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Thomas Brennan, Franc’s CEO says they were frustrated by the complexity and high barrier to entry of existing investment offerings.
Thomas Brennan, Franc’s CEO says they were frustrated by the complexity and high barrier to entry of existing investment offerings.

Bringing down the cost of stock market investment is the focus in this edition of the Business Day Spotlight. 

Host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Sebastian Patel, Franc’s COO and Thomas Brennan, Franc’s CEO. 

Having attended the University of Cape Town together, Patel, an actuary, and Brennan, an engineer, launched Franc in 2017. 

Join the discussion: 

Franc is an investing technology platform aimed at making investments cheaper and accessible to more people. The company offers users access to a cash or money-market fund with higher interest-rate returns than a bank savings account and an equity fund that tracks top stocks on the stock market.  

Brennan says they were frustrated by the complexity and high barrier to entry of existing investment offerings, and concerned by the poor rate of investment among South Africans, currently at less than 8%, outside of retirement products.   

“Franc is unique in that it doesn’t impose investment minimums on its users. Users can invest as much as they want, when they want, conveniently through their mobile application,” it says. 

The company recently raised R8m through a seed extension funding round, which included investment from pan-Africa focused venture capital firm 4DX Ventures. The capital injection will, in part, fund its enterprise offering Franc Business, aimed at businesses “who want to entrench customer loyalty and their value proposition with a ‘plug and play’ investment and savings offering.”

Credit platform BenX is Franc’s first business-to-business customer. BenX enables consumers the ability to create, repair or improve their credit scores, while also building up an emergency savings fund, which is done through Franc. 

Topics of discussion include the following: Franc’s business model; the problem that the company is looking to solve; how the business has been funded; new products; plans for the future; and trends in the retail investment sector. 

Engage on Twitter at #BDSpotlight

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Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production.

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