SOUTH AFRICA – AlphaCode, Rand Merchant Investment Holdings incubation, acceleration and investment vehicle has awarded US$1.54 million supplier development loans to three fintech start-ups.

According to IOL Business Report, the three start-ups are Zande Africa, Bright On Capital and Livestock Wealth.

Head of AlphaCode, Dominique Collett, said, “Businesses like these don’t always get the funding they require to grow from commercial funders but as part of our commitment to partner and grow financial services start-ups, we’ve leveraged our supplier development spending to support them”.

These three black-owned businesses were reviewed by the AlphaCode investment committee. AlphaCode said that the businesses are addressing real needs in financial services and they believe in the growth potential of the start-ups.

Zande Africa, which started in 2016 with just two founders, Siya Ntutela and Mdu Thabethe received $0.74 million.

 Chief Executive of Zande Africa, Ntutela, said that he plans to use the loan for working capital to set up the third depot and to improve his technology platform.

The business provides trade and merchant finance to spaza shops to enable stock purchases.

Bright On Capital is an online peer-to-peer lender that provides affordable working capital funding to emerging small supplier businesses with sustainable growth prospects. It received $0.6 million.

Bright On Capital has grown from the initial two co-founders, Tsepo and Koena Headbush, to six permanent staff.

Headbush, Chief Executive of Bright On Capital, said that the loan will be used to grow its SME lending book, to develop distribution channels and to grow market reach.

Livestock Wealth received $0.13 million. It has pioneered investment in cows since October 2015 and now has over 2000 cows at various partner-farms.

“AlphaCode is a support system for fintech startups that want to scale their businesses.”

“We help to steer raw talent via our Explore programme where we provide the basic skill sets to build a business, our Incubate programme provides grant money of R2 million ($0.13) to get the business going and then the Accelerate programme helps participants to scale “

“We also provide a full hybrid of support in addition to these programmes providing grant money, equity and debt funding.  We are seeing our approach paying dividends and we look forward to providing funding to more exceptional, growing fintechs,” concluded Collett.