Bright On Startup Raises R10m In funding From RMI
KIZITO OKECHUKWU | SEPTEMBER 17, 2019
In South Africa, where various studies have identified racial profiling as one of the impediments for the previously disadvantaged, raising funding remains a thorny issue. In 2018, we collaborated with the World Bank to do research on SME finance gaps in South Africa and the result deepened our understanding of the challenges because even though there are so many financial instruments and institutions, access to funding for seed and micro/small enterprises remains limited or tightly wrapped in red tape.
Recently, Bright On raised R10m from Alpha Code, Rand Merchant Investment Holdings’ investment vehicle for high impact start-ups. Bright On is an online peer to peer lending platform that provides affordable working capital for emerging small businesses with growth prospects. It has grown its SME lending book to over R25m and expects the lending book to exceed R50m by early 2020, potentially increasing to R100m in 2021. The Bright On team has grown from its initial two co-founders, Tsepo and Koena Headbush, to six permanent staff.
Today at 22 on Sloane, we gathered all our startups to celebrate Tsepo and his team’s extremely motivating journey. At 22 on Sloane, our campus manager often complained that Tsepo always exceeds his monthly hour allocation for meeting rooms, but I guess the proof is in the pudding. We also pay homage to Alpha Code who have entrusted them with the funding to scale and grow their client base.
As the banking trends of consumers continue to change, start-ups in Africa must find new, user-friendly, frictionless and mobile ways to bank the unbanked by exploiting technology. Business opportunities in the fintech space are plentiful and some of the start-ups that have disrupted it in Africa prove that there is more opportunity for new products to serve the African population. Startups such as M-Pesa, Flutterwave, Yoco, Bright On and many more are proof of this.
I have always believed that the goal for startups is to find ways to disrupt the various formal and informal markets, improve user experience, create new economies and ensure access for the previously disadvantaged.
The United Nations list of the least developed countries contains about 47 nations that comprise some 900 million people – and these countries are riddled with urban slums, which are hotspots for the coronavirus to thrive.
In my early school years, I studied Latin and I bagged a credit on my last diploma exam.
It is with great regret that we have decided to postpone our monthly events during March and April (Startup Huddle, Master classes and 22 On Sloane’s intra networking session). After much consideration, we felt that protecting our community is a priority and it is important that we apply universal and aggressive public measures to slow the spread of COVD19. For our pitching sessions, you have an option of doing it virtually and communications will be made.