SmartWage, a South African startup has secured R 6M (US$ 347K) in its Angel Round on 26 June 2020, to expand its payday solution in SA.
The funding round was led by Chris Lister-James, a Johannesburg-based seed investor. His investment philosophy, “driven by a focus on ethical disruption, financial inclusion, doing well by doing good and profit with a purpose,” resonates with SmartWage’s aim, that is to tackle South Africa’s enormous consumer debt crisis.
The startup was fully self-funded until now. This round marks the first time that SmartWage has raised from external investors. SmartWage is set to use the funds to invest in the development and deployment of its technology, supporting key hires and driving rapid customer acquisition efforts.
SmartWage was co-founded in 2019 by Simon Ellis, Alex Platt and Nick Platt. It launched its operations in February 2020. SmartWage partners with companies, giving employees instant access to their earned salaries and wages. The startup wants to become South Africa’s most affordable and accessible payday solution.
Through SmartWage, employees can access a percentage of their salary in advance to meet unexpected expenses. The employee is paid the regular salary at the month end, minus the advance. Therefore, employees have greater control over their finances. The startup also has a free credit report service, through which they assess how the employees are improving their financial wellness. Employees can also avoid resorting to payday loans or other high-cost credit by using SmartWage.
SmartWage helps employers manage their company’s cash flow as well as reduce administrative hassles. Lister-James said, “SmartWage’s relentless focus on solving their customers’ pain points sets them apart from others in the space.” The startup also aims to increase financial security by decreasing emoployee stress and increasing financial autonomy of both emolyees and employers.
Some of their clients include- Zylem, Fresh Landscaping, Green Machine, Spar, Nutrapharm and Clanstivial among others.
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