SOUTH AFRICA – Franc, an investment app, 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.

The investment was from pan-Africa-focused venture capital firm 4DX Ventures and 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 new product will enable companies to offer quality investment products to their own customers using Franc’s technology and license.

“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.”

Patel believes any platform that has a store of value or partners that want to enhance their existing product offering like short term or life insurers, neobanks, HR/payroll providers, buy now pay later and early wage access providers could benefit from the Franc Business solution.

“Partners could also divert a portion of spend into a customer loyalty wallet that will earn more interest than most bank savings account,” he added.

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.

Despite the headwinds of COVID 19, many South Africans, from students to doctors, have taken to the app as a first foray into investments and savings for a rainy day.  In 2021, customer growth was over 400%.

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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