RMB has released a new report on the state of fintech in South Africa, looking at the biggest players in the country, as well as the ecosystem in which they operate.
The report found that the South African financial services sector is undergoing rapid change in the face of increased technological adoption and the accompanying consumer demand for better, more affordable products and services.
“From all the findings we collected over the course of writing this paper, what was most striking was the lack of access to adequate funding reported by most fintech start-ups, despite having seemingly solid business fundamentals in place,” said the researchers.
“Couple this with South Africa’s unique geographical and macroeconomic climate, the local fintech landscape presents a steep and rocky facade to anyone attempting to summit, be they challenger or incumbent.”
RMB said that most of the founders of these businesses were in their mid-to-late-thirties, with five to ten years of field experience within the formal economy, who are creating new ventures almost exclusively within their respective domains of expertise.
The reasons for these factors include the need to accumulate capital over time through formal employment, as well as learning the myriad financial and/or technological competencies required to become competitive in one of South Africa’s most advanced and complex sectors.
What the average founder looks like
RMB gathered data from the LinkedIn profiles of 90 South African fintech company founders and looked at what they had in common.
Key statistics which stand out are the average age of fintech founders in South Africa, which is older than expected and the previous industry which these founders came from before starting their companies being financial services.
When taking education, age, race and location into account, the average founder is:
- Age: 31-35
- Gender: Male
- University: UCT
- Degree: Science, Engineering, Commerce
- Linkedin Skills: Management, Executive Management
- Past employers: Financial Services