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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.
  • Egyptian healthtech Vezeeta raises $12m in Series-C round led by Riyadh VC STV

    Egyptian healthtech startup Vezeeta has closed a $12-million Series C funding round led by Riyadh-based venture capital fund Saudi Technology Ventures (STV). At least three of Vezeeta's existing investors -- BECO Capital, Vostok New Ventures and Silicon Badia participated in the round. The startup's initial backers were also joined by Crescent Enterprises’ CE-Ventures. Operating from its headquarters in Cairo, Vezeeta has developed one of the Middle East and North Africa's (MENA) largest healthcare booking platform and medical practice management software. It is the second such African platform that has announced funding in the past week. Last Wednesday Morocco's DabaDoc revealed it had received an undisclosed amount from...

  • Tunisian robotics startup Enova Robotics raises $1.6-million from Capsa Capital

    Tunisian robotics startup Enova Robotics has raised $1.6-million from Tunis-based investment firm Capsa Capital. In a phone call with Ventureburn today (18 September) Enova Robotics founder Anis Sahbani (pictured above) said he will use the investment to improve the startup's "innovation process", to fund research and design and to open a European branch in France. Enova Robotics designs and manufactures four different types of mobile robots with applications across education, security (see video below), healthcare and marketing. Sahbani, said since he launched the startup in 2014, Enova Robotics has built and sold between 50 and 60 robots. Enova Robotics was founded in 2014...

  • Ghanaian fintech Inclusive selected for Google’s machine learning programme

    Accra based fintech startup Inclusive Financial Technologies has been selected to join Google Launchpad Studio's applied machine learning acceleration programme for fintech startups. The Ghanaian startup -- which was founded in 2016 by CEO Paul Damalie and CTO Dela Ayivor -- has developed Inclusive ID. The software is a single identity verification API that enables financial services providers to meet Anti Money Laundering (AML), Know-Your-Client (KYC) and Counter Terrorist Financing (CTF) compliance. Inclusive Financial Technologies was the only African startup selected to join the accelerator's cohort of 10 startups. The remainder of the companies participating in the programme hail from the US,...

  • With Brexit looming, should startups still consider UK registration to go global?

    For decades now startups that registered in the UK stood the chance of reaching 500 million consumers across Europe. But with the uncertainty around Brexit, the UK's pending withdrawal from the EU, should African startups looking to scale globally consider moving their businesses to the UK? Dylan Thomas, the director for technology, entrepreneurship and advanced manufacturing in the UK's Department for International Trade told Ventureburn in a meeting on Monday (10 September) in Cape Town, that Brexit will change only the country's political and not its economic relationship with the EU. "From an economic point of view, certainly, the UK government's ambition is to have...

  • How SA ride hailing startup Hailer wants to undercut industry giants Uber, Taxify

    Malvin Nkomo might be crazy to go up against ride-sharing giants Uber and Taxify, but the Joburg entrepreneur says he's confident he has a plan to undercut the mobility juggernauts. Nkomo, who is originally from Zimbabwe, runs Joburg-based ride hailing startup Hailer which he founded in 2016. His is just one of several local startups that have launched in the ride-hailing industry -- none of which seem to have come up with a model that successfully competes with Uber and Taxify. But he reckons his offering will be different. In an email last week he told Ventureburn that he's relying on an arsenal that includes a...

  • Half of SA startups in ecosystem support initiatives secure investment – VC4A

    Half of all SA companies that participate in startup and business support programmes end up securing investment. This, while the average investment secured by such companies is almost three times higher for those ventures that receive ecosystem support over those that don't receive support -- a new VC4A study has revealed. The report, which was released yesterday (6 September), features data collected on the VC4A platform from 686 startups registered in or based in South Africa The study was carried out by VC4A with the support of the Mastercard Foundation and Dalberg Advisors. The deep dive sought to establish how the impact of SA's startup ecosystem. The report's...

  • Goodwell launches new Africa-focused €20m fund aimed at inclusive economy

    Dutch impact investor Goodwell Investments has announced that it has launched Goodwell IV, a €20-million fund for investments in the inclusive economy in Sub-Saharan Africa. In a statement today (5 September), the impact investor said the launch of the fund "specifically meets" growing demand for impact investments from private investors, family offices and foundations that approached Goodwell Investments following the successful closure of its predecessor fund, Goodwell III, earlier this year. Responding to questions from Ventureburn, Goodwell Investments director for marketing Nico Blaauw said the new fund has "similar specifics" as its previous fund -- Goodwell III. Goodwell IV will invest a minimum ticket size of €250 000...

  • ‘Three decades of microfinance key to social investing – Finca Ventures head

    Finca International's 30-year experience in microfinance has given newly launched impact investor Finca Ventures a good grasp on what it takes to scale social enterprises, says the new entity's managing director Ami Dalal. The comments by Dalal (pictured above) follow the organisation's announcement last week that it had launched the Finca Ventures impact investment platform. Finca International is the majority shareholder of Finca Impact Finance, a global network of 20 community-based microfinance institutions and banks. In an email earlier this week, Dalal told Ventureburn that Finca International had helped pioneer the microfinance movement in the 1980s when such market-based solutions were "not commonplace" Some of the African...

  • Leapfrog Ventures’ Takuma Terakubo wants to fund 200 startups by 2020

    Leapfrog Ventures founder and CEO Takuma Terakubo says he aims to invest in 200 African startups by 2020. This follows a report by Japanese publication The Bridge earlier this week that the venture capital firm had invested $50 000 in Kenyan startup Biasharabot. Yesterday (29 August) Digest Africa reported that Leapfrog Ventures is also set to invest $190 000 in three Ugandan startups: Francom, Swipe2pay and Xente. "My first target is 200 startups to invest until end of 2020 and ticket size is basically $30 000 to $50 000, sometimes $100 000," said Terakubo. Leapfrog Ventures and the Rwandan government are working on a sandbox that aims to...

  • Local startups to benefit from AWS Cape Town expansion with expertise, services

    African startups are expected to benefit from Amazon Web Services' (AWS) expansion in Cape Town with more user groups, hands-on developer labs and expert advice on technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), voice technologies and edge computing. So, says AWS regional manager for sub-Saharan Africa Geoff Brown (pictured above), who was responding to a Ventureburn enquiry on what implications AWS's expansion in Cape Town will have on the city's and SA's tech startup ecosystem. It follows a Reuters report last month that the company planned to expand its presence in the city. African startup will get access to more user groups, developer labs and expertise with AWS Cape Town...