Startups from South Africa were highlighted in a recent awards ceremony. At under five years old, the companies are all innovating to improve quality of life.
Startups from South Africa were honored in a recent award sponsored by Xero and PayFast, with support from HeavyChef, xneelo and Workshop17. The five companies were all founded less than five years ago. Fintech features strongly in the list, in keeping with regional and local trends.
Curbon: Environmentally-conscious shopping
Curbon is a fintech startup that traces a shopper’s carbon footprint while shopping online to allow shoppers to make environmentally-conscious choices. Curbon also offers the option to make a direct financial contribution to climate-related projects. The company was co-founded by Steffan Burrows.
Franc: Helping businesses invest
Franc is an investment technology app for businesses. Founders Sebastian Patel and Thomas Brennan have created a simple online solution to allow businesses to save and invest easily. As an investment actuary, I often got asked how people should be investing their money. With so many complex products, we started Franc as an easy solution. Only about 5% of the South African population invest and “how to invest” is one of the most popular searches on Google,” said Patel.
Parket: Parking, made easy
Parket is a digital parking access solution that allows drivers to register their details and source affordable parking options that can be paid for electronically. Parking can be booked ahead of time and select parking lots will recognize the vehicle’s registration place and automatically give access to the lot. The company was founded by Josuha Raphael.
Floatpays: On-demand wage access
Floatpays was founded in 2019 by Simon Ward and allows employees to access a portion of their pending pay at any time of the month in order to account for unexpected expenses. Naspers Foundry invested USD 866,000 in Floatpays earlier in the year, with the company noting that on-demand access to wages was a fast rising fintech sector. Fabian Whate, head of Naspers Foundry said, “While still nascent in South Africa, there is significant potential for Floatpays, which is focused on serving the underbanked. We’re delighted to partner with the Floatpays team, who have a proven track record of success in early-stage tech businesses, particularly in fintech.”
Zoie: Women’s health consultations
The final award winner, Zoie, is a digital health clinic that provides women with access to fertility, family planning and maternity consultations. A recent survey by the company showed that the physical, mental or emotional burden of reproductive issues had affected the concentration of 90% of respondents in the work environment. The company was founded by Thato Schermer and Dr Nonhlanhla Sitole and has already received widespread international recognition, having previously won the Harvard Africa Business Club new venture competition.
Startups across Africa
African startups received over USD 300 million in funding in November. Fintech dominates the investment scene and North Africa is a major recipient of FDI.