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All posts by Daniel Mpala

  • Will regulators provide more clarity on cryptocurrency in 2019?

    Governments have long been unsure over whether to treat bitcoin, Etherium and other crypto currencies as real money or not. If crypto currencies are indeed no different from fiat currencies like the Dollar or Rand, what rules should states then put in place to ensure they're safe for all to use?  Perhaps we will finally soon know. This year -- believes the manager of bitcoin exchange Luno's SA office, Marius Reitz -- is likely to see regulators provide more clarity on their stance towards cryptocurrency. In an interview with Ventureburn late last year, Reitz said he hopes such clarity will provide...

  • AgroCenta to expand operations in Ghana after recently closed $650k round

    Ghanaian agritech startup Agrocenta will use its recently closed $650 000 round to expand operations in Ghana -- the company's CEO and co-founder Francis Obirikorang revealed yesterday. Seedstars World, NP Consulting and the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Fund participated in the round which was concluded last month. The startup -- which in April this year was crowned Seedstars Global Winner -- connects smallholder farmers directly to an online market to sell their commodities and by doing so eliminates middlemen and brokers who often exploit the farmers. Responding to questions from Ventureburn yesterday (20 December), Obirikorang (pictured above) said the new funding will be used to expand...

  • HouseMe secures ‘multi-million’ rand deal, declines to reveal who investors are

    While Cape Town based proptech startup HouseMe last week announced that it had secured what it calls a "multi-million" rand investment -- the company's co-founder and CEO Ben Shaw today declined to disclose who the two investors are behind the deal. The proptech startup -- which was founded in 2016 by Shaw (pictured above) and Kyle Bradley in 2016 -- announced the investment last Thursday (13 December). HouseMe connects tenants to residential landlords, providing letting services for a fraction of agency fees. Shaw told Ventureburn today (18 December) that the deal was concluded last month. He however would not disclose who the investors are,...

  • Call from East African Swiss ambassador to startups to pitch disruptive solutions

    Ambassador and representative of Switzerland to the East African community Arthur Mattli has called on innovative Tanzanians to approach the Swiss embassy with tech solutions that will benefit the country and the region. Mattli was speaking today (13 December) at the 2018 Seedstars Africa Summit conference in Dar es Salaam. In his speech, Mattli invited Tanzanian innovators to think about how they can collaborate with the Swiss embassy and to explore whether their projects can be matched with the embassy’s ideas. “Challenge us please, come to the embassy, present what you want to do. You have to convince us that you have impact...

  • Four African startups in PeaceTech Accelerator secure multiple partnerships

    All four African startups that took part in the PeaceTech Accelerator's fifth cohort have secured corporate partnerships following the conclusion of the accelerator's eight week programme -- Mike Ravenscroft, the programme director of C5 Accelerate which runs the initiative, has revealed. C5 Accelerate launched the Washington DC based accelerator last year in partnership with PeaceTech Lab, a peace building non-profit, in collaboration with cloud computing service provider, Amazon Web Services. The aim is to help scale startups on the cloud and solve problems relating to peace, stability and security worldwide. Africa’s contingent to the accelerator’s fifth cohort included two Nigerian startups — proptech Muster and talent marketplace...

  • Meet the African startups that won this year’s Seedstars World pitch events [Updated]

    After a seven-month long journey that saw the Seedstars World team travel through more than 25 countries on the continent, a total of 17 African startups will this week participate at this year's edition of the Seedstars Africa Summit which kicks off tomorrow (11 December). The startups are winners of the 17 pitch events Seedstars World held across the continent. North African startups 7keema, Optimalogic and Elham Education took part in the MENA Seedstars Summit which was held last month in Beirut, Lebanon. At the summit, the 17 -- along with three Swiss startups -- will participate in a day-long growth bootcamp where they will learn more about...

  • Four Savant backed startups secure TIA seed grants totalling over R2.5m

    Four startups incubated at Cape Town based hardware tech incubator Savant have secured seed grants totalling over R2.5-million from the incubator's seed fund partner -- the government's Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). Savant CEO Nick Allen (pictured above) yesterday (6 December) told Ventureburn that the four -- ATTRI Orthopaedics, Energy Shift, Jonga and Global Energy -- received seed grants worth R580 000, R649 000, R654 000 and 641 000, respectively. He said the first tranche of the funding would be transferred to the startups between either yesterday and today (7 December). Cape Town based ATTRI Orthopaedics develops lightweight, state-of-the-art metallic implants that replace skeletal structures damaged from bone...

  • Nigeria’s Itanna accelerator startups secured eight partnerships says head

    Four Nigerian tech startups have secured eight agreements to partner with Nigerian corporates following the conclusion of the inaugural cohort of Lagos-based accelerator Itanna, the accelerator's director Tomi Otudeko has revealed. The accelerator was launched by Nigerian conglomerate Honeywell Group in August, with the four -- Accounteer, KoloPay, Tradebuza and PowerCube -- forming the inaugural cohort. Otudeko (pictured above, third from right), who is also the head of sustainability and innovation for Honeywell Group, was responding to questions from Ventureburn, yesterday (4 December) four days after the accelerator concluded its inaugural four-month programme with a demo day in Lagos. The demo day, which was held at Itanna's Enterprise Factory...

  • Bitcoin price fluctuations won’t affect how we work says Luno country head

    The constant fluctuation in the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies won't affect SA bitcoin exchange Luno and how it operates, says the company's SA country manager Marius Reitz. Reitz (pictured above) was speaking to Ventureburn last Thursday (29 November), a day after the price of Bitcoin jumped back by about 15% (over the previous day) to $4300. In the preceding week bitcoin declined by 35% in seven days, leading to the price of the digital currency being pegged at below $3500 in what CNBC reported as a 14-month low. Luno facilitates bitcoin storage and transactions through its bitcoin wallet service. "A 10%, 20%...

  • Entrepreneurship platform RiseUp to launch Egypt Startup Manifesto

    Cairo-based entrepreneurship platform RiseUp will tomorrow (4 December) launch the Egypt Startup Manifesto, which aims to outline solutions to the challenges faced by Egyptian entrepreneurs. The launch takes place a day before the organisation kicks off its sixth annual RiseUp Summit, which kicks off in the Egyptian capital on Friday (7 December) and runs until Wednesday next week (9 December). RiseUp's Startup Manifesto project head Aliaa Abdel Aziz told Ventureburn in an email last week that unfair government policies are among the key challenges that Egyptian entrepreneurs face. She said the manifesto, which is over a year in the making, has been put together by RiseUp in collaboration with other support organisations and aims to help...

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