SA’s Floatpays to go big in Africa after funding

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Simon Ward, founder and CEO of Floatpays.
Simon Ward, founder and CEO of Floatpays.

Local fintech start-up Floatpays plans to expand into the rest of Africa after securing $4 million (R60.9 million) in an oversubscribed seed funding round.

Founded in 2019, Floatpays is a technology platform that enables on-demand access to pay, savings functionality and financial education to build employee financial wellness.

Despite the setback of COVID-19, Floatpays says it achieved 43% growth of its employer base and 70% user growth, noting the funding is a crucial foundation for the next phase of its growth.

“The investment allows us to consolidate our position in South Africa and expand into the rest of Africa,” says Simon Ward, founder of Floatpays. “We are accelerating the development of important features that complement our existing product, such as our new interest-bearing savings account that is directly linked to employees’ pay cheques.”

According to the start-up, several venture capitalists and angel investors that share in the vision of creating financial wellness and financial resilience joined the funding round. Among the investors are Global Founders Capital, Base Capital, Finca Ventures, Raba Partnership and 4DX Ventures.

“We are witnessing the potential technology has in offering fair and transparent financial services products. Floatpays is a leader in the earned wage space and on their way to building the leading trusted brand across the continent,” says George Rzepecki, founder of Raba.

“We are excited to partner with Simon and team in supporting Floatpay's mission in becoming the financial services platform of choice for Africa's large and growing workforce.”

A further four angel investors also joined the seed round of funding: Alan Rutledge, a seed investor in over 410 start-ups worldwide; serial investor and business mogul Shaun Hurwitz; Youcef Oudjidane, managing partner of venture firm Class 5 Global; and Olugbenga Agboola, co-founder and CEO of Flutterwave.

The new investors join existing backers Founders Factory Africa, Kepple Africa Ventures, Norrsken Foundation and MFS Investments, notes the start-up.

Ward says Floatpays was established as a small company with big dreams to create a financially-inclusive Africa. “I launched Floatpays as a social impact-driven business on a mission to help move employees out of bad debt cycles and into savings and long-term financial wellness.

“Our mission is to educate employees on better personal finance management, support them with financial planning and saving, and give them an alternative to payday lenders/high-interest credit solutions when mid-pay cycle liquidity becomes a problem.”

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