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  • Rise Cape Town launches female tech entrepreneur initiative Rise Scalarator

    Absa-owned fintech innovation hub Rise Cape Town has launched a new initiative dubbed Rise Scalarator, which aims to assist five female tech entrepreneurs from the Western Cape scale their startups. The initiative aims to assist black South African tech entrepreneurs who have developed a minimum viable product scale their startups. Applications for the programme close on 9 May. Applications for the Rise Scalarator programme close on 9 May The programme, which was co-created with Cape Town-based accelerator 88 Business Collective, is set to kick off with a 12 week bootcamp in June and will run until November. In a statement, the programme's project manager and 88 Business Collective...

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    Easy things to forget when expanding overseas

    One of the primary methods for any growing business to capitalise on the success it may be enjoying is to look at expanding into a new market. For those that are thriving in their domestic scene, expanding abroad will likely be the next step. There are many guides out there of how to best go about doing this, which include advice such as budgeting for expansion, making local contacts and more. There are other important aspects which, if forgotten about, can prove disastrous. Legal barriers Working in a foreign country means that your business will have to abide by its laws. These will probably...

  • Here’s what you need to know about the Zimbabwe tech startup ecosystem

    Are you a venture capitalist or an angel investor looking to invest in a company? Are you an entrepreneur looking for capital or other opportunities? Are you an aspiring startup owner looking for assistance? Well, you have come to the right place. Ventureburn presents the 2018 guide to Zimbabwe’s startup scene. This article is the most comprehensive guide for anyone who wants to get involved with, or have a better understanding of, the country’s fast-growing startup space. It is a part of a series which will also include the West African and East African startup space. We have scoured Zimbabwe’s entrepreneurial landscape...

  • Interest in Zimbabwe’s tech startup scene picks up, but startups still struggling

    Today Zimbabwe marks 38 years of independence from British colonial rule. This will be the first Independence Day the country has had under a president other than Robert Mugabe, this after President Emmerson Mnangagwa assumed office last year in November. Five months on, Ventureburn looks at developments in the country's tech startup scene under the new administration and the challenges Zimbabwean tech startups are facing. ICT Innovation Drive launch By far the biggest development to have taken place in the country's tech startup scene since President Mnangagwa's inauguration is his March launch of the ICT Innovation Drive which saw six startups get...

  • Meet the 10 startups, scale-ups selected for Webber Wentzel’s Ignite incubator [Updated]

    South African law firm Webber Wentzel has announced the selection of 10 startups and scale-ups to join its Ignite legal incubation programme. In a statement yesterday, Aalia Manie, project lead and partner at the firm, commented that the legal firm is thrilled at the "exceptional quality" of the applications received and the level of interest shown in the programme. In a subsequent email today, Manie said she could not immediately disclose the number of applications without the permission of her team members. The 10 companies are: The 10 will receive support that includes legal services valued at up to R100 000, focused mentoring and support which will...

  • The Sun Exchange in $25m ICO to allow investors to earn income off solar projects

    SA startup The Sun Exchange, a blockchain-based solar micro-leasing marketplace, will launch an initial coin offering (ICO) next week to allow investors to earn an income off small solar projects. It aims to raise $25-million in the ICO. The ICO will also help seed, what the startup calls "the world’s first crowd-sourced default insurance fund for clean energy projects in emerging markets". The Sun Exchange Solar Project Insurance Fund (SPIF) will be established shortly after the close of the token sale. The SPIF will help safeguard Sun Exchange solar cell owners against costs associated with potential solar project defaults. In a press release today the startup said...

  • ‘Investor’s share in Giraffe funding round valued at R10m to R20m’ [Updated]

    SA startup Giraffe announced today that it has closed a second funding round, with a lead investor participating in the round revealing that its own share of the contribution was valued at "between R10-million and R20-million". In a press release today the startup, which runs a web platform that matches job seekers with job placements, said it had closed a second round of equity funding, led by Edge Growth’s Vumela Fund with participation from Omidyar Network, Catapult Trust and the Nando co-founder Robbie Brozin's family office Forever Young Capital. While the startup's founder and CEO Anish Shivdasani would not reveal the details of the deal, when pressed for comment...

  • Ex-Visa man, Vio Digital founder plans US move if remittances app takes off

    Johanneburg-based Praga Govender, the man behind a new blockchain app aimed at lowering the cost of remittance payments to Africa, says he plans to relocate to the US should his fintech Vio Digital take off. Govender, a former Visa products manager, founded the startup in January. While the app is currently available for download on the Google Play Store, it is expected to launch first in four countries -- Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Cameroon -- in May, before further countries are added While he is currently working from his home in Bryanstan, Johannesburg, Govender says should the company take off he may consider moving to...

  • Here are three reasons why you should apply for the Global Pitch competition

    The Global Pitch competition, which bills itself as the biggest worldwide online pitching competition, will close applications in just under five days (22 April). The pitching competition -- run by DealMatrix, a Austrian web platform specialised in scouting, matching and workflow management for the venture ecosystem -- is aimed at startups from around the world seeking investors. DealMatrix aims to provide startups with access to its international network of over 50 partners who include corporates, venture capitalists, angel investors, accelerators, and incubators. The top 100 startups will be announced on 4 May, while finalists will be announced on 16 May, with final online pitches set...

  • Seedstars winner AgroCenta secures third of $750 000 funding from US investor

    Fresh off being named 2018 Seedstars Global winner, Ghanaian agritech startup AgroCenta is hoping to raise $750 000 in funding in a new seed round, and has raised about a third of this from a US investor, the startup's co-founder Michael Ocansey said. Ocansey was speaking to Ventureburn last Thursday (12 April) at the Seedstars Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland, where the startup was crowned the 2018 Seedstars Global winner and with it $500 000 in equity investment from Seedstars. He said $230 000 of the round had been committed by the US investor. AgroCenta is an online sales platform started in 2015 by Ocansey and Francis Obirikorang. It...

  • Michael Jordaan backed startup Alto Africa reports 85% growth in 2017

    Cape Town based tech company Alto Africa, which has investment from Michael Jordaan's Montegray Capital, saw 85% growth in revenue in 2017, following a 50% growth in revenue in 2016. The company has developed Cloudbox -- what it calls an "all-in-one" IT cloud solution in a box for SMEs. The solution incorporates email, email backups, file sharing, computer backups, antivirus and communication into one simple package to take the complexity out of IT. Trent says everything is taken care of under one roof by one vendor on a per-user, per-month basis for a flat monthly fee. He says the company has signed up 170 SMEs so far -- most of...

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