SA startup SmartWage raises $347k to expand payday solution

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South African fintech startup SmartWage, which partners with companies to give employees instant access to their earned salaries and wages, has raised ZAR6 million (US$347,000) in funding to power the growth and expansion of its payday solution across the country.

Co-founded by Simon Ellis, Alex Platt and Nick Platt in 2019, SmartWage launched operations in February. The startup allows companies to provide their employees with instant access to a percentage of their salaries and wages for work they have already done. 

The solution is free to employers, causes no disruption to existing processes, protects a company’s cash flow and reduces administrative hassle. Employees can communicate directly with SmartWage’s WhatsApp chatbot to securely request and receive advances on their earned pay.

SmartWage will use the money to invest in the development and deployment of the company’s technology offering, supporting key hires, and driving rapid customer acquisition efforts as the startup seeks to scale across South Africa on the back of exciting progress during the first half of 2020. 

The raise led by Chris Lister-James from Johannesburg-based seed investor FiTech Ventures

“SmartWage has an ambitious, driven team focused on making a big difference in South Africa and we’re really excited to be joining them on this journey,” said Lister-James.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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