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  • Newtown Partners shifts focus to offshore deals amid SA challenges

    SA entrepreneur Vinny Lingham's angel investment fund Newtown Partners has shifted its focus to sourcing deals outside of South Africa because of the poor economic and political climate at home, says the fund's managing partner Llew Claasen. Claasen (pictured above), who is based in Cape Town, told Ventureburn last month that while the fund had sourced about 10 of its 16 deals concluded since it launched 2014 in South Africa, he and Lingham are now looking more at deals offshore. He described the fund's focus as being on blockchain projects and added that via its US office in Sunnyvale, California the...

  • Company Office

    Bookmark Awards 2016 Entry Series: Platform, Publishing and Special Honours

    With the deadline for entries to the prestigious IAB SA Bookmark Awards extended to 30 November, digital marketers have one last opportunity to enter and do battle for the industry’s most coveted awards across eight categories, of which the Platform category is one. The Bookmark Awards celebrate the country’s most creative and high-impact digital executions and rewards excellence in digital advertising and publishing work, benchmarked against the highest international standards. “The Platforms category encompasses all the means to communicate a digital message to current and future clients,” says Fred Roed, Head of IAB SA’s Agency Council. “These prizes are therefore always...

  • SARB calls on the public to comment on consultation paper on crypto assets

    As part of its first steps to regulate crypto assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) today called on the public to provide comments on a consultation paper on crypto assets. The Reserve Bank, together with other members of the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG), released the consultation paper yesterday (15 January). In addition to the Reserve Bank, the working group includes the National Treasury, Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), and the South African Revenue Service (SARS). In a statement today (16 January), The Reserve Bank called on the public to email their...

  • It hits you that you are going to die – hub manager on Kenyan attack [Updated]

    UPDATE (19 January 2019): Nairobi-based payments company Cellulant today released the names of the six employees (and not seven as earlier believed) killed in Tuesday's attack they are: the company's head of product development Ashford Kuria, hub engineer Kelvin Gitonga, head of information security Dennis Mwaniki, quality assurance tester John Ndiritu, implementation engineer Wilfred Kareithi and hub head Jeremiah Mbaria (see below image). The company said a memorial service will be held on Tuesday (22 January) at the CITAM church, Valley Road campus from 10.30am. Maurice Otieno, the head of a Kenyan business club for startups, says he was waiting...

  • SA startup Virtual Actuary may consider ‘combo valuation’ with US partner

    Six months after turning down an investment offer from a major SA insurance company, SA startup Virtual Actuary is in the US for talks with venture capitalists -- including some who are keen to do "a combo valuation" with the startup's US partner, software developer Insurtech Global. Virtual Actuary co-founder Adi Kaimowitz has been in the US for the past week after being invited to speak on disruption in the actuarial world at an event at the Hartford Insurtech Hub in Hartford, Connecticut (See a video of the talk he did in Hartford on Thursday last week below). Virtual Actuary,...

  • DFS Lab to host Dar es Salaam bootcamp on Mojaloop platform

    US-based fintech accelerator and investor Digital Financial Services Lab (DFS Lab) will in April host a bootcamp in Tanzania aimed at building on and improving Mojaloop, an open-source financial inclusion software that was released by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2017. Mojaloop helps create inter-operable payments systems in emerging markets. The platform was built in collaboration with leading tech and fintech companies that include Ripple, Dwolla, Software Group, ModusBox and Crosslake Technologies. DFS Lab, which is also funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, made the announcement in a press release to Ventureburn today (16 January). DFS Lab's Mojaloop...

  • How SA social enterprise startup Vollar landed a R500k investment at Slush

    Having completed 2018 with a budget of just R225 000, Stellenbosch-based social enterprise startup Vollar last month secured a R500 000 investment from an angel investor at Finnish tech conference Slush 2018. Slush, which is held annually in Helsinki, aims to connect startup founders with investors, as well as provide them access to startup networks. Last year's edition took place on 4 and 5 December. Vollar founder and CEO Kyle Ueckermann (pictured above) -- whose startup has developed a digital token for tracking and rewarding social good -- told Ventureburn yesterday (14 January) that he previously lived in Helsinki and earlier...

  • UK government’s Go Global 2019 to support Kenyan, Nigerian, SA startups

    Are you running a tech startup in Kenya, Nigeria or South Africa that is solving pressing local issues? Then you might stand to benefit from 14 days of mentorship, workshops and networking in the UK -- through the British government's newly launched Go Global 2019 programme. The programme forms part of the UK Government's Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) new International Tech Hub Network and is run in partnership with the British High Commission in Kenya, Nigeria and Kenya. Through the Go Global 2019 programme, DCMS is looking to support post minimum viable product (MVP) startups in healthtech,...

  • MEST opens applications for 2019 MEST Africa Challenge

    MEST, the Pan-African training programme, seed fund, incubator and hub for tech entrepreneurs in Africa, has opened applications for the 2019 MEST Africa Challenge. Finalists of the pitch competition, which is now in its second year, stand to receive up to $50 000 in equity investment from MEST, space in a MEST incubator and the opportunity to pitch at the finals of the challenge which will be held at the 2019 MEST Africa Summit which will take place between 10 and 12 June in Nairobi, Kenya. Entrepreneurs with post-revenue tech startups based in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa...

  • TIA announces winners of 2018 Global Cleantech Innovation Programme

    The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) last week Friday (11 January) announced the winners of the 2018 Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for small and medium-sized enterprises in South Africa (GCIP-SA) at a gala event held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The programme aims to encourage local innovation in energy efficiency, green buildings, renewable energy, waste beneficiation, water efficiency and green transport. GCIP-SA is implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) and US-based cleantech accelerator Cleantech Open with funding from the Global Environment Facility (Gef). Impulse Biomed, Inseco and Afrobodies emerged as the winners at last Friday's 2018 Global Cleantech...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [13/1/2019]

    Ever wondered what the differences between personal branding and business branding are? Join StartupGrind Pretoria tomorrow (15 January) as they explore this in a fireside chat with the founders of SummerTime design studio Raksha Mahabeer and Sandya Singh.If you're in Kenya you'll want to attend the Kaleidoscope Africa's Launch to Scale event in Nairobi on Thursday (17 January) where critical success factors that determine how startups move from launch to scale will be discussed. For those working with Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in Nigeria, you won't want to miss the AR/VR Africa Meetup on Saturday (19 January)...

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