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All posts by Daniel Mpala

  • Move to full digital payments could net Joburg over $3bn in benefits a year

    Businesses, consumers and authorities in the city of Johannesburg could gain $3.4-billion in net benefits by moving 100% of financial transactions conducted in the city to digital payments, estimates a new study by Visa. The report -- The Cashless Cities: Realising the benefits of digital payments -- was compiled by economics and evidence-based research firm Roubini ThoughtLab and released last week. The data was initially drawn from a study of 3000 consumers and 900 businesses that Roubini ThoughtLab conducted in 2016 across six cities -- Bangkok, Chicago, Lagos, Sao Paolo, Stockholm and Tokyo. Researchers looked at factors such as the cost-benefit impact of physical...

  • Names of 12 startups announced for Village Capital Fintech Africa 2018

    Twelve African startups that have developed solutions to improve financial health for consumers and or businesses have been selected by venture capital firm Village Capital for its Village Capital Fintech Africa 2018 programme. The VC company made the announcement yesterday. This is the second cohort Village Capital has run since the launch of the programme in late 2015. The 12 selected startups, which are all based in Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria, were selected from an applicant pool of 165 applicants. "We've selected 12 early-stage African fintech startups focused on improving financial health. We'll offer $50 000 investment each to the top two entrepreneurs in the programme, as selected...

  • Cape Town startup Simply brings human-centred design, tech to life insurance

    In 2015, three friends -- tech entrepreneur Anthony Miller and two actuaries Simon Nicholson and Shaun Dippnall -- decided to team up and start insurance startup Simply Financial Services. "At a cross-road in our professional lives, we were all looking for a new challenge – something that would both make money and do good," says Miller (pictured right), who is also the company's CEO. "There is a dire need for simple, convenient, well-priced life insurance in South Africa and we believed we could use our combined strengths – tech startups, life insurance experience and human-centred design -- to build a business that could...

  • Ventureburn’s key takeaways from Africa Tech Summit Kigali 2018

    The Africa Tech Summit held in Kigali was arguably February's highlight in Africa's tech scene. With over 350 delegates from 29 countries and a diverse speaker line up including representatives from venture capital (VC) firms, innovation hubs, tech giants, as well as startup founders from around the continent the summit turned out to be a treasure trove of ideas and insights on the African tech ecosystem, the solutions to problems it has developed and more importantly where the continent is headed. In case you missed it, here's a roundup of the trends, startups, ideas and tips that stood out for us. Key...

  • The Startup Hatchery, Entrepreneur Traction to launch Pitch Tank Pitching Competition 1.0

    Cape Town-based virtual business incubator The Startup Hatchery and Entrepreneur Traction have partnered to launch a quarterly entrepreneur pitching and learning platform, the Pitch Tank Pitching Competition 1.0. The Pitch Tank Pitching Competition 1.0 is set to be launched Saturday 24 February at Barclays Rise Cape Town. The competition is said to offer early-stage entrepreneurs an opportunity to learn, grow, connect and boost their confidence through pitch presentations. "As part of the pitching platform, entrepreneurs get invaluable mentorship and business support through an experienced group of judges and industry experts, as well as a cash prize for the winners," said Tania Cunningham, The...

  • Here’s how African startups can attend, pitch and exhibit at VivaTech 2018

    Dubbed as "the world's rendezvous for startups and leaders", Viva Technology (VivaTech) is one of Europe's biggest tech conferences. Here's how African startups can attend and pitch at the event. The third edition of the tech conference will run between 24 and 26 May in Porte de Versailles, Paris. The three-day event will see entrepreneurs, executives, investors, students and academics meet to collaborate on the future. Startups looking to attend VivaTech 2018 have until 28 February to enter 22 innovation challenges open to international startups Organisers expect 68 000 attendees, 6000 startups and 1400 investors from 103 countries will attend the summit which will have...

  • Finance minister Gigaba announces R2.1bn fund for startups

    Finance minister Malusi Gigaba announced at today's 2018 Budget Speech that the government will set aside R2.1-billion for startups. "Work is being done to provide crucial funding to innovative small businesses when they need it most," said Gigaba. "A fund with an allocation of R2.1-billion over the medium term is being developed between the Departments of Small Businesses and Science and Technology, and benefit small and medium enterprises during the early startup phase." "This is an area that has historically had limited support because of the risks involved," he added. The Departments of Small Business, Science and Technology are involved in setting up the...

  • How is MyGrowthFund’s Top40 mentorship programme faring? We talk to participants

    It's been a couple of months since venture capitalist Vusi Thembekwayo announced the 40 high-growth entrepreneurs who had been selected to join the MyGrowthFund Top40 programme. The 18-month long mentorship initiative aims to nurture and assist participants scale their businesses. We look at how the programme is faring. Three-phase programme MyGrowthFund's Top40 programme consists of three main phases. These include the needs analysis phase, strategy formulation phase and the final phase which entails "aggressive transformation" of the business. During the first phase of the mentorship programme MyGrowthFund conducts needs analyses and deep-dives into the participant's enterprises to "identify critical issues and what needs to be done to remedy...

  • Startupbootcamp kicks off FastTracks in Cape Town

    High-growth accelerator Startupbootcamp Cape Town yesterday launched the 2018 Startupbootcamp annual FastTrack World Tour in the city. The tour will now head to Johannesburg on Wednesday (21 February) before moving to Gaborone, Botswana next week Monday (26 February) and Harare on 28 February. The Cape Town FastTrack event saw nine startups, namely Biza, iKasi Property Group, Skillup, NumberBoost, Word of Mouth, Billagain, PaywithShepherd, Timu, and Waves African Exchange participate. The event was hosted at the RCS Group Head Office in Mowbray. "One of the key metrics that Startupbootcamp looks at is that success for startups based on how well we connect startups with corporate contracts, proof...

  • 7 insights we learnt about disruption on the continent at Africa Tech Summit

    Disruptive tech in Africa is "accelerating and picking up speed" and there is a need for people to change their mindsets to keep up. This is according to Ecobank head of research Edward George, speaking at the Africa Tech Summit in Kigali last week Wednesday (14 February). "We are genuinely at the inflection point, so much has changed about the way people have done business. We need to change our mindset as well," said George (pictured above). He said this during a talk titled Stepping Up a Gear: The acceleration of disruptive technology across Sub-Saharan Africa in 2018. Read more: Two-day Africa Tech Summit...