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All posts by Daniel Mpala

  • AfricArena expecting 1000 investors this year, adds Africa tour in run up to event

    International tech conference AfricaArena is back for a second edition which is set to be held between 15 and 16 November at Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town. AfricArena founder Christophe Viarnaud made the announcement today in Cape Town at a press conference held in partnership with Wesgro and Silicon Cape. Viarnaud (pictured above, far right) said he expects at least 1000 international investors to attend this year's event. Last year's inaugural event was attended by over 450 attendees including over 100 investors and more than 80 startups representing over 25 countries. He added that last year's budget of R3-million has been doubled...

  • Seda relaunches, mandates Sabtia to build more inclusive incubation system

    Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) has relaunched the Southern African Business and Technology Incubation Association (Sabtia) and mandated the non-profit organisation to address challenges in the local business incubation and acceleration community. The relaunch -- which was hosted by Seda, the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa) and the Department of Small Business Development -- was held yesterday (19 April) at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg. Addressing the event, Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu (pictured above) said incubation and acceleration programmes are crucial to accelerating economic growth and transformation in developing nations. Sabtia will serve as an entry point for international...

  • mSurvey raises $3.5m from TLcom Capital-led Series A round, eyes SA market

    Nairobi-based mobile survey platform mSurvey has announced that it raised $3.5-million in Series A round led by venture capital firm TLcom Capital. mSurvey CEO Kenfield Griffith told Ventureburn the round was concluded in Q1 this year. Other investors who participated in the round include Net Promoter Score (NPS) co-founder Richard Owen, Golden Palm, Kapor Capital and Social Capital. mSurvey intends to use the funding to finance expansion into other African countries, and is aiming on launching in South Africa this year Griffith said the company -- which also has offices in San Francisco -- is eyeing expansion into South Africa. This after the company...

  • Getting state support ‘waste of time, energy’ for biotech entrepreneur

    Getting the government to back her biotech startup that produces an essential ingredient for HIV test kits has proved frustrating and often a "waste of time and energy", says SA biotech entrepreneur Jenny Leslie. Leslie claims that her Cape Town-based biotech startup BioTech Africa is the sole manufacturer in Africa that produces recombinant proteins, a key component of diagnostic test kits used to test for HIV and a range of other diseases, including Hepatitis C and the Zika virus. Leslie argues that government support for biotech companies is necessary because of the high barriers to entry associated with the industry. Setting up a simple lab alone can cost more than...

  • Here’s what you need to know about the Zimbabwe tech startup ecosystem

    Are you a venture capitalist or an angel investor looking to invest in a company? Are you an entrepreneur looking for capital or other opportunities? Are you an aspiring startup owner looking for assistance? Well, you have come to the right place. Ventureburn presents the 2018 guide to Zimbabwe’s startup scene. This article is the most comprehensive guide for anyone who wants to get involved with, or have a better understanding of, the country’s fast-growing startup space. It is a part of a series which will also include the West African and East African startup space. We have scoured Zimbabwe’s entrepreneurial landscape...

  • Interest in Zimbabwe’s tech startup scene picks up, but startups still struggling

    Today Zimbabwe marks 38 years of independence from British colonial rule. This will be the first Independence Day the country has had under a president other than Robert Mugabe, this after President Emmerson Mnangagwa assumed office last year in November. Five months on, Ventureburn looks at developments in the country's tech startup scene under the new administration and the challenges Zimbabwean tech startups are facing. ICT Innovation Drive launch By far the biggest development to have taken place in the country's tech startup scene since President Mnangagwa's inauguration is his March launch of the ICT Innovation Drive which saw six startups get...

  • Is DPO PayGate now Southern Africa’s biggest payment services provider?

    Kenyan online payment services provider Direct Pay Online Group (DPO Group) has consolidated the six Southern African payments services startups it has acquired into one brand, DPO PayGate -- potentially creating Southern Africa's biggest payment services providers. As part of the brand consolidation, Virtual Card Services (VCS) South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, PayThru, PayGate and 3G Direct Pay will all be rolled up under the DPO PayGate brand. The consolidation makes DPO PayGate one of the biggest payment services providers in the Southern African region Between 2016 and 2017 the Nairobi-based company acquired PayGate, PayThru, VCS in South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana as well as SID Instant EFT. Commenting on...

  • Is this platform API the game changer that will disrupt SA’s insurance industry?

    A Cape Town-based fintech startup has launched an insurtech platform API that will enable developers to speed up development, prototyping and launching of digital insurance products in the country -- at no cost. Insurance is a complex space, one requires a slew of initial expertise and resources, says Louw Hopley, the CEO and co-founder of Root, the startup behind the developer-focused insurance platform. "Upfront costs and capital requirement involved in securing an insurance license are massive, often leaving insurtechs in the mercy of incumbents," adds Hopley. The platform API -- Root Insurance -- aims to disrupt this. Hopley says it will make the development...

  • Zim crypto exchange Golix launches and activates country’s first Bitcoin ATM

    Zimbabwean cryptocurrencies exchange Golix has launched and activated the country's first ever Bitcoin ATM which will allow customers to buy and sell Bitcoin. Golix announced the launch last week in a blog post on its website. The Bitcoin ATM will be located in the exchange's offices in Harare. In a recent email to Ventureburn, Golix communications director Nhlalwenhle Ngwenya said over 10 000 customers who are faced with a "slow and cumbersome" banking process for settling international payments had over the past six months "religiously" used the cryptocurrency exchange. Customers using Golix's Bitcoin ATM will be limited to a $5000 transaction limit Ngwenya, who...

  • CiTi to train 3000 IT professionals after securing R250m from BCX, Jobs Fund

    The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) today said it plans to train 3000 developers in the next three years through its CapaCiTi technology skills and job readiness programme. This, after CiTi received funding from Telkom-owned company BCX and the National Treasury 's Jobs Fund -- which together have each injected R100-million and R75-million into the programme, respectively. The R175-million will be matched by other South African corporates that have partnered with CiTi in the past. The organisation has also called on other companies to partner with it on the initiative. In a phone call with Ventureburn today (12 April), CiTi senior ecosystem manager Claire Jowell said...

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