10 businesses, aiming to shape the future of financial services will begin their journey on a 13-week intensive startup programme in Cape Town today.
The Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is an intensive startup programme of networking, mentoring and development, aimed at supporting breakthrough financial technology (fintech) innovations.
It is the first time that the programme is being run in Africa. More than 450 start-ups from over 45 countries applied for one of the 10 places on the programme. The chosen fintech companies range from a solution empowering the financial literacy and inclusion of people with special needs, to one that allows governments to convert physical land titles to digital copies on an irrefutable platform secured on the Blockchain.
The Barclays Accelerator is one of several innovation initiatives delivered by Rise. Created by Barclays, Rise exists to offer the ultimate conditions for innovation and growth in financial services. The 10 companies will be based at the Rise innovation hub in Cape Town, launched in December and provides the optimum environment to network with and learn from likeminded individuals.
“At Barclays Africa we recognise that to drive innovation within the bank, we also need to look outside the organisation and embrace the innovative start-up ecosystem. I am looking forward to working with these 10 start-ups as we find increasingly innovative ways to help Africa prosper,” said Paul Nel, Head of Open Innovation at Barclays Africa.
"We are thrilled to be in partnership with Barclays Africa on this fintech accelerator, which represents Techstars' first foray into the African continent,” said Greg Rogers, executive director at Techstars.
“We firmly believe that some of the most disruptive technologies to financial services will come from African entrepreneurs as their thinking will not be trapped within the confines of legacy bank infrastructure and products. African entrepreneurs are literally reinventing banking for their communities, and Techstars and Barclays Africa are here to help them on that important journey," added Rogers.
The Barclays Accelerator programme will culminate in a Demo Day at the end of June where the companies will present their businesses to prospective investors.
About the companies
iNuka Pap: A mobile platform that partners with credit co-operatives to allow their members to conveniently deposit, withdraw and access instant micro-loans as well as access other credit services.
BenBen: A solution for governments to convert physical land titles to digital copies on an irrefutable platform secured on the Blockchain. Additionally, they provide citizens with a mobile application, website, and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) platform for them to manage their properties.
Beyonic: Enable businesses to quickly deploy and manage two-way mobile money payments to eliminate the need to make payments using cash. Through the use of web services and application programme interfaces (APIs), businesses can access payee and workflow management systems that greatly reduce fraud.
SimbaPay: Send money to family and friends’ bank accounts or mobile wallets in Africa (from abroad) in a convenient and cheap way. Customers can also use their bill settlement technology to pay merchants in Africa (e.g. universities, utilities). It also enables individuals to open a bank account back home using the app.
Asoriba: Simplifies church administration for leaders and improves engagement with members via mobile apps.
Social Lender: A lending platform that determines credit worthiness based on social reputation on Social Media platforms. The platform is licensed to financial institutions.
WizzPass: Complete parking solutions app allowing entry and exit to shopping malls, airports, commercial property, office parks, residential property and gated communities via a smartphone.
Tech4Farmers: Provides farmers with real-time access to market information through an electronic commodity exchange and electronic warehouse receipt system.
Re-Able: Provide tools and apps that empower the financial literacy and inclusion of people with special needs. The ReAble Wallet uses technology such as opitical character recognition (OCR) to allow users to conduct transactions by simply taking a picture of the receipt. The app then scans the receipt and informs the user of the total amount to pay, the optimal combination of bills and then validates the change received.
BimaAFYA: Micro-health insurance that is administered from a mobile handset. From cover registration, options browsing, premium payment (via mobile money), profile management, benefits wallet (ledger) management to claim (hospital) payments.