Hannes Van Rensburg, founder and chief executive of the now wholly-owned subsidiary of Visa. (mobilemoneycanada.com)
Hannes Van Rensburg, founder and chief executive of the now wholly-owned subsidiary of Visa, is one of the investors in the 88mph accelerator, which runs programmes in Nairobi and Cape Town.
Van Rensburg’s expertise is in mobile and regarding what he sees as the obstacles holding back the mobile and technology sector on the continent, he said: “Good management, business experience – enough coaches and mentors.
“We have more than enough young talent to beat the best teams, but not enough coaches that can teach these youngsters the ropes and help them get going.
“It is not raw ability that we lack, but the finer points and tips that makes a good idea a great success.”
Fundamo began operations in 2000 and currently deploys mobile financial services platforms in more than 34 countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Visa bought Fundamo in 2011 for US$110 million and Van Rensburg said it had been fascinating to see the growth in the mobile money industry.
“It has been a phenomenal ride to experience the growth of an industry from nothing to an engine that literally runs the economies of some countries.”
HumanIPO reported earlier this month on the launch of mobile money platform M-Pesa in India, and Van Rensburg believes mobile money has the potential to be even bigger in Asia.
He said: “The success of mobile payments have now started spreading into Asia with major success stories in Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is my prediction that mobile money will be even bigger in these countries.”
Regarding his decision to invest in 88mph, he told HumanIPO he believed it was a programme which would “deliver” and was a good match given his passion for mobile.
He added: “Mobile provides the means to overcome the big lack of infrastructure in the continent. But it does more. It provides a way to identify individuals securely.
“The SIM card and a unique mobile number that allows anyone to be reached is an important ingredient to a major revolution.”