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All posts by Daniel Mpala

Daniel Mpala
Daniel's focus is on the African tech startup ecosytem. Besides that, he is passionate about online security, privacy and international affairs. He studied International Relations and Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand.
  • Should African startups looking to go global consider registering in the US? 

    An increasing number of African startups are incorporating their companies in the US -- to make it easier to scale globally, and in some instances to raise funding from international investors. One such startup is Ghanaian company Syncommerce. Founded in 2014 by CEO Christian Osei-Bonsu, Joel Funu, and Albert Fiati-Kumasenu, the startup's centralised dashboard allows online merchants to sell, track and manage inventory across multiple sales channels, simultaneously. From day one the company has drawn the bulk of its clients from the US. Currently the figure stands at 70% of its merchants. Syncommerce has been able to access markets in Canada, UK and the rest...

  • Eazi.com co-founder plans to relocate to US following Pam Golding deal [Updated]

    Cape Town entrepreneur Shaun Minnie won't say how much he sold his property marketplace Eazi.com to Pam Golding for, but has revealed that he will relocate to the US. Minnie (pictured above) told Ventureburn from the US in an email today that his move was for business reasons -- to take advantage of what he called "really interesting things" happening in US real estate. "I think they are on the cusp of a wave of change, so I just wanted to get here and see who I could have conversations with, and if I get to connect the dots, and have some luck, hopefully...

  • Nigerian online cake marketplace eyes expansion into Ghana, Kenya and SA

    After having completed expansion into 23 of Nigeria's 36 states earlier this week, WaraCake founder and CEO Ayilara Olatunde says he is now eyeing markets in Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. The online cake marketplace, which has been operating since 2014, counts Farmcrowdy CEO Onyeka Akumah, Passion Incubator and the Tony Elumelu Foundation among its investors. Olatunde said since he launched the startup he has raised "just a little over $15 000". He however declined to reveal how much revenue the Lagos-based startup, which currently employs five full-time and 50 part-time employees, generates. You can achieve a lot with minimal capital - WaraCake CEO Ayilara Olatunde "We are...

  • It’s confirmed – SA’s first female focused angel fund to launch this year

    In what may be a first for South Africa, the country is set to get its first angel fund focused entirely on women-owned businesses. Alexandra Fraser, one of the organisation's founding members, confirmed that Johannesburg-based Dazzle Angels will start operating later this year. The organisation's founding team is comprised of an all-women team that includes Fraser, who is the founder of Fraser Consulting, JAG Method co-founder Adi Zuk, JAG Group COO Lee Zuk, and Charlotte Luzuka. In a brief phone call earlier today Fraser told Ventureburn that the fund -- which is yet to open applications for investment -- is still in the "early stages" of setting up. She explained that...

  • Debate rages over whether VC investors biased towards expat-founded startups

    Concern is brewing over the large number of venture capital (VC) deals in East Africa involving expat founders -- with both local and foreign entrepreneurs in the region weighing in in recent months over whether venture capitalists have a clear bias towards investing in tech startups that count foreigners among their founders. In all four of the five VC deals Ventureburn has reported on in East Africa so far this year have involved startups founded by expats -- with the latest being Sokowatch's $2-million deal involving 4Dx Ventures (the founders are pictured above -- see the story here). Earlier this year, Kenyan tech site...

  • Six takeaways from Jack Ma and his speech to African tech entrepreneurs

    Last week, Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma spoke at what is arguably one of the most important tech events to have taken place so far this year on the continent. In his speech on Wednesday in Johannesburg, Ma challenged African entrepreneurs to look at problems as opportunities, called on governments to create tax policies that are favourable for startups and entrepreneurs and announced plans for his $10-million African Netpreneur Prize initiative. In case you missed his speech (which can still be streamed online), here's what stood out: 1.When everything is ready, it's too late One of the main highlights of Ma's speech was the recurring theme on...

  • Jack Ma challenges Africans to seize opportunities, announces $10m prize

    Jack Ma, the Alibaba Group founder and UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) special envoy, today challenged African entrepreneurs to seize the opportunities presented to them. Ma, who is on his second trip to Africa, was speaking at a special event organised by the Alibaba Business School, Unctad and the Jack Ma Foundation where he announced a new $10-million prize to support African entrepreneurs (see more here). Ma described African entrepreneurs as being "first class" and said although the continent has plenty of problems, it is also "full of opportunities". He called on innovators to look at challenges like lack of infrastructure and poor logistics...

  • URGENT: Jack Ma speech to be streamed live from 1pm Central African Time

    Want to hear entrepreneur Jack Ma speak? Here's your chance to hear the Alibaba Group founder speak -- today. Ma is due to address an event that takes place today in Joburg. His speech at the event -- Netpreneurs: The Rise of Africa’s Digital Lions -- will be streamed live on YouTube from 1pm Cenral African Time. The four-hour event, which is an initiative of the Alibaba Business School, Unctad and the Jack Ma Foundation, will be held at the Linder Auditorium located at Wits Parktown Education Campus. Yesterday (7 August), Unctad announced in a post on its Facebook page that the event will be streamed here. Jack Ma will launch a prize and...

  • Here’s what it’s like being a woman in SA’s tech startup ecosystem

    Tomorrow (9 August) South Africa will celebrate Women's Day. But what does it mean to be a woman in South Africa's traditionally male-dominated tech startup scene? To celebrate Women's Day, Ventureburn caught up with five women who have founded or are running tech startups in the country to find out what it's like being a woman in this country's tech scene and what hurdles women face when entering the tech sector. The five -- iMed Tech CEO Nneile Nkholise, Piehole.TV founder Priscilla Kennedy, Wala CEO Tricia Martinez, Momsays founder Shaney Vijendranath and Jumpin Rides co-founder Pauline du Paty -- also share advice for fellow...

  • This is how SA’s 2018 HiiL finalists are using tech to serve justice in the country

    From an app to help citizens with paralegal services, to one that allows one to digitally sign contracts on any device -- to another app that offers a collection of legal tutorial videos. These are some of the South African finalists that made it into this year's edition of the Hague Institute for Innovation of Law’s (HiiL) Innovating Justice Challenge. Ventureburn caught up with four of the five South African finalists to find out what inspired them to turn to tech to serve justice in the country and how they think innovation can help improve the rule of law (the fifth finalist Buyisa Soul and Spiritual Centre did not...