Stellenbosch-based fintech startup Paymenow has raised a ZAR4 million (US$230,000) seed funding round to help it scale both locally and across Africa and Latin America.
Paymenow has developed a financial wellness and inclusion platform that allows employees responsible early access to already-earned wages through a mobile app.
The startup uses gamification to promote responsible financial behaviour and encourage saving, and aims to ease the burden inflicted by payday and micro lenders through affordable, real-time, access to cash.
In order to help it grow, Paymenow has concluded an initial equity investment round with ViaMedia – part of the Digital Ecosystems Group – for a ZAR4 million (US$230,000) equity stake. Managing director and co-founder Deon Nobrega said the round would bring about operational cash flow in the short-term, while Paymenow aims to reach operational break-even by the end of the fiscal year.
“Our business model and product, which entails a fully integrated business to business to consumer tech platform, has passed minimum viable product status and is ready to scale,” he said.
Paymenow co-founder and business development head – and former South African rugby international – Bryan Habana said Digital Ecosystems Group brings a strategic partnership from a business enablement perspective as well as access to funding and working capital.
“ViaMedia and the Digital Ecosystems Group will enable us to draw down on a wealth of product and operational expertise as well as access to a funding book that will allow our business model to scale locally as well as to the rest of Africa and Latin America,” he said.
Joint Digital Ecosystems and ViaMedia chief executive officer (CEO) Garth Mackintosh said Paymenow further enabled and accelerated his company’s mobile financial services strategy.
“We are excited to welcome Paymenow to ViaMedia, and more broadly, to our stable of ICT companies. We see fantastic growth prospects and complementary product offerings and clients across many of our group companies,” he said.