FIFI PETERS: The second set of outcomes for the present immediately, this time within the monetary providers house, comes from African Rainbow Capital. That’s the funding agency that’s majority managed by billionaire Patrice Motsepe, which got here out with its numbers just a little earlier immediately (September 14, 2021). You would possibly know a few of their investments. They embrace Rain, the fibre supplier that gives numerous 4G and 5G to some houses, in addition to TymeBank, the branchless financial institution that that opened not too long ago right here in South Africa. After which ARC had that large deal to create one of many largest black asset-management corporations. I feel it was with Sanlam – was it final yr in 2020? However let’s get the info from the co-CEO of African Rainbow Capital, Johan van der Merwe.
Johan, thanks a lot to your time. Simply by the use of introduction, how would you describe the yr that was?
JOHAN VAN DER MERWE: Good night, Fifi, and all the time good speaking to you. Yeah, it was a tricky yr with Covid and the nationwide lockdown – thrice. It takes a lockdown to hamper the financial system to a big extent.
One of many investments that you just talked about is Rain. It was one of many few investments that really had a tailwind, as a result of individuals wished extra knowledge as a result of they’re working from house. We’ve seen fairly a rise in demand for knowledge and that stood that firm in superb stead within the final yr, We had been promoting 2 000 to fifteen 000 SIM playing cards – that’s particular person knowledge playing cards – to people on a month-to-month foundation. That shot as much as between 60 000 and 80 000 in the course of the interval.
Then it abated just a little in the direction of the top of final yr to about 30 000 to 35 000; but it surely’s picked up once more. However all in all it’s been a tricky yr. I feel there’s much less cash round, individuals have misplaced their jobs and wage will increase are a lot decrease, and bonuses a lot decrease – if in any respect. So I feel the financial system wants cash to have the ability to function and all in all it’s been robust on the market, not just for us but additionally for some other companies.
FIFI PETERS: Speaking about Rain, you hear lots of blended critiques. You hear in sure areas the way it’s nice and it’s probably the most dependable community supplier, however in one other areas the way it can generally usually falter. So simply discuss to me concerning the plans that you’ve in maybe bettering the client expertise for utilizing Rain. What sort of investments are you seeking to make to enhance the expertise there?
JOHAN VAN DER MERWE: A community like that takes time to construct. Clearly you wish to get the footprint throughout the nation and it’s important to get your gear onto the cellphone towers, or on buildings or wherever individuals can really offload the info. That took time. Clearly with the numerous development that we skilled final yr there have been positively buyer complaints, however most of them got here from individuals who had been simply exterior the areas the place they need to have purchased it; after they purchase it they assume oh, I’m so near it I’m nonetheless going to get the sign and can be capable to add the info – and that didn’t occur. I feel it was fairly unfavourable for Rain at one stage however, if one appears at the previous couple of months, it has positively picked up. In any surveys executed on that foundation, Rain got here out tops of all the businesses. So I feel we’ve handled unhappiness.
FIFI PETERS: Effectively, we’ll take your phrase for it. TymeBank is one other considered one of your entities. I see you might have virtually 3.5 million prospects, however would you say that the financial institution has met your targets thus far – and if not, why?
JOHAN VAN DER MERWE: I feel they met the targets that we set, however we really thought that they might do significantly better. With considered one of our very strategic companions, which is Zion Christian Church, ZCC, we had an association to roll out in any respect their venues. However with the lockdowns and other people not with the ability to go to church, that mainly didn’t exist.
However that chance doesn’t go away. As soon as issues begin normalising a bit extra, we will try this. We’re very inspired that on common we had been getting between 100 00 and 120 000 purchasers per 30 days, which mainly all through the Covid interval remained fairly static. Actually, August, final month, was our greatest month after we onboarded 180 000 new prospects. That’s all good. The primary factor, Fifi, for this financial institution is clearly individuals who use these accounts as their major checking account. I feel we nonetheless have a strategy to go to have the ability to try this. However we consider that with the expertise that we carry, the easiness of transactions, the low price and so forth this financial institution will rise into the South African banking trade.
FIFI PETERS: Johan, I see that you just’re seeking to make additional investments within the fintech house. There’s an article on the market quoting you saying precisely that. Inform us a bit extra about that.
JOHAN VAN DER MERWE: We’ve really invested in just a few platforms that are fintech-related, and there we discuss clearly TymeBank, however, but additionally corporations like PayProp, which is banking of leasing, the place about R1.2 billion goes by means of their system on a month-to-month foundation for individuals renting properties and so forth.
Then we invested in one other enterprise referred to as Linebooker, which is admittedly the Uber for transport corporations the place you’ll be able to go onto a platform and just be sure you have booked for issues to be transported from A to B. We’ve seen that in these paying methods and so forth there are lots of synergies with a few of our current companies. We’ve come throughout a really attention-grabbing alternative the place you’d be investing between R300 [million] and R400 million into like virtually just a little little bit of a portfolio of fintech investments. So there are in all probability one or two which might be actually mature, have matured just a little bit extra, however there are fairly a lot of startups in there as properly. I’m very assured that we’ll see some superb investments popping out of out of that small portfolio.
FIFI PETERS: Johan, simply lastly, on that take care of Sanlam, the place you created this entity that was punted as maybe the biggest black-owned asset administration firm in South Africa, how’s that coming alongside?
JOHAN VAN DER MERWE: That’s coming alongside very properly. Clearly it’s a strong enterprise that’s been there for a lot of, a few years. We expect that we give them a really believable proposition out there by saying that we’ll be their largest black-owned asset supervisor within the nation and other people can belief it. (Sanlam) has been round for a lot of, a few years as they play in several areas – within the various house, within the listed house; ……8:00 is a part of that enterprise and the multi supervisor. So it’s a strong enterprise and clearly African Rainbow Capital with Patrice would even be an enormous shareholder in Sanlam. We see these kind of partnerships with Sanlam as very constructive, and so do they. We expect that that enterprise has bought an extended strategy to go.
FIFI PETERS: All proper. Johan, thanks a lot for becoming a member of us. We will hope to be on that lengthy bend with you, however we’ll depart it there for now, sir. That’s Johan van der Merwe, the co-CEO at African Rainbow Capital.