Source: Tom Jackson/ Disrupt Africa

South African personal finance companion FinMeUp is bridging the gap between financial education and executions through its community-based platform of almost 100,000 users.

Founded in 2020, FinMeUp offers a comprehensive range of solutions including an education platform, financial advisory, investments, insurance, and credit solutions. As a community-based platform, the startup is dedicated to fostering a collaborative environment where individuals can learn, engage, and grow together. It boasts over 80,000 community members and over 15,000 app users.

“Starting with the “education” facet, our platform serves as a bridge between users and valuable financial insights. Through this channel, users can connect with financial mentors, engage in informative quizzes, and utilise various tools that empower them with knowledge,” Higgo van Biljon, FinMeUp’s founder and CEO, told Disrupt Africa.

“On the “execution” front, we’ve introduced a range of services to assist users in implementing their financial strategies.”

These include a financial advisory service that assists users in executing investments and crafting comprehensive financial plans; a home loans service that gathers quotes from different banks; life insurance; and a new PetMeUp Pet insurance platform that offers quick quotes in under 45 seconds and policy activation in less than six minutes.

“Looking ahead, our roadmap is brimming with innovation. Over the next 12 months, we’re set to unveil exciting products like SnapMillion and Digital Wills, further enriching our offerings. Simultaneously, we’re dedicated to enhancing user experience by introducing new features across our learning platforms,” said van Biljon.

“In essence, our company is committed to facilitating a holistic financial journey for our users, combining education, execution, and innovation to create a seamless and empowering experience.”

Disrupt Africa reported earlier this month FinMeUp had raised an undisclosed amount of funding it said would help it enhance its user experience and scale operations. It already has a very large community, having shifted from a sole app focus. van Biljon said he was dedicated to crafting a seamless omnichannel journey, accessible through both app and website.

“It started as a WhatsApp group, which then became an app, which later had to be built from scratch again, so it’s been quite a journey getting to where we are now,” he said.

“Within the financial industry, trust is paramount. Right from the beginning, we recognised the significance of fostering community, engagement, and trust through education. We firmly believe that establishing a strong relationship with our users lays a solid foundation for everything that follows.”

FinMeUp is currently operational in diverse international markets within the education sector, but prioritising the South African market.

“Our focus is to establish a strong foothold in South Africa initially. However, we’re not confined to this geography alone; we hold medium-term aspirations for expanding into new regions,” van Biljon said.

“On the execution front, we recognise substantial potential within South Africa itself, presenting ample room for growth. Our commitment lies in maximising this opportunity through dedicated efforts and innovation.”

Revenues-wise, FinMeUp has a diverse approach. In the education realm, it has ventured into the CSI sector, and offers premium subscriptions and advertising space on its B2C education platform. When it comes to execution, it derives a margin from each product sale. Launching the startup has, however, had its challenges.

“Creating a comprehensive platform blending financial education and execution was complex. Transitioning from a WhatsApp group to an app demanded time and resources. Gaining user trust in finance, crafting understandable content, and adapting to economic shifts posed hurdles,” said van Biljon.

“Yet, challenges fuelled growth, making us more resilient and innovative. Our commitment to empowering financial management remains strong. In summary, our journey, marked by achievements and challenges, refines our approach as we connect with users and expand.”

Source: Tom Jackson/ Disrupt Africa