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All posts by Daniel Mpala

  • Western Cape government launches campaign to woo foreign investors

    South Africa's Western Cape provincial government, through its Department of Economic Development and Tourism, has launched a campaign to attract foreign investors to the province. The campaign will target investors at the country's key source markets for inward investment, namely the US, UK, Germany, the Netherlands, France and China. Speaking at the launch of the campaign yesterday (4 October) at Cape Town's InvestSA centre, Western Cape Minister for Economic Opportunities Alan Winde (pictured above) said it was time for South Africa to take a "much more prominent position" in conversations on Africa. "So often you hear people talking about Rwanda and Mauritius, and not talking about us. And we...

  • One more dropped internet call, is just another day in life of tech startups in DRC

    For Eliud Aganze who runs a business support hub in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) city of Kivu, getting cut off on an online meeting or call is an all too common experience. "Internet connections are slow, expensive and unreliable," says Aganze, the founder and CEO of Kivu Hub. He also cites erratic electricity supply as well as expensive ICT equipment as major handicaps slowing down the acceleration of startups in the DRC. "Since the fibre optic network is not yet covering a large part of the country, we are still reliant on the satellite network," he adds. Tech startups in the DRC...

  • Move over Uber, Taxify here’s latest ride-hailing startup uMashesha

    An increasing number of SA players are opting to open ride-hailing startups -- in a market already dominated by the well resourced Uber and Taxify. But entrepreneur Christine Mesolo believes there's still room for more players. Mesolo (pictured above) launched her Pretoria based ride-sharing startup uMashesha two months ago, having invested more than R3-million of her own money into the business and having received a short-term loan of R2.5-million from a business partner. Still on the hunt for more investment, Mesolo told Ventureburn this week that her startup has so far completed over 800 trips in and around Pretoria, East London, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Polokwane and Durban. "I believe there...

  • German foundation Westerwelle launches startup hub in Kigali

    Berlin based non-profit the Westerwelle Foundation has, in partnership with the Evonik Foundation, officially opened the Westerwelle Startup Haus Kigali. The Westerwelle Startup Haus Kigali was officially opened at a grand opening ceremony that was held on Monday (1 October) in the Rwandan capital. In a statement today (3 October), the Westerwelle Foundation said the launch event, which was part of the two-day long Westerwelle Young Founders Conference, was attended by more than 100 guests who included representatives of the private sector and civil society, as well as politicians. Since Westerwelle Startup Haus Kigali's soft launch in August, more than 21 startups with over 90...

  • Meet Smart Lab, Tanzania’s latest accelerator and innovation lab

    Earlier this year, Smart Codes CEO and founder Edwin Bruno realised that there was something missing in Tanzania's startup ecosystem -- an accelerator that supported innovative university tech entrepreneurs and linked them with corporates. "I saw a gap in the market for a different kind of lab in Tanzania that puts entrepreneurs at the forefront of corporates and gives educational institutions the support they need to grow the next generation of business superstars straight out of the lecture hall," said Bruno. The entrepreneur, who was one of Forbes Africa's 30 under 30 in 2016, said he believed in the idea so much...

  • Y Combinator increases deal size to $150k, adds investment contract types

    US seed accelerator Y Combinator (YC) has increased its standard deal size of the investments it makes, from $120 000 to $150 000, while keeping its equity stake in such deals unchanged at seven percent. The announcement was made in a blog post last Friday (28 September) by Y Combinator partner and CEO Michael Seibel and Y Combinator general counsel Jason Kwon. In the post, the accelerator explained that new deals -- which start with the Winter 2019 batch, applications for which close today at 8pm Pacific Time in the US (tomorrow 5am Central African Time) -- will be made on a post-money...

  • Jumia, Rocket Internet still mum on whether African tech giant will list in US

    Lagos-based ecommerce giant Jumia and one of its main investors Rocket Internet remain mum on whether the tech firm intends to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in New York next year. This, after a Reuters report two weeks ago which cited three sources saying German venture builder Rocket Internet -- which it is understood has a 28% stake in Jumia -- was preparing a listing for the first quarter. The article further stated that shares of up to $250-million would likely be sold (a Reuters report in March had it that the company may list in Germany or London). Jumia Group head of public relations and...

  • City of Ekhuruleni, Sabtia to set up forum to support township economies

    Township entrepreneurs may be in for added support. The City of Ekurhuleni and the Southern Africa Business and Technology Incubation Association (Sabtia) plan to work together to develop incubation and acceleration programmes for entrepreneurs based in townships and rural areas. The two have agreed to set up a forum that looks at how to set up such programmes for rural areas and townships. Sabtia chairperson Zaid Mohidin (pictured above, right) told Ventureburn today that the agreement to establish the forum was one of the main outcomes of the Sabtia Africa Tech Conference, which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday (25 and 26 September) at the Emperors Palace in Johannesburg. The...

  • How Jozi innovator turned loyalty card hobby into startup with over 150 clients

    Not many of us have had the fortune to be able to turn our hobbies into a full-fledged business as Tshepiso Manyoha has had. Manyoha, the founder of Johannesburg based loyalty and rewards startup Loyal1 last week won R500 000 worth of prizes in The Workspace and MiWay Business Insurance Entrepreneur Competition. He founded the company with Tsietsi Molai and Nokuthula Manyoha in 2015. About 150 small businesses currently use his "loyalty-as-a-service" platform. "We have a few large corporates that we are in advanced talks with and one that is already concluded and initiating integration," says Manyoha, who declined to disclose the name of the corporate. Loyal1...

  • Here’s what you need to know about Kenya’s 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 Kenya’s startup scene. Things are hotting up in Kenya. Earlier this month, it was revealed that the Kenyan government had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) to host the 2020 edition of the NEF Global Gathering in Nairobi. During an event last month in Johannesburg, Alibaba Group founder and...

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