SA startup SmartWage raises R6 million

The South Africa startup intends to expand its payday solution


SmartWage announced a $347,603 (R6 million) investment to help it grow its solution. The startup intends to solve the payday-poverty cycle by equipping companies by giving employees financial stability.

The announcement comes a few days after Paymenow announced an R4million capital infusion from  ViaMedia. The app also operates a similar concept – giving employees access to earned wages.

SmartWage fundraiser was led by Chris Lister-James whois associated with Johannesburg based  FiTech Ventures. The fund has invested in leasing brands such as Payflex, UKheshe, and Franc.

SmartWage was founded in November 2019 by Alex Platt, Nick, and Simon Ellis. Operations began in February. Investment in SmartWage arose from the Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE). This form of investment gives the investor the right to invest cash into the business now and reserve the right to receive equity at a later date determined by a certain event or occurrence.

The investment planned aims at boosting the deployment and development of their technology. They plan on adding a financial literacy education solution. To achieve the moves, they intend to make new hires, and while acquiring new customers.

In March, Platt revealed to Ventureburn their intention to raise R20-million debt. Thus far, the startup, comprised of five, relies on $1 million from member contributions tied to family and friends.

Gains thus far

The company has managed to pilot its platform with 17 companies working across the retail and manufacturing sectors. Collectively, they employ over 10,000 workers. 300 of these employees are currently using the system. He points out the apps major selling point as cash advances on those earning R6000 – R12 000 a month. On average, the advance is at R1450.

Employees can receive advances by directlycommunicating with their WhatsApp chatbot. This helps them receive advances for their hard-earned pay, releasing the company of it’s administration and cash flow obligations.


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