SA fintech startup Franc raises $522k seed extension round, announces B2B offering

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South African investment app Franc has raised ZAR8 million (US$522,000) in a seed extension round, and announced a B2B offering that enables quick and easy adoption of savings and investment products by partner businesses.

Launched in 2017 by Sebastian Patel and Thomas Brennan, who were frustrated by the complexity and high barrier to entry of existing investment offerings, and concerned by the poor rate of investment among South Africans, Franc allow users to make investments via a mobile app.

The startup saw 400 per cent growth in 2021, and has now announced its B2B offering – Franc Business. The new product will enable companies to offer quality investment products to their own customers using Franc’s technology and license.

The announcement follows a recent seed extension raise of ZAR8 million (US$522,000), which included investment from pan-Africa-focused venture capital firm 4DX Ventures. The capital injection will in part fund the B2B initiative, which is aimed at businesses who want to entrench customer loyalty and their value proposition with a “plug and play” investment and savings offering.

“The advantage of Franc Business is its simplicity and low cost. As a B2B play, we provide a single application programming interface (API), which gives us the ability to integrate with client platforms quickly and easily,” said Patel.

“Franc Business clients can help their customers to start saving or investing immediately, boosting loyalty and value for the business, without the hassle of regulatory red tape and lengthy technical development.”

Commenting on his company’s decision to invest in Franc, 4DX Ventures managing partner Peter Orth said his firm was passionate about expanding the opportunity for everyone to save and invest, as it is a critical component of being able to build wealth over time. 

“We think Franc has an excellent vision for how they will accomplish this in South Africa, and we’re excited to support them,” he said.

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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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