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  • Four African startups in PeaceTech Accelerator secure multiple partnerships

    All four African startups that took part in the PeaceTech Accelerator's fifth cohort have secured corporate partnerships following the conclusion of the accelerator's eight week programme -- Mike Ravenscroft, the programme director of C5 Accelerate which runs the initiative, has revealed. C5 Accelerate launched the Washington DC based accelerator last year in partnership with PeaceTech Lab, a peace building non-profit, in collaboration with cloud computing service provider, Amazon Web Services. The aim is to help scale startups on the cloud and solve problems relating to peace, stability and security worldwide. Africa’s contingent to the accelerator’s fifth cohort included two Nigerian startups — proptech Muster and talent marketplace...

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    Tshwane free WiFi project provides model for social impact bond

    Model could help with municipal infrastructure challenges A free WiFi project that has successfully taken root in Tshwane could set the pattern for social impact bonds in South Africa in which the private sector guarantees delivery of services, the public sector guarantees payment and commercial funding is accessed upfront from the financial markets. Social impact bonds are a form of innovative funding that gives service providers, including nonprofit organisations, access to upfront resources to tackle social problems by tapping private funding to cover the upfront costs of social programmes approved by government institutions. Kasief Isaacs, portfolio manager for infrastructure investments at Mergence...

  • Sawari Ventures announces $35m first closing of $70m North Africa fund

    Egyptian venture capital firm Sawari Ventures yesterday (9 December) announced a $35-million first closing of its $70-million Sawari Ventures North Africa Fund I (SVNFI). The Cairo-based VC firm made the announcement on the sidelines of the last day of the Africa 2018 Business Forum in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt. In a statement yesterday (9 December), Sawari Ventures stated that it aims to use the fund to invest in tech and knowledge-driven companies in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. The fund's first closing investors include the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Dutch Good Growth Fund which is managed by impact-focused investment manager Triple Jump, the French Development...

  • Endeavor SA to host International Selection Panel in Stellenbosch this week

    A number of SA entrepreneurs are in the running to join the prestigious club of Endeavor that supports high-impact entrepreneurs around the world -- with the non-profit's SA office set to host its 84th International Selection Panel (ISP) in Stellenbosch from tomorrow (11 December) to Thursday (13 December). Through the ISP, Endeavor aims to identify innovative and driven entrepreneurs from across the world who are committed to building big businesses that have a positive economic impact. At the ISP, business leaders interview entrepreneurs about their businesses, evaluating them on their fit with Endeavor and their growth potential. Once selected, Endeavor entrepreneurs gain access to comprehensive customised services,...

  • Meet the African startups that won this year’s Seedstars World pitch events [Updated]

    After a seven-month long journey that saw the Seedstars World team travel through more than 25 countries on the continent, a total of 17 African startups will this week participate at this year's edition of the Seedstars Africa Summit which kicks off tomorrow (11 December). The startups are winners of the 17 pitch events Seedstars World held across the continent. North African startups 7keema, Optimalogic and Elham Education took part in the MENA Seedstars Summit which was held last month in Beirut, Lebanon. At the summit, the 17 -- along with three Swiss startups -- will participate in a day-long growth bootcamp where they will learn more about...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [9/12/2018]

    The two biggest startup events this week are Seedstars Africa Summit on Thursday (13 December) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and TechCrunch's Startup Battlefield Africa on Tuesday (11 December) in Lagos, Nigeria. Tied to TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa, Facebook will host a number of events during the week. These include: Aspiring Entrepreneurs — Digital Pitch Competition (10 December): Winners from seven Nigerian states who participated in the Aspiring Entrepreneurs Digital 2018 programme will pitch their businesses to a panel of judges for a chance to win support and prizes from Facebook and Fate Foundation. NG_Hub Start-up Mixer (10 December): A social gathering...

  • Egyptian healthtech Vezeeta does it again with $1-million raise from the IFC [Updated]

    Egyptian healthtech startup Vezeeta has raised a new, $1-million investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of World Bank Group -- less than three months after closing a $12-million Series C funding round led by Saudi-based STV. Vezeeta has developed one of the Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) largest healthcare booking platforms and medical practice management software. Egyptian startup publication Menabytes reported today that the deal is the IFC’s first direct investment in an Egyptian technology company. The publication quoted Vezeeta CEO and co-founder Amir Barsoum (pictured above) saying that the “IFC is a global power that will not only help fuel...

  • Kobo360 lands $6-million equity investment from World Bank’s IFC

    The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has announced a $6-million equity investment in Nigerian tech startup Kobo360. The startup's e-logistics platform helps connect the supply of trucks with the demand for transportation services by cargo owners in Nigeria. Today's announcement follows a $1.2-million seed round led by US venture capital firm Western Technology Investment that the startup announced in June, while earlier this year the startup was accepted into Y-Combinator’s 2018 Summer cohort, and received a $120 000 equity investment from the seed fund. Nigeria logistics startup Kobo360 has landed a $6-million equity investment from the IFC The IFC said in a statement today that the investment was led by...

  • Three Kenyan teams in running for $500k blockhain EOS Global Hackathon prize [Updated]

    UPDATE: Block.one on Friday (7 December) awarded $500 000 to the final winner of its blockchain hackathon, GeneOS. GeneOS is a blockchain-enabled data ownership, marketplace, and secure computing platform for genomic big data. The team is based in London, Italy, the US and Hong Kong. Three Kenyan teams are part of the 19 finalists competing for the $500 000 top prize at Block.one's EOS Global Hackathon grand finale in Cape Town today (7 December). The hackathon is aimed at developing blockchain solutions. Block.one, the publisher of the EOSIO blockchain protocol, kicked of the grand finale of its EOS Global Hackathon series in Cape Town on...

  • Four Savant backed startups secure TIA seed grants totalling over R2.5m

    Four startups incubated at Cape Town based hardware tech incubator Savant have secured seed grants totalling over R2.5-million from the incubator's seed fund partner -- the government's Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). Savant CEO Nick Allen (pictured above) yesterday (6 December) told Ventureburn that the four -- ATTRI Orthopaedics, Energy Shift, Jonga and Global Energy -- received seed grants worth R580 000, R649 000, R654 000 and 641 000, respectively. He said the first tranche of the funding would be transferred to the startups between either yesterday and today (7 December). Cape Town based ATTRI Orthopaedics develops lightweight, state-of-the-art metallic implants that replace skeletal structures damaged from bone...

  • SA startup Pineapple to take on US market with Hartford InsurTech Hub

    Just months after winning a place in the prestigious Google Launchpad Africa accelerator, Joburg based insurtech Pineapple has been accepted into the US based Hartford InsurTech Hub. The accelerator, which is funded by Startupbootcamp (affiliated with SBC Afritech in Cape Town) and has been running since last year, unveiled its 2019 cohort of startups last week, in an announcement carried on US publication Insurance Journal. According to the announcement, the 10 teams were selected from more than 230 applications and will relocate to Hartford, Connecticut in the US for the three-month programme which starts in February next year. Teams will get support in the form of mentorship...