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South Africa: SA Warren Bond's Matchi.biz Offers Closed Platform Dating Service for Innovators Looking for Finance and Banks Looking for Innovation
Source: allAfrica.com
Source Date: Thursday, October 09, 2014
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Citizen Engagement
Country: South Africa
Created: Oct 09, 2014

If crowd-sourced funding is the equivalent of running an online market stall to sell yourself, Matchi.biz is more like an exclusive club where you never get to see the members who really matter.

It's a closed platform that on one side has innovators and when they join they aren't allowed to see which other innovators are on the platform. On the other side are the banks, funds and companies that are looking for innovative ideas to invest in. As Bond says: "It's like a Kickstarter from an innovators' perspective."

It's also quite choosy about who it lets on to the site so one part of its value to potential investors is that Matchi has already weeded out many of the people who might approach them who they know they're not interested in: "We don't allow ideas on the site at prototype state, It has to be something that's built. They have to be companies, not a 'rogue individual'. They need to have managed to sell their technology somewhere." It also needs to have the "wow factor", something that will really turn heads.

The investors are looking for relatively new companies that they can help "proliferate globally" but they have to have proven themselves somewhere and have the metrics to show for it. Some have almost no turnover whereas others have already raised US$10-12 million.

The business model enables them to raise money from both parties who want "dates". The innovators pay either 5% of the deal when completed or fixed fee of US$4,950. On the other side, banks sign up as sponsors so that they get first access to the innovators' ideas on the web site.

Obviously, they only allow non-competing banks in their particular areas of focus. Existing sponsors include: Caixa Bank, ABN-Amro, Citibank, TSB, Lloyds, Investec, Allied Irish Bank and Westpac.

There's also an active membership category where the Matchi team will sit down with the company and understand what they're looking for and go out and look for it for them.

Beyond Fintech and the banking sector, Bond is already beginning to look at other verticals. One area he's interested in is telecoms where again you have an industry that needs to go and look for innovation for its next stage of growth - see the item on Orange's Fab Lab in Cote d'Ivoire in the section below.

For innovators to see how it works, click on the link below: https://www.matchi.biz/innovator.html


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