Four South African startups have been selected for the AlphaCode Accelerate programme, which offers mentorship, expert guidance and support services to help businesses on the path to scale and job creation.
AlphaCode is Rand Merchant Investment (RMI) Holding’s incubation, acceleration and investment vehicle, and the hub has partnered with scale-up accelerator 10X-e to run the ZAR2.5 million (US$163,000) programme. The two-year programme begins in November.
The first four fintech businesses selected for the AlphaCode Accelerate programme are mobile authentication service Entersekt, livestock investment startup Livestock Wealth, insurtech startup Click2Sure and spaza shop inventory finance platform Invoice Worx.
Dominique Collett, investments executive at RMI and head of AlphaCode, saying these businesses will be part of a fully sponsored group of like-minded financial services founders ready to take the rigorous two-year journey tailored to build the next generation of financial services market leaders.
“Entrepreneurs facing similar challenges will undergo this transformative journey. We will provide access to top-class mentors and industry experts, impactful content and workshops and the opportunity to engage meaningfully with the RMI team to prime the business for future potential investment opportunities,” said Collett.
Jason Goldberg, 10X-E co-founder, said there is a lot of help available for startups, but very little for the most difficult part of the entrepreneurial journey – scaling up.
“Even the top one per cent of founders get stuck or fail in the scale-up stages, mostly because they do not know the terrain. It is dangerous ground that surprises at every turn with new perils,” he said.
Invoiceworx chief executive officer (CEO) Siya Ntutela said AlphaCode had already helped his company with finding its product-market fit and connected it to the First Rand group of companies.
“The funding they provided assisted us in building our technology and hiring staff. We have opened two new depots, we employ 40 people and service over 700 spaza shops. We believe the AlphaCode Accelerate programme will support us to refine our offering and help us to create business processes geared for a scaling company,” he said.
Livestock Wealth is planning its next phase of growth and expansion beyond South Africa, while Entersekt has embarked on a global expansion drive.