Naspers, Sanlam Private Equity make fintech investments

Naspers and Sanlam Private Equity (SPE) have invested in fintech firms recently, with Naspers Foundry investing R40 million in financial advice platform LifeCheq and SPE acquiring a controlling interest in payment solutions provider Q Link Holdings for an undisclosed amount.

In a statement, Naspers said the investment was part of its R1.4 billion commitment to grow South Africa’s early-stage tech ecosystem. The transaction was Naspers Foundry’s fifth fintech investment and eleventh tech transaction since its launch three years ago.

LifeCheq, which launched in 2018, says its platform allows independent financial advisers “to provide high-quality financial advice at a reasonable rate, while allowing consumers to engage directly with a holistic financial service offering”.

It claims to have helped more than 45 000 users in South Africa gain access to financial advice and planning.

Abu Addae, the co-founder and chief executive of LifeCheq, said: “Existing solutions for quality financial advice practically ignore more than two billion mass affluent clients globally, simply because they’re not wealthy enough. Our mission is to fix that.”

The funding from Naspers will be used to develop new technology and capabilities, to scale LifeCheq’s platform, accelerate its partner experience, and grow its customer base.

Q Link services more than 4.5 million employees, collecting R4.5bn in monthly premiums for more than 133 clients, mainly in the insurance industry, Sanlam Investments said in a statement.

The company facilitates the collection of more than 30% of all recurring retail life insurance premiums in South Africa.

SPE, which is part of Sanlam Investments, acquired the shares from Apis Partners (a UK-based private equity fund), Multiply Group (a local private investment firm), and other minority shareholders.

SPE made the acquisition through its new third-party private equity fund, the SPE Mid-Market Fund, one of three impact-focused funds in the Sanlam Investor Legacy Range launched in 2020 to create and preserve 27 000 jobs while delivering value for investors.

The deal was expected to grow direct jobs by about 28% over the next few years, Sanlam Investments said.

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