Akelo Group Poised to Become Emerging Market Fintech and Engagement Powerhouse

Global research over more than two decades by institutions such as MasterCard, Visa, The World Bank, commercial banks and mobile network operators (MNOs) affirms that the most powerful tool to drive revenue and impact is to connect consumers, merchants, banks and brands to drive financial inclusion and deep customer engagement, and ultimately maximise value for all participants in the value chain.

In response to these global trends and its own deep experience, emerging market focused fintech and customer engagement group, AKELO, consolidated its recently acquired strategic fintech and customer engagement entities to financially include the underserved consumer and merchants and drive maximum value for its clients and their customers. The consolidation of these entities will also deliver channels to drive awareness of consumer brands that have traditionally been invisible outside of mainstream retail.

With a 15 year history of serving retailers, banks, brands and consumers with a range of technologies from payment products and services, data and analytics down to individual basket item data, AKELO is poised for significant growth.

The acquisition of a further five companies closing in Q2 this year will establish the AKELO Group as a leading fintech businesses to watch and positions the group for infinitely scalable growth in Africa, the Middle East and other emerging markets..

“Through the consolidation of the different business units under two clear take-to-market structures (B2B and B2BC), AKELO is ideally positioned to tap into the power of millions of consumers and give our clients insights they couldn’t previously access because of fragmentation in emerging markets,” says Andrew Weinberg, AKELO Group CEO.

The recent purchase and consolidation of the group companies have also allowed AKELO to reposition key resources for improved focus and delivery and utilise its broad client base for cross-selling products and solutions over a far wider market spectrum.

“Our purpose is to make a real impact in the day-to-day lives of millions of people and merchants, by simplifying access to products and services and technologies in emerging markets,” says Weinberg.

“Our platforms, which are enabled by unique technologies, embedded internet protocol (IP) and a real-time view of payments, allow us to offer bespoke products and services that generate sustainable revenue streams from multiple products by securing ownership of the last mile of each channel. This provides a powerful marketplace for embedded financial services and engagement and payment solutions for banks, brands, independent retailers, and SMME merchants, thus linking brands and underserved consumers across Africa and the Middle East,” says Weinberg.


2Engage is a fintech business whose scalable digital platform and award-winning campaigns drive customer acquisition, retention and engagement. Its products include customer, staff and retail rewards, which offer a wide range of capabilities to connect brands with their consumers. 2Engage is highly skilled and experienced in the design, implementation and management of custom multi-national rewards programmes that drive customer behaviour across all demographics and income groups to deliver measurable ROI for its clients.

Crossgate provides simplified payment solutions by removing the complexities of product and technology choices in the rapidly changing payments technology landscape. It offers a highly differentiated solution for the distribution of payment instruments to some of the largest banks and retailers in South Africa and MEA. The Crossgate technology stack powers strategic fintech and neo-banking projects, and delivers highly secure, simplified and scalable platforms and payment instruments. It recently launched its world class EMV card and virtual card personalisation facility in Cape Town, South Africa.

Efficacy Payments is a South African payment enablement company that was founded to displace cash in the retail environment, to fulfil its vision of driving the digitisation of payments and fostering greater financial inclusion in key African markets. Efficacy Payments maximises the use of established interoperable tracks through Bankserv Africa, Mastercard and Visa to develop compliant innovations for the highly regulated payments sector, including Deposit@Till, which enables consumers to make cash deposits directly into their card-linked bank accounts at selected retailers, eliminating the need to enter a bank branch; peer-to-peer (P2P) and disbursements products that enable disbursements to card-linked accounts on a one-to-one or one-to-many basis; and has been appointed a designated payment system to enable small and medium enterprises to accept electronic payments, thus displacing cash.

TuYu is a mobile rewards platform that allows users to receive and redeem rewards in a secure and convenient manner by using their mobile phones. Its capabilities offer companies a streamlined, innovative way to reward consumers and staff instantly, ensuring a quick turnaround time between qualifying for and receiving a reward. TuYu Rewards can be redeemed in-store at 70 000+ till lanes nationwide and online, and partners include all major retailers in South Africa.

bonsella® is South Africa’s largest digital rewards and loyalty programme in the independent retail sector, targeting over 10 million LSM 3-7 consumers, representing some 60% of the economically active consumer base in South Africa. Its objectives are to promote sales, gain insight into consumer behaviour, and build brand engagement and equity while achieving a sustainable, measurable ROI.

bonsella® offers backend technology that delivers measurable sales promotions by tracing product take-up at till point (pre, during and after promotions), resulting in comprehensive basket analytics and customer purchase insight. This coupled with the ability to reward individual bonsella® members in the form of airtime and other incentives, allows brands and retailers to shape consumer shopping patterns and brand preferences into the future.

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