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  • Will South African trio’s algorithm be a boon for oil sector?

    Over $300-billion of oil and gas exploration projects have been shelved since the oil price fell from a high of $120 in July 2014 to a low of $25 in early 2015 -- but three South Africans' use of a statistical algorithm promises to cut the cost of finding oil and gas. While unlisted UK company Africa New Energies (ANE) recently became the subject of a bidding war with valuations of hundreds of millions of dollars, analysts remain cautious, with the company yet to discover a single barrel of oil. The company, launched by Stephen Larkin, Brendon Raw and Shakes Motsilili in 2012, uses data collected...

  • Company Office

    Barclays accelerator announces latest participants in African programme

    Barclays Africa Group and Techstars today released the names of 10 financial-technology (fintech) companies selected to participate in the second Barclays Accelerator programme, powered by Techstars. The successful companies, all focused on providing fintech solutions in Africa, will participate in a 13-week growth acceleration programme at Barclays Africa’s Rise fintech innovation hub in Cape Town from mid-May. The 2017 programme participants are: Flexpay (Kenya), Howler (South Africa), Spatialedge (South Africa), Abe.ai (USA), The Sun Exchange (South Africa), Byte Money (South Africa), Avenews-GT (Israel), FOMO Travel (South Africa), Kapitalwise (USA) and eCOIDA (South Africa). Yasaman Hadjibashi, chief creation officer at Barclays Africa Group, said:...

  • Startupbootcamp launches its first African-based programme

    Global accelerator Startupbootcamp has announced the launch of its first African-based programme in Cape Town with the aim of accelerating 10 startups from September. The announcement was made yesterday. The three-month bootcamp, backed by BNP Paribas, the RCS Group and PwC, is open to startups that focus on a number of sectors. These include: blockchain, connected devices, payment solutions, asset management, ecommerce, alternative financing, identity management, data and behavioural analytics, digital connectivity, enabling technologies and integrated supply chains. Ten successful applicants selected for the programme will each be awarded EUR€15,000. Selected participants will also receive free office space, convertible notes, access to...

  • We lost R200k to wrong developers, Shark Tank startup tells Fuckup Nights

    They may have secured R400 000 from two investors on SA TV show Shark Tank last year, but Jason Newmark and Chelsea Evans learnt a hard lesson when they recently lost R200 000 on tech developers. Speaking at a Fuckup Nights event held in Cape Town on Wednesday, Newmark and Evans, co-founders of wedding planning site Plan My Wedding, detailed how choosing the wrong website developers also set them back a year. The monthly event, in which entrepreneurs detail their biggest failures, was hosted by co-working space Cape Town Office at the Canterbury Club. "We ended up spending R200k on developers we...

  • ‘I couldn’t sleep for three years,’ Nigerian entrepreneur tells Fuckup Nights event

    Nigerian entrepreneur Dayo Elegbe was feeling good. He’d worked with big names in the UK and his latest idea to give away a car on a Nigerian game show looked like a money spinner. Little did he know that he was one move away from losing thousands of dollars. "I couldn't sleep for three years. I had crazy insomnia," says Elegbe, recalling his biggest failure in business, at a Fuckup Nights event held at the Canterbury Club in Cape Town last night. The monthly event, in which entrepreneurs detail their biggest failures, was hosted by co-working space Cape Town Office. Elegbe, founder...

  • Union Bank, CcHub launches the Centenary Innovation Challenge

    The Union Bank of Nigeria has partnered with the Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) to launch the Centenary Innovation Challenge with entries closing 19 May. It comes as the Union Bank celebrates its 100th anniversary with the theme "Celebrate, Impact and Lead". The bank aims to find innovative startups and offer them support to address the country's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The challenge is open to university students, software developers, entrepreneurs and academics from Nigeria. The Union Bank CEO Emeka Emuwa recently addressed the partnership at a press conference held last week. In his address Emuwa said the bank is committed to being at the leading edge of innovation,...

  • SEC ban puts brakes on equity crowdfunding in Nigeria – report

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria's ban on equity crowdfunding "is seriously slowing down" the introduction of crowdfunding in the country, says a new report. The Crowdfunding Potential for Nigeria report released last month by the Crowdfunding Hub, says crowdfunding has significant potential in the country, but that the SEC's ban issued in August last year has stifled the setting up of crowdfunding platforms. The SEC believes that crowdfunding cannot be effective in Nigeria for now because of a lack of rules. Donation and reward-based crowdfunding are however excluded from the SEC’s regulatory remit. This is despite a fast-evolving banking system which...

  • Africa regional conference to spotlight future financing solutions

    Over 500 financial representatives from more than 45 countries will next month come together for three days to tackle various issues affecting African businesses when secure financial messaging service Swift hosts its African Regional Conference (Arc) in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast on 16-18 May. The conference will take on the theme of "Financing for the future" and will also look at how African countries can diversify their economies to promote more sustainable growth. "Holding the Swift African Regional Conference in Côte D’Ivoire (the Ivory Coast) illustrates the strength and stability of the country’s economic and business environments and the dynamic role it is playing in Africa’s development," said the...

  • Dubai authority opens call for fintech startups to join acccelerator

    The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is calling for applications for its Fintech Hive. Applicants have until 28 May to apply. The 12-week programme aims to accelerate startups within the early and growth stages by providing them with insights and exposure to top financial institution executives. Selected participants will have the opportunity to develop and test their products and solutions in collaboration with senior financial representatives. These include representatives from the DIFC Authority, Accenture, Citi, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Visa, Emirates NBD, and Mashreq. "The FinTech Hive at DIFC will connect innovators in financial services technology with the banks, financial institutions and service providers within our dynamic ecosystem...

  • ‘Fintech startups in Middle East, North Africa raised $100m last decade’

    Fintech startups in the Middle East and North Africa have raised $100-million over the last decade, yet 28% fail in their initial years, says a new report by business support organisation Wamda and online payment gateway Payfort. Released last month the report, titled State of Fintech: Unbundling the financial service sector in MENA, estimates that about $50-million in investments are expected to go to fintech startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region this year. The region was home to 105 fintech startups by the end of 2015 (see featured image), with half of these having been launched since...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [17/04/2017]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or catch up on some of your skills? Well, you've come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we've rounded up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or...