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04 OCTOBER 2021
Fintech incubation programme offering R1.5m packages

Amina Patterson, head of incubation at AlphaCode

AlphaCode Incubate, established to identify, partner with and grow innovative entrepreneurs in financial services and related industries, invites you to apply now if you have a fantastic early-stage fintech or related sector startup or even a brilliant idea for one. Innovative business concepts led by strong entrepreneurial teams, can apply before 31 October 2021 and they could benefit from a R1.5 million entrepreneurial package.

To date, the Incubate programme has disbursed R33,5 million in funding to 41 black-owned financial services businesses over the past six years. This proven programme offers funding, guidance from experienced mentors and a panel of advisory experts as well as access to AlphaCode’s exclusive co-working space.

Phase 1

Eight businesses will be selected to participate in a 12-week intensive pre-incubation programme and each business will receive R150 000 in grant funding. This pre-incubation programme focuses on how to achieve a viable business model. It culminates in a demo day where participants will compete for a place in the 6-month step-up programme.

Phase 2

Four businesses will then be chosen for the six-month intensive incubation programme, which focuses on establishing product-market fit and financial viability and provides each participant with R500 000 grant funding.

Additional funding

Throughout the programme or after having completed it, participants can also apply for seed capital from AlphaCode’s new seed fund, which invests in pre-seed and seed stage startups.

Success stories

The programme for 2021 was run completely remotely due to the pandemic. “Despite the psychological, financial and health challenges we faced during the pandemic, there has been incredible camaraderie and traction achieved among the selected startups,” Amina Patterson, head of incubation at AlphaCode, says.

Over the past nine months, AlphaCode Incubate supported startups that are showing incredible results. Patterson says the startups performed well in a very short time, despite the pandemic and the setbacks caused by looting.

“These results have validated our startup selection and incubation methodology that we refined over the past few years and we hope to improve on these results with the new group in 2022.”

Some success metrics from the ten businesses that participated in 2021:

  • 6/10 revenue-generating start-ups
  • 55.7% revenue growth
  • Around R60 000 average monthly recurring revenue across the businesses
  • More than 45 jobs created.

Two businesses which benefited, MatchKit and Oysterpay, were part of the previous AlphaCode Incubate cohort.

MatchKit which helps athletes better commercialise their careers, broke ground in global markets (14 countries and 22 sporting codes) and managed to secure contracts with the South American Rugby Association, USA Swimming and others. It has also attracted athletes with a combined social reach of 7.2m fans, whose MatchKit profiles have been viewed 130,000 times.

Mike Sharman, of Matchkit adds, “AlphaCode armed us with the skills to refine our approach and sharpen our focus. We are aiming for 10x revenue growth year on year thanks to the learnings from the programme, our mentor and our peers.”

Despite not having progressed to phase 2 of the programme, Oysterpay, which makes it easier for gig workers to get paid, save and access credit, also experienced tremendous growth. They have scaled beyond the pilot customer which initially focused on ecommerce delivery drivers at Takealot and are now servicing gig workers working for mobility platforms such as Uber and food delivery platforms like Checkers Sixty60.

Scelo Makhathini, founder of OysterPay explains, “We grew our user base by more than 200% in the last 10 months and doubled the number of regions that we service. Through leveraging the AlphaCode branding, we are now piloting with gig economy marketplaces to have gig workers paid directly into the OysterPay prepaid debit card to facilitate faster payouts.”

“AlphaCode Incubate is looking for exceptional entrepreneurial teams, with the grit to run with an early-stage business or idea that is differentiated and compelling. We need entrepreneurs who can navigate the challenges of a startup to reach success. It is our mission is to support disruptive, early-stage businesses with pioneering ideas to make a meaningful impact in the financial services industry as we hope to find South Africa’s next generation of successful financial services ventures,” says Patterson.

To apply for the next programme which starts on 17 January 2022, click here: www.alphacode.club/incubate. Applications close on 31 October 2021.

Incubate awards entrepreneurial packages to South Africa’s most promising financial services and related startups through AlphaCode with the support of Rand Merchant Investment Holdings.

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