The fintech startup, Franc, has raised $300,000 in funding within the first half of 2020 which forms part of a wider round of seed investment.
Founded in May 2018 by Sebastian Patel and Thomas Brennan, Franc was born out of the idea of making investing affordable, accessible, and social. Brennan is an engineer with a doctorate in machine learning while Patel is an actuary with 15 years of experience in financial services. The company has grown in strides since its inception, with the team growing to 20 members.
The founders, Patel and Brennan have provided some insight into the aims of the fintech startup.
“Franc.app helps people who have never invested before access the leading cash (Allan Gray Money Market Fund) and equity (Satrix 40 ETF) funds in the market. We want to democratise access to investing by making it easy and accessible. We want to educate people about finance and investment so that they are able to create wealth and realise their dreams.”
The dynamic duo built the startup from the ground up with personal savings for most of 2018 and 2019 and has managed to secure investors even during the pandemic.
“We bootstrapped the business foremost of 2018/9, and in the past 7 months we’ve been able to raise around USD $300,000 in seed funding. We are still in the process of trying to raise further funding, and confirming new investors as we go. Most investors were committed pre-COVID, but we have also got two new investors on board in the last two months, ” explains Franc
The additional funding will assist in operational aspects of the startup including salaries and customer acquisition costs.
“We have a very committed team who are keen to get as many people as possible to start investing – many of our team members are working purely for sweat equity.”
Over the next two years, Franc plans to grow their users base and assist individuals that are already on an investment journey. Their hope is that the app will help South Africans “break the cycle of debt and dependency and help them realise their financial dreams”
Franc was awarded the Best South African App in the MTN Best Business App Awards for 2019 (see this story)
“Our mission is to build Franc into a trusted and household brand, recognised for relevance, honesty, transparency, and integrity,”explains Franc.