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All posts by Daniel Mpala

  • University-linked incubator Roar Nigeria to invest in 10 startups in 2018

    Business incubator Roar Nigeria plans to this year invest in 10 startups, with the first of those investments to come in the next three months, its director Charles Emembolu said yesterday. "We expect (the) next investments within 90 days," Emembolu said in an email to Ventueburn yesterday (10 April) without disclosing how much the incubator, which is based in Enugu, Nigeria, planned to invest. He said that the incubator has yet to make investments in any of the 13 startups it has so far supported and funded, but that the plan is to take 10% equity in those companies that the incubator's team decides to invest in. Roar...

  • Fintech accelerator DFS Lab to invest $200k in four African startups

    US-based fintech accelerator Digital Financial Services Lab (DFS Lab) yesterday (11 April) announced that it will invest $200 000 in four African fintech startups, including Nobuntu, Cherehani Africa and NALA. In addition to the $50 000 investment per startup, the selected companies will also receive six months intensive mentorship and integration into a global network of experts who will be working with the four startups. The accelerator, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, made the announcement in a press release to Ventureburn. The four investments bring the total DFS LAb portfolio to 12 startups. In addition to the...

  • Healthtech startup Vula Mobile raises R1m after partnering with HAVAÍC

    Medical referral startup Vula Mobile has raised R1-million in a seed round after partnering with Cape Town-based investment and advisory firm HAVAÍC. Vula, which was founded in 2014 by Dr William Mapham, enables health workers -- particularly those in undeserved remote rural areas -- to get patients quick and specialist referrals in opthalmology, cardiology and orthopedics. The R1-million seed round with HAVAÍC -- which was conducted over three weeks -- was concluded in January and saw Vula's partners, users, stakeholders as well as HAVAÍC partners each invest a minimum of R5000 each. Vula enables health workers - particularly in remote areas - to get...

  • Canadian blockchain partnership allows Kenyan fintech to bypass regulators [Updated]

    A Kenyan fintech that plans to a launch a blockchain-based crowdfunding platform to fund small businesses has been able to bypass local financial services regulations -- thanks to a partnership with a Canadian company, says a spokesperson for the Kenyan firm. The partnership will see Canadian Company Finhaven raise the necessary capital via the blockchain on behalf of Kenya's 4G Capital. "We will only be bringing in US dollars into the country, which would then be converted into Kenyan shillings," said 4G Capital spokesperson Lydia-Claire Halliday, whose consultancy handles corporate communications for the fintech company. Halliday was responding to questions from Ventureburn on how Canadian securities issuance...

  • TLcom $5m investment two years in the making says Terragon CEO Elo Umeh

    Nigerian data analytics startup Terragon Group's announcement last week that it had secured $5-million investment from venture capital company TLcom was the result of two hard years the analytics firm spent looking for funding. The equity investment will be used to drive sales growth, technology depth and operational expansion. In an email to Ventureburn yesterday (5 April) Terragon founder and CEO Elo Umeh (pictured above) said the deal, which was concluded late last month, had been in the works for about two years after TLcom approached the analytics firm. "Our goal from the start has been to choose the right investors and partners...

  • $50k equity investment up for grabs in MEST Africa Challenge

    The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) will for the first time invest $50 000 in companies that are not part of its programme through the MEST Africa Challenge. The announcement was made by MEST general manager Uneku Atowadi-Edun on Wednesday (4 April) in a post on Twitter. Open to tech startups operating in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, applications for the challenge close on 22 April. The $50 000 MEST Africa Challenge marks the first time MEST will invest in startups outside its programme. Applications close on 22 April The MEST Africa Challenge will see regional events being held in Accra and Lagos on...

  • The low-down on Gather Online’s R10m investment, next round, expansion plans

    Social networking platform Gather Online this week announced that it had raised R10-million from former Dimension Data CEO Brett Dawson who will be joining the startup's board of directors as its chairman. The announcement was made on Wednesday (4 April) and the investment will see Dawson get a 10% stake in the startup, effectively making him its largest external investor. The platform which was founded in 2015 by South Africans Michael van Andel and CEO David Price is based in Australia and has offices in Johannesburg. In an email to Ventureburn yesterday, Price said the investment is part of the company's third seed round, with R2-million...

  • SA marketplace lender Rainfin sells corporate debt offering to 4AX exchange

    SA credit marketplace RainFin has sold its corporate debt marketplace offering to Johannesburg alternate exchange 4AX, while acquiring a stake in the latter company. The deal was announced yesterday (4 April). Rainfin, which has been involved in crowdfunding since 2012, introduced its facility by which consumers are able to lend to corporates in December 2016. The company will retain its lending marketplace for individuals as well as to small businesses. In a phone call with Ventureburn today (5 April), Rainfin co-founder and CEO Sean Emery said the two companies had spent the past year working on the deal. RainFin approached 4AX after the exchange announced plans to launch a debt...

  • ‘Tanzania must introduce tax incentives, policy change to spur VC investment’

    Ahead of next month's launch of Tanzania's first angel investors network, a top venture capitalist has called for the government to make a number of changes to encourage venture capital (VC) investments in startups in the East African country. In an email to Ventureburn yesterday Salum Awadh, CEO of Tanzanian financial and investment advisory firm SSC Capital, called on the government to introduce tax incentives, relax part of the country's competition law and to enact changes to the Companies Act to allow for the setting up of limited partnerships to drive VC investments in the country. Awadh's comments come in the wake of the...

  • Kickstart Accelerator back for third edition with new programme structure

    Zurich-based accelerator programme Kickstart Accelerator has opened applications for the third edition of its programme, which this year will take on a new programme structure. The Swiss accelerator focuses on later-stage tech startups with solutions in deep technologies -- science and engineering driven tech like artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain -- as well as in areas like edtech, fintech and smart cities. The programme also aims to initiate successful partnerships and pilot projects between selected startups and Kickstart's partner companies and institutions. Kickstart co-lead Katka Letzing said in a statement today that the accelerator's first two programmes had resulted in 30 proof-of-concepts and collaborations. In...

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