Even in the midst of global despair, venture capitalists are seeking out businesses with opportunities to make an impact in the market, this points out why the fintech sub-sector is making a lot of inroads and attracting great attention. This informs why South African cashless payments startup Sticitt was able to raise ZAR4.25 million (US$249,000) in funding so far this year to cover operational expenses to support its current market rollouts. Founded at the beginning of 2018 by Mitch Dart, Dennis Wevell and Theo Kitshoff, Sticitt was launched to establish a simplified banking alternative. Its wallet-based payment platform Sticitt Pay provides niche communities with an alternative payment solution to cash, formal banking and card-based payments.
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The startup’s main focus is the schooling market, where it has partnered with leading education technology business d6 Group to give it access to more than 2,000 potential local school customers. Kitshoff told Disrupt Africa Sticitt has more than 400 contracted schools and processed ZAR10.5 million (US$616,000) in the first quarter of this year.
Sticitt has taken in two batches of funding in 2020 to cover operational expenses of its current market rollouts, which include the launch of its Sticitt Terminal application, allowing its merchants to accept tap or scan-to-pay payments. It secured ZAR1.25 million (US$73,000) from a personal friend of Kitshoff in January, and has just raised its first institutional round by banking ZAR3 million (US$176,000) from Crucis VC, a South African Section 12J Venture Capital Company (VCC). Both investments came in the form of convertible notes.
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Kitshoff said Sticitt’s plans for the next couple of years are to dominate the South African cashless school environment in partnership with d6 Group. “We will also be expanding the Sticitt Pay merchant offering to SMEs operating within the school ecosystem via the d6 cashless offering. We also have other strategic niche community partnerships we are working on and are continuously looking for new opportunities,” he said.
Crucis VC chief financial officer (CFO) Francois Herbst said Crucis “invested as much in the jockey as we invest in the deal itself”, and was impressed by how Sticitt conducted its business and its approach to the cardless payment environment. “We have investment committee members with years’ experience in the banking sector, and everyone was keen to see what Sticitt can accomplish as a banking alternative,” he said.
“Sticitt is already post-revenue, and we believe what set them apart was their current network and their existing distribution channel to the end user. Sticitt is still in infant stages, but we believe they are currently cutting themselves a large market share in a niche market, focusing on the school environment.”
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