Exponential, an innovation capability of JSE-listed MMI Holdings, has invested an undisclosed amount in Cape Town’s disruptive tax start-up TaxTim.
Jonathan Stewart, Managing Partner for Africa Investments at Exponential, said: “Exponential looks forward to uncovering and supporting those start-ups and initiatives that have the potential to be scaled up not only in the local SA market but also in other African countries where MMI operates.”
“Together with our investment partners, we shall work closely with entrepreneurs to create maximum value, sustainability and thriving businesses that drive the creation of a portfolio of options, some of which we hope may turn out to be the dominant financial wellness players of the future”.
Launched in 2011 by Evan Robinson, an inventor and programmer, and Marc Sevitz, a Chartered Accountant specializing in tax, TaxTim is an online digital tax assistant that helps South Africans and Namibians to complete their own tax returns quickly, easily and with confidence.
TaxTim asks simple questions one-by-one in plain language before completing and submitting the appropriate tax return forms correctly for maximum compliance and maximum possible tax refund.
TaxTim has received mentorship from the Google Umbono incubator and then has raised a small round of angel funding from Justin Stanford of 4Di Capital, Permjot Valia and a private investor, followed by a second round from other private investors.
TaxTim’s growth has doubled consistently year on year, allowing to build a profitable business after year one, and ultimately help over 2 million people to date.
In 2014, TaxTim integrated directly with SARS eFiling to offer South Africans the first consumer alternative to using eFiling online.
In 2015, TaxTim was launched in Namibia as a joint venture with PwC Namibia. With the new funding injection from Exponential, TaxTim aims to further enhance and refine their existing product, launch new products for SMEs and employers, and expand into more countries where tax remains a headache to consumers.
“We are incredibly excited about the growth opportunity enabled by Exponential. Their strategic thinking is two steps ahead of most and will prove invaluable as our business heads into a high growth phase this year,” said Robinson.
“In addition to capital, we are also most fortunate to have access to the additional distribution opportunities offered by their existing client base, allowing us to scale faster,” he added.
Exponential, has been set up to respond to and take advantage of opportunities created by technological disruption in the financial services, insurance and health markets.
The business case of the unit was officially approved at the MMI Board Strategy session in November 2015 and announced by MMI Holdings last week. Exponential has access to capital and resources to invest in potentially disruptive innovation opportunities around the theme of financial wellness.
The overall mandate is 70% global investments and 30% South African and Africa investments. Exponential is headed up by Jaco Oosthuizen, previously in charge of MMI’s loyalty and rewards programme, Multiply. In total, Exponential comprises four members, with two of them located in South Africa and the other two in the UK. Source: Asoko Insight