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Putting tech at the heart of fintech

This is one to watch! 10X Investments has brought in some serious tech firepower in the form of the founders of the company that created SnapScan.

Many South Africans will know SnapScan as the breakthrough South African payments platform, the first many of us used to buy things at markets and other less formal venues. Many of the same people will know 10X as a disruptor of the formerly cozy and exclusive world of saving and investing.

The combination of these two could very well put wealth creation firmly in the hands of the ordinary South African. We can but hope …

10X said in a statement:

Acknowledging the importance that technology plays in creating simple, accessible solutions to help people reach their financial goals, 10X Investments has appointed members of the team that created SnapScan to senior roles in the business.

Technology development company Sproutly, whose staff includes key members of the team that developed SnapScan, the ground-breaking South African mobile payment provider, will be joining 10X in January 2023.

10X Investments Chief Executive Officer, Tobie Van Heerden, said this development truly puts tech at the centre of the business. He added that, for 10X, technology is “not an added, bolt-on service” but a “core competency”, which is why the asset management firm is putting the “best South African developers” at the centre of the business.

Van Heerden and a largely new executive team have led a rapid transformation of 10X from its origins as a boutique retirement specialist into a full-service asset management company. This obvious next step for the fast-growing asset manager shows that 10X is a tech-lead company rather than a tech-enabled one.

Estiaan le Roux, left, and Rupert Sully have joined 10X Investments in senior roles

Sproutly’s co-founders will be joining the business in senior roles: Estiaan le Roux joins as Chief Technology Officer and Rupert Sully comes in as Lead, Direct to Consumer Business. They will bring a team of five world-class software developers with them.

After establishing SnapScan, Le Roux and Sully founded Sproutly and focussed on real-time machine learning and data engineering problems for global agro-industrial companies. As the team looked to build fintech products again, said Sully, “the investment space really struck us as presenting massive opportunities to differentiate with good technology products”.

Le Roux added that joining 10X during this period of transformation and renewal “gives our team a unique opportunity to apply our skills and lessons learned in product development methodologies to a sector that we are all very passionate about”.

As a long-time user of 10X Investments and “a big believer in rule-based investing”, Sully said he had been drawn to 10X’s “transparency, efficiency and good performance”. He said the Sproutly team would take what they had learnt from the payments and other sectors and apply it to 10X’s investment products to “create even greater customer value and build world-class products for customers”.

Le Roux added that they are “also eager to see what superpowers we can give the internal team by leveraging technology”.

10X’s Van Heerden said: “I am very pleased we are bringing this key aspect of our business in-house. We couldn’t have found better partners than the team at Sproutly as we work to simplify wealth creation and bring it within reach of as many South Africans as possible.”

“The team at Sproutly are exceptional developers with an entrepreneurial spirit who come with great experience developing innovative digital products. Watch this space.”

10X Investments is an authorised FSP (number 28250).

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