The Developer Placement Programme, an initiative by the UK-South Africa Tech Hub, together with the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative, aims to provide work-readiness opportunities to youth with digital skills. The programme does this by placing developer interns at entrepreneurial businesses for 6 months.
One of the entrepreneurial businesses participating in the initiative is Snapslip, a company who has been involved in a few of the UK-South Africa Tech Hub Programmes throughout their growth.
Snapslip is the digital receipting and analytics platform that eradicates the use and need for paper receipts.
Founded in 2018 by Lynton Naicker, Snapslip gives customers the ability to use a digital receipting repository while providing retailers with an analytics portal to identify who their customers are and their preferences in an effort to better facilitate their customer’s needs. Snapslip also creates a digital contactless environment that is COVID-19 and environmentally conscious while enhancing a customer’s shopping experience.
Founder Lynton says he was inspired to start Snapslip after an unfortunate shopping incident.
“I bought a pair of trousers that were on sale and unfortunately, I didn’t try them on in the store and tried them on at home,” he explains. “They, however, didn’t fit and due to the nuisance of paper receipting, I misplaced the receipt. I went to the store to exchange or return the trousers and after a very heated and embarrassing argument, I left with the trousers as I was not able to return them. I then realised that everything around us has made the transition to a digital medium, yet we still do receipting in a very archaic way, this is when Snapslip was born.
“I also realised the data mining potential geared to spend analytics and predictive modelling that could be mined, and this could be a multifaceted tool solving several pain points. As well as the positive impact digital receipting will have on the environment and in today’s times a very beneficial contactless solution that limits the need for customers to touch foreign items such as paper receipts (COVID-19).
“The pair of trousers still remain in my cupboard to this day as a constant reminder as to why I’m on this journey.”‘
Although Snapslip is still a relatively young business, Lynton has always been passionate about business.
“I have always been interested in the art of business and look up to my father who is a successful businessman. Throughout my high school and university years, I’ve been trailing various business opportunities from selling various goods to bridging the gap between tutors and students. One of the greatest business lessons that my father taught me that really ignited my passion was the value of a brand and the associated derived value and benefit that you translate to your customer.”
It is with this dedicated passion that Lynton hopes to take his business to new heights.
“I believe that Snapslip will be the biggest receipting company in the world that never prints a single paper receipt. I want Snapslip to not only benefit retailers and customers but also the environment and the lives of employees within Snapslip. My philosophy is to build a business that increases the value and the benefit of the ecosystem as a whole.”
The entrepreneur shares that the journey so far has been incredible and the opportunities that Snapslip has brought have far exceeded his wildest dreams.
“From meeting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and having the opportunity to share Snapslip with them, placing second at the UK prosperity games to being selected as the only African Startup for the 2020 Startupbootcamp Dubai Fintech cohort and being awarded the opportunity to scale and incorporate in Dubai as well as the Snapslip being selected for the United Kingdom Global Entrepreneurship Program, a opportunity made possible through another one of the UK-South Africa Tech Hub programmes which led to being able to scale and incorporate in the UK. The opportunities and successes have been truly amazing and we look forward to many many more.”
He adds that the startup has faced its fair share of challenges.
“Fintech is a very dynamic space with many challenges, one of them is tapping into the unknown. We have faced many obstacles that delayed our launch timeline, some were technical, but others have been regarding us not knowing the unknown. How we have overcome these obstacles is by taking them on and learning from them as we can possibly apply these learnings to our next obstacle or challenge.”
Like many businesses around the world, Snapslip has also been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“The COVID-19 Pandemic is definitely a very strange and unpredictable time and I think this is evident for everyone, however, it has slightly delayed our operations and travel plans abroad but being a startup you are taught to be ready to pivot and adapt to your surroundings and through the pandemic, we have also identified an opportunity, Snapslip provides a contactless solution through digital receipting. Minimising the need for a customer to touch a foreign item such as a paper receipt and thus enhancing a customer’s shopping experience but also limiting their risk to exposure of germs and viruses. ”
Lynton shares that it’s been fantastic hosting the interns as part of the Developers Placement programme.
“The guys are great, I’ve learnt just as much as them. They are always up for the challenge and ready to learn. They have definitely become part of the team.”
He adds that the startup has been helping the interns improve their articulation and presentation skills.
“Each week the interns are tasked to research a topic, how it has revolutionised the way we do things, the revenue potential and how applicable it is to a post-COVID-19 world. The topics are Fintech related and the interns must tie it back to a feature that could work for Snapslip.
“Post their presentations there is a Q&A and feedback session as well as a guest subject matter aspect that will present a masterclass on the Topic.
These presentations have been well received by the interns and we have seen a massive improvement in regards to the presentation skills, ability to articulate their own ideas and learnings and their ability to answer questions.
“One of the most critical skills that one can learn especially in the startup ecosystem is the ability to present and articulate your idea amongst a group of people whether it be investors or prospective clients. This is a valuable learning opportunity for the interns and also allows them to gain much-needed help and feedback to continually improve themselves. Throughout our presentations, we encourage both mistakes and positive feedback as this is a safe place and we want the interns to make the mistakes now so that when they present to stakeholders they are confident and able. The masterclasses are a great interactive learning opportunity for the interns to learn from subject matter experts in the industry and ask questions related to that topic.”