R16m for 8 disruptive financial services startups

Rand Merchant Investment Holdings (RMI), Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Royal Bafokeng Holdings seek top applications that could disrupt the financial services sector and grow rapidly locally or internationally to create the next OUTsurance or Discovery.

The rewards are significant for the final eight businesses selected: a package valued at R2m each including R1m in grant funding and R1m in support services.

This includes mentorship, monthly expert-led sessions, exclusive office space in Sandton, marketing, legal and other business support services as well as access to like-minded entrepreneurs, RMI’s extensive network of thought leaders, potential clients and capital. Last year more than 200 startups applied.

The programme is for highly motivated South African entrepreneurs and those with potential for entrepreneurship, who want to change the face of financial services. Each business needs to be at least 51% black-owned and operating in the financial services space.

You could have a business or idea focusing on insurtech, data analytics, lending, savings and investments, blockchain or any other area of financial services.

AlphaCode looks for strong entrepreneurial teams of two or more people with tech or financial services understanding and a business idea or model that they’ve validated a business case for, at least through some potential customer engagements. AlphaCode will also consider whether it can invest in this business over the longer term.

The winners last year included Yalu, a self-service credit life insurance platform which replaces a customer’s current policy with a more affordable, simpler and rewarding policy and Akiba Digital, a gamified savings tool that allows users to save towards their lifestyle goals and get rewarded for it.

Applications close on Tuesday, 18 June 2019. The final shortlist of top 16 applicants will stand a chance to impress a judging panel on 1 August 2019 in order to secure one of the winning programme slots.