Homechoice Invests in SA Buy-now-pay-later Start-up

Weaver Fintech, a new division of omni-channel retailer Homechoice International (HiL), has made its first acquisition, buying an 85% stake in Cape Town-based buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) start-up PayJustNow.

HiL is an investment holding company, focused on fintech and omni-channel retail through its subsidiaries. It is incorporated in Mauritius and listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

According to a statement, the significant investment seeks to drive HiL’s ongoing growth in the booming BNPL space.

The BNPL sector is undergoing exponential growth, locally and abroad. It currently only makes up 2% of the global market, but consumers were expected to make nearly $100 billion in retail purchases using BNPL in 2021, up from $24 billion in 2020 and $20 billion in 2019, notes the company.

Established in 2019, PayJustNow says it has shown significant customer and online merchant growth, with 180 000 shoppers signed up, and its platform available at more than 2 500 points of purchase.

The investment in PayJustNow signals Weaver Fintech’s entry into the payments space, while giving the Cape Town-based start-up access to capital to further its growth strategy, it notes.

Craig Newborn, founder and CEO of PayJustNow, says the investment presents opportunities for the fintech firm, opening the door for expansion and further product development to serve consumers and merchants.

“Weaver Fintech’s recognition through their investment and funding is an affirmation that what we set out to do holds real value.

‘’Retailers that we recently on-boarded include the likes of Edgars, Puma, HP and Cape Union Mart Group, and retailers that use BNPL programmes seeing incremental salesboosts of up to 30%, and an increase in average basket size of up to 35%,’’ says Newborn.

PayJustNow’s BNPL system determines shopper affordability, allowing consumers to make purchases and pay for them at a future date. It then schedules automated deductions, and sends reminders to make sure shoppers don’t miss a payment.

The start-up bills itself as the largest business of its kind in Southern Africa, with over 1 000 retailers offering its product.

HiL recently rebranded its Mauritian financial services subsidiary to Weaver Fintech, which will house its fintech businesses. Weaver Fintech offers personal lending, insurance, payments and value-added services on digital platforms through its FinChoice and PayJustNow brands.

The retailer says its strategy is to build and buy consumer fintech businesses that drive growth through product innovation and customer-led insights.

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