South African start-up Hepstar snags R30m in funding

Amadeus Capital Partners has invested R30m in Cape Town-based digital insurance specialist Hepstar.

(via TechCentral) Hot on the heels of its announcement that, with MTN, it will invest US$40m (about R650m) in African-focused online travel agency Travelstart, UK technology investor Amadeus Capital Partners has revealed another investment, this time in Cape Town-based financial technology start-up Hepstar.

Hepstar, which describes itself as a digital insurance distributor, has received $2m (R30,3m) in funding from Amadeus Capital. The start-up intends using the funding to “build on its momentum, including expanding its global reach, accelerating technology development and growing its brand”.

Hepstar was founded in 2013 to address the need for e-commerce companies in general — and airlines and travel companies in particular — to maximise revenue from ancillary services.

“The global airline ancillary opportunity is around $60bn. We can help our partners make up to 30% of their net revenues from insurance ancillaries,” said Hepstar chief financial officer Brett Dyason in a statement.

In the past year, the company has grown its presence to include Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Australia.

Clients include CarTrawler, South African Airways, ClickBus (including Neredennereye.com), IATI, Flightsite and Travelstart. It works with insurance companies such as Mapfre, Regent, Al Sagr and Orient Sigorta.

“Hepstar has grown organically to date and we are now anticipating growth of 150% in 2016. This investment will allow us to focus on innovation, sales and local talent acquisition,” said Dyason.

Amadeus Capital Partners’ investment into Hepstar is provided for by their Digital Prosperity Fund, which is backed by MTN. The fund assists growth companies to develop online and mobile applications in emerging markets such as Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.

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