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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.
  • SARB calls on the public to comment on consultation paper on crypto assets

    As part of its first steps to regulate crypto assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) today called on the public to provide comments on a consultation paper on crypto assets. The Reserve Bank, together with other members of the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG), released the consultation paper yesterday (15 January). In addition to the Reserve Bank, the working group includes the National Treasury, Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), and the South African Revenue Service (SARS). In a statement today (16 January), The Reserve Bank called on the public to email their...

  • How SA social enterprise startup Vollar landed a R500k investment at Slush

    Having completed 2018 with a budget of just R225 000, Stellenbosch-based social enterprise startup Vollar last month secured a R500 000 investment from an angel investor at Finnish tech conference Slush 2018. Slush, which is held annually in Helsinki, aims to connect startup founders with investors, as well as provide them access to startup networks. Last year's edition took place on 4 and 5 December. Vollar founder and CEO Kyle Ueckermann (pictured above) -- whose startup has developed a digital token for tracking and rewarding social good -- told Ventureburn yesterday (14 January) that he previously lived in Helsinki and earlier...

  • TIA announces winners of 2018 Global Cleantech Innovation Programme

    The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) last week Friday (11 January) announced the winners of the 2018 Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for small and medium-sized enterprises in South Africa (GCIP-SA) at a gala event held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The programme aims to encourage local innovation in energy efficiency, green buildings, renewable energy, waste beneficiation, water efficiency and green transport. GCIP-SA is implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) and US-based cleantech accelerator Cleantech Open with funding from the Global Environment Facility (Gef). Impulse Biomed, Inseco and Afrobodies emerged as the winners at last Friday's 2018 Global Cleantech...

  • Here’s all you need to know about Oui Capital’s $10m fund

    Are you a pre-Series A tech company valued at or below $5-million that has a scalable solution with potential to impact Africa's people? Then you might be the kind of startup that US-based venture capital (VC) firm Oui Capital is looking to invest in. The $10-million fund, which was established in 2017 by managing partner Olu Oyinsan (pictured above ) -- former vice president at Ingressive Capital -- and venture partner Swiss engineer Francesco Andreoli, will back startups that are first movers geographically or in the product or service they sell. Oyinsan told Ventureburn in an email yesterday (10 January) that...

  • More private equity firms to participate in later stage million-dollar VC deals

    This year, we are likely to see more private equity firms participate in later stage million-dollar VC deals, so believes the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (Avca) director and head of research Enitan Obasanjo-Adeleye. Obasanjo-Adeleye made the prediction in an interview with Ventureburn late last year, in a response to a question on what trends we are likely to see in the African venture capital (VC) industry in 2019. Obasanjo-Adeleye said last year she noted what she described as an "interesting trend" in the increasing number and rising participation of private equity firms in later stage transactions in...

  • How Daniel Gross’s Pioneer Tournament proves that talent is everywhere [Q&A]

    For former Apple director Daniel GrossĀ -- who runs US accelerator Y-Combinator's AI-track and recently launched a global talent search fund -- talent is everywhere. No where is this more so than in Africa, he says. However, a lack of opportunities means many of us never get to pursue those passions or indeed, turn them into lucrative businesses. Gross (pictured above) co-founded Cue, an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven powered search engine which was acquired by Apple in 2013 in a deal that US-tech publication TechCrunch reported to be worth over $40-million. Prior to that, at only 18 he became the youngest person at...

  • AI-driven blockchain conference set to take place next month in Cape Town

    A Singapore-based platform for data-driven knowledge dissemination and exchange, Pronoia, has announced that it will next month host what it claims to be Africa's first artificial intelligence (AI)-driven blockchain conference in Cape Town. The conference -- titled the Blockchain & Investment Roadshow -- will take place on 14 and 15 February. The location of the event is yet to be confirmed. In a statement yesterday (8 January), Pronoia said Global Gaming Africa CEO John Kamara, fintech hub Lattice 80 founder and Marvelstone chairman Joe Seunghyun Cho, Consensys South Africa lead Monica Singer and Limitless Crypto Investments managing partner Matthew Jordan will be...

  • Unicef Innovation Fund launches call for data science, AI solutions

    Are you running a data science or artificial intelligence (AI) startup and are looking for funding? Unicef, through its Innovation Fund, is looking to make up to $90 000 in zero-equity investments in data science, machine learning and AI solutions that have the potential to benefit humanity. Tech startups with AI or data solutions stand to benefit from between $50 000 and $90 000 equity-free early-stage seed investments, this after Unicef Innovation fund launched a call for such solutions on Monday (7 December). Applications close on 28 February. Through the fund Unicef aims to finance open-source solutions that can improve children's...

  • Rising Tide Africa to establish Pan-African fund in 2019 says co-founder

    Rising Tide Africa, a Lagos-based women-oriented investment group, will this year establish a Pan-African fund, co-founder Olayemi Keri has said. Keri (pictured above), who founded Rising Tide Africa in 2016 with Ndidi Nnoli Edozien, told Ventureburn last December that the organisation will this year also look to close more deals. A slide deck Keri sent to Ventureburn shows that once the fund is operational, a nine-person investment committee will screen, analyse and vote on investments. Rising Tide Africa -- which was founded in 2016 by Olayemi Keri and Ndidi Nnoli Edozien -- made its first investments last year Keri explained today (8 January), that...

  • Strangled by red tape, Tanzanian tech entrepreneurs call for change

    When Tanzanian entrepreneur Emmanuel David (pictured above) set out to establish his crowdfunding platform recently, little did he know the frustration he was in for, causing him to lose a $15 000 investment from a potential investor. He now plans to leave his home country in favour of the more business friendly Kenya. His is a frustration nearly any startup that sets up in Tanzania can relate to.  Registering his crowdfunding platform, Gatefunding, took months to conclude as David was shifted from pillar to post. Like this, he was forced to postpone the startup's launch by a year. "As soon as they hear...

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