SA Fintech Startup Sava Raises $2M in Pre-Seed Funding


Save, a South African fintech startup, raised $2 million in pre-seed funding. Many Africa-focused investors participated in the pre-seed round, including Quona Capital, Breega, CRE Ventures, Ingressive Capital, RaliCap, Unicorn Growth Capital and Sherpa Ventures.

Sava focuses on two particular issues businesses face with reconciliations and budget management. The first is that companies don’t have the tools to manage their expenses.

Second, business owners and their employees invest a lot of time in manual record keeping and reconciliations and don’t have enough information to make sound loans.

Haile and his co-founders Kolawole Olajide and Federico Von Bary Landesmann created Sava. Haile said his co-founders had also encountered the same issues in operating their previous businesses.

After considering many options, they decided to launch Sava using the expense management approach popularized by companies like Brex, Ramp, and Jeeves.

The expense management approach, according to CEO Haile, is a way to provide small, medium and large businesses with the tools they need to run their financial operating system behind the scenes.

But also to collect the information that allows you to have a complete 360-degree view of the true financial health of a company.

Since banks are generally reluctant to lend, this is a more acute problem in African economies. The lack of a data set makes it difficult to support and guarantee small businesses, resulting in businesses being turned down and the credit gap widening year after year. Sava tries so hard to solve it with what her team creates.

Software called Sava, which has yet to be launched, claims to integrate bank accounts, mobile wallets, payments and accounting in one place.

Sava says it will help companies integrate actual budgets and cash flows, reconcile accounting records, digitize expense reimbursements, and control expenses with expense management technologies.

According to the managing director, the South African fintech still intends to issue credit cards to employees of its clients, as this will serve as the basis for the firm’s provision of liquidity to its corporate clients.

Sava turns these debit cards into credit cards because banks don’t provide credit cards to businesses. The fintech will provide businesses with free access to 30 days of credit, and thousands of businesses across the continent are sorely lacking access to flexible and revolving overdraft facilities or working capital loans.

Interchange fees from credit card transactions, subscription fees from businesses using its network, and interest income from loans made are how Sava plans to monetize. It must also sell its customers various financial services provided by third parties, such as insurance.

Haile said beta testing of the expense management software will begin in South Africa in the third quarter. The continent’s largest total addressable market is in South Africa, where formal businesses have large, dispersed sales teams and a more efficient credit system to manage expense management systems. Alongside the launch in Kenya in the fourth quarter, Sava also intends to eventually enter other regions, including Nigeria and Egypt.

Across the continent, Sava is taking on startups such as Tiger-backed Float, Y Combinator-backed Lenco and Boya, Prospa and Brass that offer equivalent and vertical services.

Techbuild’s review

During the predicted period, a huge expansion of the spend management platform market is predicted across the globe, and Africa is not left out.

The expansion of the market can be attributed to the increasing use by enterprises of expense management software to control business expenses and operations, as well as to monitor and manage human resources more cost-effectively and efficiently, as well as investments.

The benefits offered by expense management systems such as real-time visibility, production performance, increased risk management, and improved internal controls are expected to aid in the expansion of the market.

The ability of expense management systems to provide accurate financial data, transparent expense procedure, and expense policy while offering better insights to guide business decisions is also encouraging for the expansion of the market during of the planned period. All this is possible and this is the problem that Sava should solve while expanding to other regions.

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