The third episode of WeeTracker UberPITCH made history, as South African Fintech startup Bettr Finance scored R 100 K from Cactus Advisors’ Zachariah George in the country’s first ever web series on startup funding.
WeeTracker had partnered with Uber to add some challenge to the startup funding events two months back. We added a twist by giving the contesting entrepreneurs a chance to pitch their business idea to South Africa’s top VCs in an Uber ride. Tobie Van Zyl, CEO & Founder of Bettr Finance, scored funding in a 90 seconds record from investor Zachariah George. Tobie is a serial entrepreneur and has been involved mostly with fintech startups.
With an eco-system of on-demand, digital financial products, and services, the startup positions itself as a Virtual Bank. The company which claims to be Africa’s next-generation digital banking platform built for the internet of money, Bettr platform connects people to the financial graph by empowering them with technology and tools to improve the way they bank, save, borrow and insure.
Bettr’s banking service is entirely online. There are no branches, and there is no paperwork to sign. To open a bank account, a user needs to download the mobile banking app. After completing the security checks, users are assigned a virtual account. The card, linked to the virtual account of a user is delivered, and the customer can start virtual banking.
Bettr promises many benefits to its users, with the first being the elimination of the cost of dealing with traditional banks. Many of the processes – from opening an account to freezing a lost card – all can be done through the mobile app without support. In turn, these savings mean that the customers save, as the startup won’t need account fees to cover these expenses. Virtual banking also gives account holders control of their money anytime, anywhere.
Zach, who was smitten throughout the ride with the startup’s pitch, ended up investing R 100 K at the end of 90 seconds in a personal capacity.
Towards the end of the episode, he remarked that Bettr was just not a ‘nice-to-have product’; but was solving a major issue faced by consumers. He also added that he was impressed with Tobie’s energy as an entrepreneur.
Zachariah George is an Angel Investor and advisor to numerous African startups and SMEs. He currently serves as the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Startupbootcamp Africa. The firm is touted as a leading multi-corporate, backed and mentor-driven venture accelerator program in Africa. Also, Zach founded Cactus Advisors, which is an Angel investment fund and business advisory firm in Cape Town focused on high impact, high growth early-stage businesses in Africa. From 2011 to 2014, Zach led the Africa operations of U-Start – a Swiss-based global investment advisory firm specialising in direct and indirect venture capital investments in the tech and digital sector for private as well as VC funds, corporate ventures and wealth management institutions.
Zach was formerly an investment banker at Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital New York and in 2014 was recognised as a Certified Business Adviser at the Institute of Business Advisers and is a member of the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (IoDSA). At the age of 22, Zach got his M.S. in Management Science from Stanford University specializing in Corporate Finance.
Feature Image: Tobie Van Zyl – CEO, Bettr Finance