What a year 2020 has been, it’s tough to know where to start. We can remember the day in mid January when we first heard of the novel coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan, China, in October 2019. Like most people our initial thought was that’s never going to affect us! How wrong was that assessment. Covid-19 has come to dominate the world’s news this year and had a material impact on all of our lives.
We want to be known for our simplicity and ease of use of our app, whilst providing great advice (through the app, social media and our blog) to our customers. We want everyone to access investing and not just those people who can afford the minimum investment requirements that many investment platforms require. All this without unnecessary complications and big words that nobody really understands!
When Covid hit us in SA, the interest in our product really skyrocketed. Many people realised that they should have been investing a long time ago, but now the rainy day had come and they were ill prepared. Others just had more time on their hands and were now forced to transact digitally given human contact was restricted. We hope that people now realise that they should really be investing towards their future as you never know what is in store.
To better understand who was using Franc and why, we started calling our customers. Two things jumped out at us, firstly the customers that love us the most are young professionals and even students who want to put their money to work by making smart investment decisions. Secondly, the most common reasons people had not invested is that either they were looking to speculate to get better returns (like gambling, which we are not) or they were afraid we were a scam (which we are also not!). This last point exposes the legacy of SA’s inequality and education system (which hardly focuses on financial literacy) and means people are looking to get rich quick, and as such are possibly repeat victims of ponzi schemes and other scams.
Through the course of this year we’ve realised how important it is to educate our users on what is and what is not a solid investment product. Capital growth and wealth creation takes time and requires discipline and patience. We know that can be frustrating, especially in times like these where financial stress is high, but we cannot overstate the importance of selecting a goal, choosing an investment strategy that’s right for you and sticking to the regular contributions. And to our investors who have done just that this year, we salute you. We know how hard it can be to resist the temptation of buying the things we like and invest for the future.
We were also excited that Franc was selected to participate in two prestigious accelerator startup programmes this year. First, Franc was 1 of only 2 SA startups to be selected for Google’s Startup Accelerator for Africa programme. Second, and more recently, we were selected to participate in Knife Capital’s Grindstone programme, which has taken many successful startups to the next level: PayFast and Quicket to name a few.
Last but not least, this year has also seen the Franc team grow nicely. Everyone on the team brings together a unique set of skills and perspective. We pride ourselves on our diversity. We’re proud of everything the team has achieved this year and believe we have what it takes to take Franc to the next level in 2021!