SA-born entrepreneurs win big in competition to pitch for Richard Branson

Two South African-born entrepreneurs, who founded an innovative start-up company that conveniently swaps 150 currencies from across the world, have beaten over 2 500 companies and taken home the prize after pitching to business mogul and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson.

Jeff Paterson and Oliver du Toit, based in the United Kingdom, won Virgin Media’s "Pitch to Rich 2015" competition with their unique money exchange concept, Fourex, in the "New Things" category — for "groundbreaking new ideas: market-disrupters, game-changers and innovations".

We spoke to Fourex co-founder, Jeff Paterson, to find out how they will be moving forward and how idea came about.

It was extraordinary and the most amazing day of our lives - just meeting him and being part of this competition has been great for our company. We’re focucing on launching our machines. Part of the prize was £50 000 as well as a whole lot of support from Virgin Media.

Jeff Paterson, Fourex co-founder

An idea born from frustration

The idea behind the start-up company is to transfer any cash in the world into a single currency from one of their kiosks.

According to Paterson, the technology was created as a result of discontent over the difficulty of exchanging money that the pair had collected from their global travels.

Both of us had a jar of coins from our world travels. I had about 500 pounds in my drawer that I couldn't exchange in coins or notes.

Jeff Paterson, Fourex co-founder

Paterson says that they developed image and note recognition software that is able to automatically identify unique coins and different currencies from across 150 world economies. The programme was then integrated into a self-service machine.

Watch: A demonstartion of how Fourex money exchange works

The value of a good idea

The company has secured a contract with London Underground’s transport system to install their machines in August of this year and have already been approached for franchising opportunities.

Paterson says that sponsors were not willing to give financial support to the initiative but they managed to raise R12 million rand in less than two weeks through crowd-funding efforts in which 450 individuals donated.

Since raising the start-up capital, the pair have been approached by business investors in Saudi Arabia, Japan and the United Arab Emirates. Paterson says that they are also in talks with major currency exchange companies about implementing their product in airports worldwide.

After entering the contest the company has received overwhelming international support.

More about "Pitch to Rich 2015"

The competition is an initiative by Virgin Media Business to support small, growing UK businesses and winners in each of the three categories available were chosen on the 26th June.

To find out more information, visit the Fourex website or visit the Pitch to Rich 2015 webpage.

Watch Fourex's pitch in the Pitch to Rich Finale here.

Listen to the full conversation on The John Robbie Show:


This article first appeared on 702 : SA-born entrepreneurs win big in competition to pitch for Richard Branson


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Major medical breakthrough: New gene pegged as cause of heart attacks in youth

Major medical breakthrough: New gene pegged as cause of heart attacks in youth

This is being called the biggest medical advancement in South African cardiology since Dr Chris Barnard's first heart transplant.

Parents urged to check tertiary institutions are legit before registering kids

Parents urged to check tertiary institutions are legit before registering kids

The Council on Higher Education says parents need to be wary of the increasing number of fly-by-night tertiary institutions.

New app to detect hearing loss

New app to detect hearing loss

University of Pretoria has developed a new app which uses a smartphone to detect hearing loss.

What we can expect from SABC after inquiry consolidates

What we can expect from SABC after inquiry consolidates

SABC's leadership and parliament has come under fire since the inquiry into the board's fitness to hold office.

LISTEN: Radio veterans, Gordhan, sports stars, celebs say bye to John Robbie

LISTEN: Radio veterans, Gordhan, sports stars, celebs say bye to John Robbie

John Robbie's 30-year run in radio has come to an end with friends, callers and colleagues wishing him a heartfelt goodbye.

2016 news wrap: A look back at the stories that grabbed SA's attention

2016 news wrap: A look back at the stories that grabbed SA's attention

Barry Bateman spoke to Stephen Grootes to unpack the meaning behind the stories that dominated the headlines in 2016.

Popular articles
Why many couples today are struggling with marriage

Why many couples today are struggling with marriage

Dr Eve advises that many modern couples need marriage to be a safe space for self-expression and self-actualisation.

'The NPA should be ready and re-enroll the matter' - Nel on Malema prosecution

'The NPA should be ready and re-enroll the matter' - Nel on Malema prosecution

AfriForum not backing down over decision to privately prosecute Julius Malema.

Ed Dept scraps supplementary exams for matriculants

Ed Dept scraps supplementary exams for matriculants

The Department of Basic Education has announced it will do away with matric supplementary exams from 2019.

Why it's not easy getting a refund or replacement after buying a dud car

Why it's not easy getting a refund or replacement after buying a dud car

Motor Industry Ombud Johan Van Vreden says the component of the car must first be replaced if it's defective, not the whole car.

This is how much you should be paying your domestic worker

This is how much you should be paying your domestic worker

Stephen Rathai, director of employment standards at the Department of Labour talks on the new national minimum wage.

Madiba’s private secretary Zelda la Grange opens up about money (hers and his)

Madiba’s private secretary Zelda la Grange opens up about money (hers and his)

Bruce Whitfield interviews La Grange about her and Madiba's attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.)

Mugg & Bean agrees to pay medical bill of customer

Mugg & Bean agrees to pay medical bill of customer

Mugg & Bean has agreed to pay for customers medical bills after a month of being in pain and pestering the chain to pay the bill.