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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.
  • How French investors are helping grow Senegal’s tech startup ecosystem

    Senegal's tech startup scene may still be small, but a rise in venture capital (VC) investments -- led by French investors -- suggest that things are beginning to warm up in the West African country. Rodolphe Rosier -- a Frenchman who co-founded a Dakar and French based solar home system startup OniriQ two years ago with Mohamed Sarr and Michael Hernandez -- is optimistic. He says over the last two years the country's VC scene has been growing "rapidly". Rosier attributes the growth to the recent arrival of French VCs like Partech, Orange Digital Ventures and funds engaged in seed finance, like impact investment fund Teranga Capital. Indeed, last year Senegalese startups raised...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [19/11/2018] [Updated]

    UCT's Graduate School of Business Solution Space will this week host a digital solutions pitch night on Tuesday (20 November). Earlier on the same day, the Solution Space will also host a learning lunch workshop on the relationship between social media and income generation. In East Africa, Enpact mentor Moses Acquah will tomorrow (19 November) explore common mistakes entrepreneurs make -- and how you can avoid them -- as well as discuss key attributes entrepreneurs should look for in an investor. For those in Lagos, CapitalSquare Ikoyi will on Tuesday (20 November) host a fireside chat with LifeBank Nigeria partnerships and growth lead Ifeoluwa Olokode. This article...

  • France’s Proparco to deploy €50m in Africa’s tech ecosystem from 2019 [Updated]

    UPDATE: (16 November): An earlier version of this article stated that Proparco will deploy the €50-million in 2019. Proparco communication’s adviser Romain Esperon subsequently clarified to Ventureburn that while Proparco had earmarked €50-million -- only part of the amount will be deployed next year.  It is not clear over what period the fund aims to deploy the full amount. French development finance institution Proparco aims to deploy €50-million into Africa's tech ecosystem, its Southern Africa and Indian Ocean regional head Siby Diabira has revealed. Diabira (pictured above) told Ventureburn in Cape Town yesterday at tech conference AfricArena, that the €50-million commitment forms part of the €65-million French Development Agency (AFD) fund announced...

  • Here’s why the World Bank Group moved to launch the Afrique Excelle programme

    A small turnout by francophone startups at the World Bank's XL Africa accelerator last year could be the reason why the organisation has moved to launch a francophone version of the same programme, Afrique Excelle. Only one francophone startup -- Senegalese mobile classifieds platform CoinAfrique -- made it into last year's XL Africa programme. The World Bank Group's InfoDev programme manager Ganesh Rasagam said at the time that over 900 startups from across the continent had applied to participate in the programme, with an independent panel of experts eventually selecting the 20 startups that participated in the accelerator. Five were Kenyan, nine were Nigerian, three were...

  • Joburg based insurance platform Franc Group wins 2018 Seedstars SA finals

    Johannesburg based self-insurance platform Franc Group was earlier this evening (14 November) crowned the winner of the 2018 Seedstars SA finals. The startup -- which earlier this month won the Seedstars Johannesburg pitch event -- came first ahead of property tech startup HouseMe which was placed second and peer-to-peer storage and parking platform Sxuirell which was placed third. Seven startups in all pitched. A jury comprised of Naspers Ventures strategy manager Minette Havemann, Nedbank head of disruption and innovation Stuart van de Veen, Seedstars regional manager for Africa Claudia Makadristo and Hybr partner Vuyisa Qabaka (pictured above, right with Franc Group founder and CEO Thomas Brennan)...

  • BREAKING: French media group Trace acquires stake in Senegal’s CoinAfrique

    Paris-based media group Trace today (14 November) announced that it has acquired an undisclosed stake in Senegalese mobile classified platform CoinAfrique. Today's announced deal is the third reported deal that the Senegalese startup -- which was founded in 2014 and launched in 2015 by Matthias Papet and Eric Genêtre -- has been involved in this year. The startup has developed one of the first mobile marketplaces for French-speaking Africans with operations in at least 15 countries across francophone Africa. Commenting in an earlier statement, Papet and Genêtre said the deal confirms the "strength of our growth model" and highlights the opportunity to create a pan-African francophone leader in the classifieds...

  • Google Play to train African developers on how to grow successful businesses

    The Google Play team is due to hold a Developer Day this month in Cape Town where it will train app and games developers based in Sub-Saharan Africa on how to grow successful businesses on Android and Google Play. The Google Play Developer Day is set to take place on 28 November during Africa Games Week. 📢 Calling all #AndroidDev based in Sub-Saharan Africa. Join this exclusive event to learn how to create quality apps and games, innovate, and grow a global business on #Android and #GooglePlay. — Google Play Apps & Games (@GooglePlayDev) November 5, 2018 At the exclusive invite-only event, members of Google Play...

  • ‘Seedstars regional summit to help foster meaningful discussions’ [Q&A]

    Having successfully held 15 pitch events -- with another taking place today (9 November) in Botswana -- and with four more to go, Seedstars World is close to wrapping up its annual tour of some of Africa's top tech startup ecosystems. For those in the know, that means one thing -- the organisation's annual Africa regional summit is just around the corner. This year's edition will take place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 13 December. Ventureburn readers can get discounted tickets (see here). Read more: Here’s how to qualify for 10% discount on Seedstars Africa Summit tickets The 2018 Seedstars Africa Summit will...

  • Ghana’s CowTribe nets $300k from US foundation – it’s biggest investment yet

    Ghanaian agritech startup CowTribe has secured a $300 000 investment from the US-based Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation. The startup made the announcement earlier today in a post on Twitter. In a subsequent phone call with Ventureburn, CowTribe co-founder and CEO Awin Peter (pictured above, second from right) said the investment was in the form of a convertible note. The deal was concluded a week ago. He added that the investment was the "biggest" the startup had secured since he founded the Tamale-based startup in 2015 with COO Alima Bawah (pictured above, second from left). In addition to the funding, the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation will also assist the...

  • Second cohort of MAN Impact Accelerator kicks off with three SA companies

    The second edition of the MAN Impact Accelerator kicked off yesterday (5 November) in Munich, Germany with three SA startups making up part of the second cohort's eight startups. SA companies Last Mile for BOP, Mobile Schools Health and VIA Global Health were selected to join the six-month long accelerator programme along with three European and two Indian startups. MAN Truck and Bus digital innovation manager Florian Stehbeck told Ventureburn today (6 November) that 270 startups from Europe, India and South Africa had applied to join the programme, and that a quarter of applications had come from South Africa. The six-month long MAN Impact Accelerator programme...