive payment method for card payment processing.
Merchants are finding that BNPL significantly expands their customer base. The impact is especially powerful if the BNPL option is promoted while the customer is still browsing rather than just at checkout through the innovative product widget which drives shoppers to check out, for less upfront cost.