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Sebastian Patel 

Scaling Fintech Apps

COO and co-founder of Franc, Sebastian Patel highlights issues in the local fintech sector through the lens of his company’s journey.

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An actuary by training, and a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries, Sebastian Patel seems an unlikely entrepreneur. However, following successful stints with Nedbank Capital and Brimstone, he bade the corporate world farewell in 2019 to pursue a long-held dream with varsity mate Thomas Brennan. 

The idea that would eventually become Franc, first centred on short-term insurance, supplemented by investments. By early 2019, however, Thomas launched the beta which was purely investment focussed, having identified a need to give all South Africans, no matter income or level of financial knowledge, access to investment opportunities. This resonated with Sebastian who was often asked for investment advice by friends and family. He joined Franc as COO and was named a co-founder shortly thereafter.


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About This Recipe


What’s in a name? According to the founders of Franc the answer is everything. Consciously chosen to convey a number of messages, the brand’s main job is to make a no-BS promise to its customers.

Sebastian Patel, co-founder and COO, shares how that promise finds expression in Franc’s design and engineering philosophy, its approach to talent development and how it seeks and deals with customer feedback.

He discusses the many factors at play when improvement decisions are made, and why getting customers to trust you is a long-term investment.

What You'll Learn


The wisdom of embracing simplicity, be it in how you test a new idea, measure product-market fit or in the number of products you offer customers.

Gain valuable insights in the juggling act involved in decisions around product improvements, how to develop customers’ trust, and why scaling through automation at the wrong time could do more harm than good.

A final and inspiring lesson revolves around the need for tech startups to share their successes so that the local ecosystem can benefit from advice and funds.


Learn from someone who speaks from a position of real authority, perspective and experience.


Implement practical tips and techniques learned in the trenches - doing, rather than talking.


Join a cohort of like-minded entrepreneurs in our growing community and share your learnings as you go.

Get Learning

This entrepreneurial micro-course will take you only a few minutes per day (or you can binge if you want to). Feel free to skip around and please let us know what you think. 

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Deep Cuts 

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