The Emergence of Fintech in South Africa

10 February 2016

It’s no news that the fintech scene is booming. Innovative London, Silicon Valley and New York City-based start-ups are out to disrupt the financial services industry. Venture capitalists, even financial institutions themselves, are investing big dollars in these promising tech organizations. Year after year, money invested into these savvy startups is increasing. Total global investment in fintech ventures tripled in 2014 over 2013, hitting $12.21 billion compared to a mere $4.05 billion the prior year, according to data by Accenture. By 2018, the global fintech investment is forecast to reach up to $8 billion.Image result for fintech and south africa

From the UK to the US, it’s clear that the push for digital disruption is international. But, when it comes to recent news in the fintech scene, there’s a new country making headlines – South Africa.

Big investments in the fintech market in South Africa are picking up. A recent article in Finextra announced the beginnings of a new fintech hub in Cape Town. AlphaCode is bringing together startups by offering office space and other means of support like access to the Rand Merchant Insurance investment team to these next gen fintech start-ups.

Another example is seed supplier Techstars. Techstars is starting a fintech accelerator program in Cape Town. In the video below, Techstars director, Jess Williamson, explains that the program is looking for rapidly growing fintech startups for emerging markets. They will invest in 10 different startups and will work closely with these budding businesses in Cape Town for three months starting in March 2016. The full three months will be all about helping to move these companies forward getting their technologies built, launched and even acquiring customers.

dditionally, Barclays Africa recently launched its first Tech Lab Africa Program in Cape Town. In Ventureburn, Ashley Veasey, CIO for Barclays Africa says: “In order to compete, Barclays Africa needs to connect, shape and scale with these new industry players. We are looking for big, fresh ideas that promise to shake things up.”

These accelerator programs like these demonstrate fintech’s bright future in South Africa. At Kurtosys, we’re feeling the effects of the expansion in South Africa’s fintech ecosystem, too. Just this year, our Cape Town team expanded 300%. We’re continuing to grow to meet the asset manager’s increasing demands for digital ways to engage with prospects and clients.

@MashPatel, CEO of Kurtosys, states, “South Africa is a major growth market for fintech. Kurtosys is thrilled to be a part of the action along with many ground-breaking fintech start ups and organizations in the Cape Town area. There’s a strong pool of talent in the industries of tech and financial services there. Kurtosys has expanded its team in Cape Town with the best and brightest of this talent. The overall enhancement of our global customer base will be largely affected by our team in Cape Town.”

We’re excited to see the impact South African fintech has on the financial landscape of Africa and the overall global future of financial services. Where will we see the new wave of promising fintech startups next?

By Bradley Mehl