This week we feature the South African fin-tech startup Strider.
The Johannesburg fintech startup, Strider (formerly called Stock shop), aims to “build the future of fintech” by simplifying the complex world of finance and create meaningful products, services and technology. The offerings include a conversational user interface including a bot that match financial consultants or brokers with client leads. The startup has also developed a bot interface that completes real-time identity verification checks on behalf of banks and financial institutions in line with requirements under the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA).
The startup has also developed a solution that uses an algorithm that pairs financial behaviour, spending and other data along with emotional cues and provides clients with assistance around financial matters such as payments, administration, rewards, education, analytics and tracking.
Q&A: Interview with Annabel Dallamore, CEO, Johannesburg South Africa
|How did you get started with the idea?
Having worked for many years in financial services I learnt that the technology systems used by banks and financial institutions are very onerous, cost huge amounts of money and create legacy issues. I wanted to build systems that could scale rapidly, be agile in their deployment and growth and help the clients of financial institutions with a better experience. We also wanted to focus on creating zero cost banking and access to financial products and services at zero cost to the client. We could only do this by building streamlined and efficient systems which automate many manual and costly processes.
The idea sounds unique. Who are your main competitors?
We have competitors around each platform we have developed but our main competitors are fintech consultants such as Deloitte and Accenture who help banks and financial institutions remove their legacy systems and implement new agile ones. The main difference however is that we have our own products which financial institutions can rapidly white-label that aligns with and bolsters the position of our consulting arm of our business.
Who are the main customers of Stock shop?
Our systems are used by the largest financial institutions in South Africa, namely the top 3 banks (FNB, Standard Bank, Nedbank) and top 2 insurers (Sanlam, Liberty) among many other mid to smaller financial institutions.
How do you plan to address practical challenges?
Our biggest challenge is ensuring we stay alive during the very long sales cycles corporates have. Often a deal can take anywhere from 6-12 months to get signed due to the many layers of compliance and many hoops we must jump through. Managing cash flow is always tricky when you are working with such big institutions that can’t always move as quickly as you need them to. We work hard to ensure we have enough runway and keep our burn as low as possible while we are in these very long deal cycles. We are also always thinking about our next strategic partnership or fund raise should we think this is a route we want to take. Working on your network daily becomes critical.
What are your plans to go global?
We have just signed our first strategic partnership with a business in Kenya who will be our sales force on the ground. We are also looking at finding the right strategic partners in Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia. Once we have bedded down these relationships we would like to tackle the Asian market and solidify the relationships we have started forming with banks and institutions who have identified an interest in our systems.
Tell us about your business model. Where do you see yourselves in a year?
We see ourselves deploying our systems at the top financial institutions in Africa (focusing on Kenyan and Nigerian markets) and setting up an office in Singapore to start addressing the needs of the Asian market.
Any other details you wish to highlight about Strider?
We work with a wide range of large corporates outside of financial services helping them understand exponential organisations and how to build them. We also educate teams about building rapid systems that focus on user experience and client experiences. We have our own in-house labs which corporates can use to test and validate any systems they are building. We are always looking for passionate people to join our team and be a part of our exciting journey.
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