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All posts by Graham van der Made: Editor

  • Exclusive interview: RainFin CEO on buying back company from Absa

    Fintech online market lending place RainFin, has announced the buyback of shares from their majority shareholder, Barclays Africa Group (Absa). The banking institution held a 49% share in RainFin. Ventureburn had a chance to sit down with RainFin CEO Sean Emery to talk about the reasons behind the buyback as well as the startup's future post-buyback. In February of this year, Emery spoke to us about the inclusion of its products into Absa's offering. This came about through the 49% equity purchase Absa had with RainFin. The buyback and independence In March this year, Barclays Group announced its intention to sell its 62.3% stake...

  • Zoona wins Social Entrepreneurship prize

    Mobile payments company, Zoona has been awarded the Social Entrepreneurship award at the Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship (AAE). The event was hosted by the African Leadership Network in Mauritius. The Social Entrepreneurship award is given to organisations addressing social problems in Africa, and who have a revenue between US$150 000 and US$2.5-million. It was accepted by brothers and co-founders Brett and Brad Magrath. "We are honoured to have been recognised among organisations that are such a force for positive change on the African continent," says Brad Magrath in a press release to Ventureburn. Zoona has recently raised US$15-million in funding, while passing other milestones too "We strive to take...

  • Ducere Holdings wins R1-million at Green City Startup competition

    Greentech startup, Ducere Holdings was awarded first place at the Joburg Green City Startup competition. The event took place on 9 November in Johannesburg. The company created a hybrid transmission system, MISER, that can offer up to 70% reduction in emissions for vehicles. It can be fitted into existing vehicles. Second and third places were awarded to cloud-based technology startup Solid Insight, and farming system Rydawi Fish Farms, who won R400 000 and R300 000 respectively. The event was created by the City of Johannesburg and in partnership with Resolution Circle, the University of Johannesburg's technology commercialisation company and incubator. Out of 187 entries for the competition,...

  • UK DIT, Sw7 to hold international expansion event for startups

    The UK's Department for International Trade (DIT) and tech innovation accelerator Sw7 will host two UK 'Deal Makers' to share their experience with local entrepreneurs. The programme will take place from 14 to 18 of November in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The event is designed to help sustainable, early-stage companies and entrepreneurs who wish to expand internationally. Stephen Mooney (CEO of Synoptic Technologies) and Anthony Sheehan (founder and CEO of Near You Now) are part of UK's Global Entrepreneur Programme, which is a project run by the country's government. "The UK is a massive technology market, in excess of ten times the size of our ...

  • WatchMojo’s pick of the 10 worst US Shark Tank pitches

    Pitching to a room full of investors can be a difficult and nerve-wracking undertaking. Now imagine doing it while being filmed for a TV show. The popular Shark Tank series has been around for quite some time and has had its share of bad pitches. The popular listicle YouTube channel, WatchMojo.com has put together its choice of the top 10 worst pitches ever to appear on the US version of Shark Tank. If there's anything to be gained from these cringeworthy products and ideas, it's that you need to make sure your business plan is air-tight, your product is actually compelling to consumers,...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [07/11/2016]

    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...

  • Futureneers: the VC aiming to invest in, nurture startups

    South African startups will be receiving a new VC company in the form of Futureneers. The VC aims to change the way companies are invested in by also giving them guidance. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the VC "personally nurtures them through each phase of their business growth cycle, with the aim of scaling them in readiness for entry to international markets". It aims to fill a gap in the market where angel investors exit the invested startup and the startup in question requires additional capital and experience. "...South African investors often lack the time, knowledge and resources to screen,...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [24/10/2016]

    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...

  • Design Innovation Seed Fund offers R6.5-million fund to Cape innovators

    Startups looking for funding can now apply to the Design Innovation Seed Fund (DISF) for a share of R6.5-million. The fund is looking for pre-revenue and innovative technologies in the agri-processing, health and bio-tech, and manufacturing sectors. The fund is open to Western Cape-based early-stage companies and SMEs, businesses in incubation, entrepreneurs and researchers. Students at tertiary institutions in the Western Cape may also apply as long as the institution does not already have intellectual property claims to the product or service. Preference will be given to businesses with at least a 25% black ownership and job creation potential. The chosen applicants will be...

  • Spritzed: the startup helping other startups find working space

    Whether you're in the process of putting your startup together or have been in business for several months, you'll need your own working spce. Sure, you can work from home (which contains more distractions than it should) or sign several year-long leases, but what if your startup doesn't survive more than a few months? Enter Spritzed, the startup that's aiming to help other startups find flexible workspace. Spritzed is an online marketplace and facilitator of unused office space. The startup allows coworking space owners, serviced office managers, and even tenants who have under-utilised office space to list and monetise their space. In...