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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.
  • Sonic Ventures launches R1.5-billion fund to back high-growth tech companies

    Sonic Ventures, a Cape Town based investment company that plans to target early-stage tech companies, yesterday (19 October) launched a R1.5-billion fund that plans to back high-growth tech ventures -- largely in SA, US and UK. Speaking during a presentation yesterday at the Pepperclub Hotel and Spa in Cape Town, Sonic Ventures' US-born CEO Joseph Gough (pictured above) said the firm plans to list 35-million shares at R45-per share on SA online shareholder administration platform Equity Express Securities Exchange (EESE). The expected listing date is 29 November. Sonic Ventures' R1.5-billion fund will target an internal rate of return (IRR) of more than 25% Gough said he...

  • Hardware technology incubator Savant looking at setting up venture fund

    Cape Town based hardware tech incubator Savant is considering setting up a venture fund which will likely be launched next year in the first quarter, says the incubator's CEO Nick Allen. Allen (pictured above) revealed the plans on the sidelines of the incubator's Demo Day on Tuesday (17 October). "We are, from a Savant perspective, looking at building our own venture fund, and we are getting some interest and traction and that," he said. He pointed to how there is a particular "real need and a real opportunity" to fund hardware tech ventures immediately after they receive technology development funding from the Department...

  • Yellowwoods funding will gives us at least three years of runway – Simply founder

    The recent investment into insurtech Simply Financial Services by investment group Yellowwoods will give the startup "at least three years of runway" says the startup's CEO Anthony Miller. Cape Town based Simply Financial Services, which Miller (pictured above, right) along with Simon Nicholson (pictured above, left) and Shaun Dippnall founded in 2016, announced on Tuesday (16 October) that it had secured a "significant multi-year funding commitment" from Yellowwoods. Responding to Ventureburn questions yesterday (17 October), Miller would not disclose the size of the investment and the equity share that Yellowwoods will take. He however hinted that the deal is worth "tens of millions of...

  • HAVAÍC acquires 10% stake in SA real-estate portal Instant Property

    Cape Town based venture capital (VC) company Havaíc has acquired a 10% equity stake in commercial real-estate portal Instant Property. In a statement yesterday (15 October), Havaíc said it has advanced the first round of financing -- for which it has acquired a 10% equity stake -- with an allocation for follow-on funding at Instant Property's option. If the option is exercised, Havaíc will hold in total up to 17% equity stake in the real-estate portal. As part of the deal Havaíc executive director Grant Rock will join the Instant Property board in a non-executive capacity. While Instant Property founder and executive chairman Wayne Berger...

  • Crossfin acquires majority stake in payment solutions company Crossgate [Updated]

    Cape Town based fintech holding company Crossfin has acquired a majority stake in SA payment solutions company Crossgate for an undisclosed amount. The deal, which was announced yesterday (10 October), follows Crossfin's partnership with SA bank and asset management group Investec to identify and invest in early-stage fintech businesses. In a statement yesterday (11 October), Crossfin COO and co-founder Anton Gaylard said Crossgate has a 10-year track record of forming strategic partnerships with international payment associations, payment card manufacturers, mobile payment experts, processors and other technology providers that enable commerce. In a subsequent email to Ventureburn, Gaylard explained that media technology company Tritech Media previously owned...

  • SA’s Aerobotics launches five new precision agriculture products

    Cape Town based aerial-data analytics startup Aerobotics has launched five new innovative precision agriculture products that aim to help fruit and wine farmers to detect pests and diseases. The startup launched the new products yesterday (11 October) at an event held at Leopard's Leap Family Vineyards in Franschhoek, near Cape Town. The event was also live-streamed to 11 satellite locations in South Africa (these were in: Kirkwood, the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, Citrusdal, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Patensie, Tzaneen, Nelspruit and Hartswater. The new products -- which Aerobotics CEO and co-founder James Paterson (pictured above) said are an industry first -- include a drone scouting application, software...

  • Nigeria’s Microtraction announces its sixth deal, with cloud accounting startup

    Lagos-based investment platform Microtraction has announced that it has invested in cloud accounting startup Accounteer -- bringing the investor's portfolio to six startups. While Microtraction did not reveal the terms of the deal, the platform notes on the home page of its website that it ordinarily invests $65 000 in two stages. It states that the first investment is usually about $15 000 in exchange for a 7.5% equity stake. This is then followed by an additional $50 000 convertible note at a $1-million valuation cap in companies that show "significant progress" after Microtraction's initial investment. With this latest investment, Microtraction, which was founded last year,...

  • Western Cape government launches campaign to woo foreign investors

    South Africa's Western Cape provincial government, through its Department of Economic Development and Tourism, has launched a campaign to attract foreign investors to the province. The campaign will target investors at the country's key source markets for inward investment, namely the US, UK, Germany, the Netherlands, France and China. Speaking at the launch of the campaign yesterday (4 October) at Cape Town's InvestSA centre, Western Cape Minister for Economic Opportunities Alan Winde (pictured above) said it was time for South Africa to take a "much more prominent position" in conversations on Africa. "So often you hear people talking about Rwanda and Mauritius, and not talking about us. And we...

  • One more dropped internet call, is just another day in life of tech startups in DRC

    For Eliud Aganze who runs a business support hub in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) city of Kivu, getting cut off on an online meeting or call is an all too common experience. "Internet connections are slow, expensive and unreliable," says Aganze, the founder and CEO of Kivu Hub. He also cites erratic electricity supply as well as expensive ICT equipment as major handicaps slowing down the acceleration of startups in the DRC. "Since the fibre optic network is not yet covering a large part of the country, we are still reliant on the satellite network," he adds. Tech startups in the DRC...

  • Move over Uber, Taxify here’s latest ride-hailing startup uMashesha

    An increasing number of SA players are opting to open ride-hailing startups -- in a market already dominated by the well resourced Uber and Taxify. But entrepreneur Christine Mesolo believes there's still room for more players. Mesolo (pictured above) launched her Pretoria based ride-sharing startup uMashesha two months ago, having invested more than R3-million of her own money into the business and having received a short-term loan of R2.5-million from a business partner. Still on the hunt for more investment, Mesolo told Ventureburn this week that her startup has so far completed over 800 trips in and around Pretoria, East London, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Polokwane and Durban. "I believe there...