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All posts by Graham van der Made: Editor

  • Is Microsoft Azure right for startups?

    Choosing the right technology for your tech startup or SMME can be a daunting task. There are a range of platforms and services out there and if you're not tech-orientated, it's going to be a difficult process. Software and hardware company Microsoft thinks it may have the solution with the Azure platform. Ventureburn had a chance to sit down with DPE Lead at Microsoft, Clifford de Wit, at the recent Microsoft Tech Summit event in Johannesburg, to talk about the company's Azure platform for startups and SMMEs. A shift in mentality De Wit started off by saying the company is seeing a...

  • Moroccan fund launches to help African startups

    Morocco-based seed fund Outlierz, has launched and aims to provide smart capital to African startups. The organisation looks at startups with an MVP or an executable prototype, who are in the pre-seed or seed stages. They should also have a ticket size between US$50 000 to US$200 000. Startups also looking to raise seed or Series A round funding are also eligible. Outlierz will also provide startups training tools, such as advice and access to its network. "We started from a simple yet striking conclusion: too many startups fail at the pre-seed and seed stages because of a lack of appropriate resources. We...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [13/02/2017]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or scratch up on some of your skills? Well, you've come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we’ve rounded up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or...

  • eCommerce MoneyAfrica Confex 2017 hits Cape Town this February

    The eCommerce MoneyAfrica Confex, which focuses on ecommerce and fintech, will be held at the CTICC in Cape Town on 22 to 23 February. The conference will focus on developing a cashless society, cross-border ecommerce, money without borders, building loyalty, and a range of other topics. "This year's event parallels the swift adoption of fintech products, improved customer knowledge and fulfilment; key areas driving the growth of eCommerce on the continent," says managing director of Kinetic, Terry Southam, in a press release to Ventureburn. It will feature 75 speakers, keynotes, panel discussions, demonstrations, networking, exhibitions, and cocktail functions. The event looks at bringing together merchants,...

  • Report: SA private equity comes out on top

    According to the recent RisCura-SAVCA South African Private Equity Performance Report , private equity in SA yielded favourable returns over a 10-year period. The report shows that private equity delivered a 10-year internal rate of return (IRR) of 17.7% at the end of September 2016, as opposed to 16.5% from the FTSE/JSE Financial and Industrial Index (FINDI TRI). "The steady, attractive returns delivered by private equity is particularly appealing in the current volatile, low-returns environment," says CEO of the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA), Erika van der Merwe, in a press release to Ventureburn. SA private equity was also strong against the FTSE/JSE...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [07/02/2017]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or scratch up on some of your skills? Well, you've come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we’ve rounded up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or...

  • SA sports scale-up achieves self-exit from VC

    A scale-up developer of ball tracking in sports, FlightScope, has bought itself out from its VC partner. In 2006, HBD Venture Capital, which is owned by Mark Shuttleworth and managed by VC firm Knife Capital, became a funding partner for the company. "We saw tremendous potential in applying world-class technology to bridge the gap between the passion and science of sports," said CEO of Knife Capital Eben van Heerden in a press release to Ventureburn. When Ventureburn asked a Knife Capital representative about the deal, they said the amount of the exit could not be disclosed, though they did receive a desired ROI. A clause...

  • South African steps up at top Silicon Valley VC firm

    South African-born Roelof Botha has been promoted to one of the three stewards of Sequoia Capital. Botha joins the stewardship along with current partners Doug Leone and Neil Shen. He takes over from Jim Goetz, who held the position for 13 years. Even though the position brings with it more responsibilities, Botha has been running the U.S. division of Sequoia Capital with Goetz since 2007. Before joining the VC, Botha was the chief financial officer (CFO) at PayPal from 2000 to 2003. He later sat on the board of directors for the likes of YouTube and Evernote, was a business partner in Instagram, and more. He is also...

  • Kickstart your startup with Swiss accelerator

    Swiss technology accelerator Kickstart Accelerator, an initiative of digitalswitzerland, has opened applications for its second international startup accelerator. The accelerator is inviting startups from around the world and will shortlist 30 companies, all of whom will participate in an eleven-week programme. Kickstart Accelerator is looking for startups in the food, fintech, smart cities, and robotics and intelligent systems sectors, and is partnering with BaseLaunch to facilitate healthtech companies. Applicants will need to have a business that has the potential to disrupt its given sector. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, "Kickstart will not be taking any equity from the participating startups". Instead, the participants will have a...

  • Katlego Maphai to be Startup Grind Cape Town’s next speaker

    After the successful first Startup Grind Cape Town 2017 event, it's time to head into the next one for the year. This time, one of Yoco's co-founders, Katlego Maphai, will be chatting. The event will follow the normal Startup Grind structure where Maphai will be asked about his early life, studies, and how he got to where he is right now. After the talk, which is hosted by the organisation's global community director, Guillaume De Smedt, the audience will be allowed to ask their own questions. Before co-founding Yoco, Maphai was part of the incubation team at Rocket Internet, which built Jumia.com.ng. He's also an...