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South African FinTech, Float, secures $11m from Standard Bank

By Delisha Fernandes

March 26, 2024

  • BNPL
  • card-linked instalment
  • Credit Card

FloatFloat, a South Africa-based FinTech startup, has secured a funding facility of $11 million  (ZAR200m)  from Standard Bank.

This funding will be used to facilitate the rollout of its card-linked instalment platform, supporting its accelerated growth plans over the next four years.

Alex Forsyth Thompson, Founder and CEO Float, said, “Partnering with Standard Bank is a major milestone for our business and is a huge vote of confidence in the uniqueness of our model, its value to the payments ecosystem, and the future prospects of our team and business.”

Float is a new payment method that encourages responsible credit card usage and, at the same time, helps merchants to grow their sales. The startup’s proprietary technology lets shoppers buy now and split their payments over up to 24 interest-free, fee-free monthly instalments using the available limit on their existing Visa or Mastercard credit card. As Float already works with almost 7 million preapproved credit cards in South Africa alone, there is no sign-up, registration or credit check process for consumers.

Float currently has a well-established merchant base, which it expects to increase exponentially over the short-to-medium term, with the Standard Bank growth facility playing a vital role in the company’s ability to do so. The loan has been structured as a revolving credit facility, ensuring long-term security and flexibility of funding for Float moving forward.

“The partnership with Standard Bank will support in bolstering our market position, enabling us to deliver even greater value to our customers. As we navigate through this exciting phase of accelerated growth, our focus remains on maintaining financial discipline and driving sustainable profitability,” said Float CFO, Paul Masson.

To support this expansion, an innovative funding structure needed to be developed that allows Float access to capital to accelerate its growth plans and the ability to scale to reach more merchants and consumers with its responsible spending solution. This is the first time we have provided funding to a buy now, pay later (BNPL) company, with the structure of the facility also the first of its kind within Standard Bank. This loan also demonstrates Standard Bank’s belief in Float’s innovative model, its management team and its shareholders.

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