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2012 startups in review: funding, competition winners and acquisitions

Despite a struggling global economy and a notable downturn in Series A funding in the US, 2012 left a veritable smorgasbord of startup deals, competitions and acquisitions in its wake.

With our birds-eye view of the activity in emerging markets, especially sub-Saharan Africa, we wrote about many of this year’s deals. We covered startup competitions and talked to their finalists and we watched with glee as startups successfully completed mega government deals and got snapped up by bigger fish.

New incubators popped up, helping brilliant early-stage startups take root. New venture funds came into existence and existing ones became larger, expanding the pool of available startup capital for new ventures.

All this activity didn’t go unnoticed. A major corporate turned its talent search to Africa and a global startup competition added the continent to its world tour.

We went back and looked at the emerging market startup stories we covered in 2012 and compiled them into the list below. Click through to read more about each, and be sure to tell us about other significant deals, competitions winners or acquisitions in 2012 worth reflecting on.

Here’s to 2013. Be sure to stay tuned to Ventureburn, we’re just getting started.

Disclosed funding

Zando — €20m, Summit Partners

WyseTalk — $1m, Titan Investments

Nomanini — US$600 000, eVentures Africa Fund

Pashash — US$50 000, Umbono

Sample Board — US$50 000, Umbono

Undisclosed funding

HealthQ — 4Di Capital

Loot — Titan Investments

Rancard — Intel

Rubybox — HPV Africa

Moneysmart — Johan Schoeman, GT Ferreira

Real Time Wine — Michael Jordaan, Mike Ratcliffe

TaxTim — Umbono and undisclosed investors

Gyft — Google Ventures, 500 Startups, Founder Collective

Gigham — Umbono

Paperight — Shuttleworth Foundation

iStyla — Permjot Valia

Competition Winners

MoDe — IBM Global Entrepreneur South Africa

Greenpop — Enterprise Elevator

actNOW — African News Innovation Challenge

Dropifi — TopApps

Mobile Campaign Manager — Google for Entrepreneurs, 88mph

Flowgear — Demo Africa

ValuationUP — Tech4Africa Ignite

Easy2Map — Startup Knight

YuppieChef, Bidorbuy, Groupon SA, Property24, TravelGround — South African eCommerce Awards

IQLECT — MobiSparks Startup Showcase

Zoe-X — LaunchCapeTown

Snapplify — LaunchCapeTown

Virtual Firehose — Startup Weekend Cape Town

Builk — Echelon 2012


SAcamera — Naspers

eMag — Naspers

Motribe — Mxit

HelloComputer — Interpublic Group

Acceleration — WPP

Aimifan.com — Delivery Hero

Author Bio

Martin Carstens: Senior reporter
Martin is obsessed with technology and the future. His work life includes positions at UK based Hotcourses.com, Discovery Invest and currently, Memeburn. More