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South African Fintech Startup FinChatBot Secures $1.6m To Explore Markets In Europe And West Africa

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It is gradually becoming easy for fintech startups in Africa to make it past $1m in each round of funding. Joining this list is the Johannesburg-based FinChatBot, a creator of conversational artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for the financial services industry. The startup just announced US$1.6 million in new funding round to help it expand into Europe and West Africa.

Here Is What You Need To Know

  • This round of funding came from French investment holding company Saviu Ventures, Mauritius-based Compass Venture Capital, and South African venture capital firm Kalon Venture Partners
  • Compass Venture Capital and Kalon Venture Partners have previously invested in FinChatBot in 2018.
  • FinChatBot will use the funding primarily to grow its team and expand into West Africa and Europe with the opening of three offices in France, the United Kingdom (UK) and Portugal.

“By implementing our solutions, financial service providers are able to double their conversion rates, reduce operational costs by more than 60 per cent, retain customers better, and gather more data about customers which can be used for product innovation and customer retention,” Co-founder and CEO Antoine Paillusseau said. 

Why The Investors Invested

Based in Houghton, Johannesburg, Kalon Ventures, one of the investors in this round invests growth capital in the form of equity to be used to assist established, but still high-risk ventures in expanding activity such as creating additional traction in South Africa, launching into Africa and then foreign markets, as well as creating new product / technology lines. The VC’s previous investments — SMEasy; SnapnSave; Ozow; Flow; Sendmarc; Mobiz — are mostly in South Africa. 

Read also: Rwanda Invests Rwf15 Billion In Pig, Poultry Farming

“Investing in technology is important to us, but what “clinches” the deal, is the people we invest in — A team who are obsessed over the product and their future vision,’’ Clive Butkow, CEO noted during one of its previous investments. 

On its part, Saviu is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in post-revenue seedstage B2B startups (mostly logistics and transport) in both francophone and anglophone countries across Africa. Since its founding in 2017, Saviu has made more than 20 investments in 11 portfolio companies, mostly in french-speaking countries.


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“We invest in early stage, post-revenue, B2B start-ups,” said Arthur Thuet co-co-founder, Saviu Ventures. “The first thing we look for is the alignment of the founders’ interests to ours and expect total trust and commitment from both parties. We also emphasise the need for profitability and sustainability in the businesses that we support. Saviu’s relationship with the founders is more of a partnership than it is an investor relationship. We support our companies in business development, strategy and help to build out product road-maps. We have built companies ourselves in Africa and elsewhere, and we like that thrill. For us the fun starts after we wire the money to our entrepreneurs.”

Some of the notable investments of the VC are in logistics startup Swft; recruitment platform Talent2Africa; micro-lending startup Zanifu; fashion startup Afrikrea, among others. 

Compass Venture Capital, based in Mauritius, is equally an early stage investor. It has invested in two solar energy startups, Reuniwatt and Luminar Ventures as well as in recruitment startup Shortlist.

Read also: Rwanda Invests Rwf15 Billion In Pig, Poultry Farming

FinChatBot demonstrates AI-powered chatbots for customer acquisition - The  Digital Insurer

A Look At What The Startup Does

Established in 2016 by the duo of Antoine Paillusseau and Romain Diaz, FinChatBot develops solutions that have become key conversation and customer service channels for most financial service providers in South Africa. The startup now services more than 20 top-tier financial service providers, including banks and insurers, helping to sell and service financial products with no human intervention.

With clients including MTN Financial Services, Sanlam, Santam, Hollard, MiWay and Bidvest Insurance, FinChatBot is now well-established in South Africa.

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Nichole Manhire

Is the media and brand manager at GFA News. She works very closely with editors and podcasters that contribute to telling the African business success story. For marketing and advertising send Nichole an email: nichole@getfundedafrica.com

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