WLCF Partners with African Entrepreneurs


Eleanor Montgomery

White Label Crowdfunding continues to expand on an international level. We are delighted to announce that we will be collaborating with Africa-based consultancy company Khonology. The firm focuses on financial and technology literacy, with the aim of developing local talent in order to serve the financial services industry. They strive to work towards extending the ecosystem in Africa, incorporating Fintech products that drive inclusion.

Khonology (3)The Khonology team delivers five key services to their clients, which include all the main banks in South Africa. These services are: Implementation and Execution, which involves project execution, Strategy and Advisory Support, which is assistance in making decisions, Capacity and Augmentation, which translates as adding capacity to delivery teams, Learning and Development, which refers to their Academy offering the services of specialised technologists, and Enterprise Solutions, which incorporate strategic partnerships for implementing company-wide systems.

Our collaboration will involve Khonology CEO, Michael Roberts, and his locally-trained team, taking care of the professional services involved in the projects; training, consultancy, project management, testing and support. WLCF, meanwhile, will undertake the development work, and license the product.

We spoke to the self-proclaimed entrepreneur with a passion for making a difference in Africa about this new partnership.

Michael, it’s great to have you on board, we’re all very much looking forward to working with you.

Khonology (4) CEOLikewise, we’re very excited about colloborating with WLCF and using technology to accelerate inclusion across Africa.

Tell us a bit about your background and what you and Khonology do.

I spent a couple years working in Europe in the Banking and Capital Markets technology arena, and developed a really good understanding of the products and the associated technologies that enable financial services.

I returned to South Africa just over five years ago to establish a global consultancy in Africa, and was confronted with the notion that there were little to no talent or skills available here. I was horrified to see how many vendors were leveraging this inefficiency in the market. We saw the opportunity to develop local talent to provide support to our clients and localise the services associated with investing in new technologies; thus lowering the total cost of ownership for the client. Khonology is focused on developing financial technologies that can utilise technology to empower Africa’s people, businesses and communities.

Khonology (1)What are some of the most important milestones that you and your company have achieved?

Khonology now employs over 100 people, a significant milestone in our growth strategy. We have been profitable from day one, and have achieved a growth rate of over 147% year on year to date.

Khonology is an award-winning consultancy. We have been finalists in South Africa’s Technology Top 100 (TT100) Awards for the last three years. This year, Khonology won the Management of Systems Award and was an Innovation finalist; Michael won the Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Job Creator of the Year and Dapo won the Rising Stars Award in Professional Services.

How would you describe the crowdfunding, peer-to-peer and peer-to-business landscapes in Africa?

Crowdfunding and peer-to-peer are very much in their infancy and early stages in Africa. They hold the promise and potential to be real game changers and accelerate financial inclusion.

There are vast opportunities for establishing a number of alternative solutions for the large number of unbanked individuals across the African continent. The cost of banking in Africa is rather high, and crowdfunding and peer-to-peer offer up alternatives for both communities and businesses.

I definitely see crowdfunding and peer-to-peer as major players in the world of FinTech. The opportunity to add non-traditional products is very exciting; as a sort of Stokvels for communities, involving business lending for SMEs and entrepreneurs.

What do you think Fintech products, developments and services can bring to Africa? How do you think Fintech products can, as you say, “drive financial inclusion”?

FinTech can play a significant role in two key opportunities: non-traditional lending in the formal sector and economic empowerment. If we achieve the necessary levels of financial literacy in informal and largely excluded communities, there are a number of new promising start-ups and entrepreneurs that I believe will emerge.

There is a real-world opportunity across the business sector, where banks’ excessively stringent lending criteria hinders start-ups and small growing businesses. Crowdfunding in this arena will definitely be an enabler to growth across Africa, and could also be the conduit for new innovation in terms of credit scoring and analysis.

Khonology (2)How will WLCF and Khonology work together?

We will have a collaborative partnership engagement, whereby Khonology will leverage the technology to drive business growth and client benefit with a mature technology stack that has an amazing market record aboard. In addition, the partnership will help support the development of local skills and talent, which will in turn support the client community.

Why are you keen to work with WLCF?

Through this new partnership, we hope to further our international reach. We look forward to recruiting and working with African clients, getting to know the market and implementing Fintech initiatives.