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All posts by Graham van der Made: Editor

  • Hyperion Development receives R3.2m in funding from Facebook

    Online course platform Hyperion Development has secured US$230 000 (R3.27-million) in funding from Facebook. The amount was rewarded as a result of the startup winning the Internet.org Innovation Challenge in the Education division. "The award will allow us to scale our offerings more rapidly and internationally, accelerating the growth of what is already a profitable and socially impactful business. We’re excited to work with Facebook and Internet.org to make software development education and careers open to all," says the founder and director of Hyperion Development, Riaz Moola, in a press release to Ventureburn. The startup focuses on offering part-time, online courses for a range of programming skills, such as website development and...

  • Here are the 9 startups pitching at Seedstars World in Senegal

    From social media to music, nine startups have been chosen to participate in the Seedstars World pitching event on 14 October in Dakar, Senegal. The startups will be competing to represent the country at the Seedstars World finals in Switzerland in 2017. There, they will stand a chance of winning up to US$1-million in equity investment. "Seedstars World is an amazing opportunity for the best entrepreneurs of emerging countries to be identified. The selected startups, 'those that will shape our future' will benefit from access to a great network and community, media exposure and overall the opportunity to connect with leading investors,"...

  • HouseME looks to change the rental market in SA with app

    Real estate startup, HouseME wants to change the way property rentals are handled for landlords and prospective tenants in SA. The company has launched an app which it hopes will solve gaps in the rental process. "The market is locked by a process where landlords advertise their properties for a set rental, and often accept the first tenants to put a deposit down," says the CEO and co-founder of HouseME, Ben Shaw, in a press release to Ventureburn. Prospective tenants will be able to bid on an open property instead of the landlord setting a price. "It's clear that both landlords and tenants will benefit from a...

  • SweepSouth expands into KwaZulu-Natal, hits Durban first

    On-demand cleaning service, SweepSouth has expanded into Durban. The startup previously launched in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Pretoria. "Expanding to Durban has been on the books from the get-go, and we've been working hard behind the scenes to interview and register a top quality team of local cleaners – or, as we call them, SweepStars," says SweetSouth CEO Aisha Pandor in a press release to Ventureburn. Customers are charged R38 per hour via a cashless system with cleaners taking between 70% and 80% of the total fee. "By tapping into new markets and empowering cleaners to take on multiple or supplementary jobs, we...

  • Our 12 favourite startups from the 2016 Innovation Summit

    Hosted in Johannesburg, the four-day Innovation Summit played host to a range of activities and events. Among these was the Ventureburn Pitching Den, which saw 40 startups pitch for a chance to compete at the Startup World Cup in 2017. Over the two-day period, the Pitching Den was filled with all manner of entrepreneurs from all walks of life. While many of them pitched eco-friendly products, others looked to more traditional and IP-based companies. Here are our favourite startups from the two-day Ventureburn Pitching Den event: Baoberry - creators of the "wetland in a box," this product is an all natural...

  • LulaLend raises new round of funding from Accion Venture Lab

    Online lending platform LulaLend has raised a new round of funding from Accion Venture Lab, a division of Accion. The round also included participation from Newid Capital and Hallmann Holding International Investment GmbH. When asked about the amount raised, co-founder and CEO of Lulalend, Trevor Gosling, told Ventureburn it is necessary to "raise both debt to fund the loan book and equity to fund operations & tech investment". He went on to say the company has raised US$1-million with equity and the debt side will run into multiple million dollars over time. “LulaLend was founded in 2014 to provide quick, transparent online credit to small...

  • Medical insurance startup InukaPap wins Seedstars World in Kenya

    Medical insurance platform, InukaPap, was selected as the winner for Seedstars World in Kenya. The pitching competition took place on 7 October. InukaPap will represent Kenya in the Seedstars World final taking place in April 2017 in Switzerland. They will compete against 60 other startups from around the world for the chance to win up to US$1-million in equity investment. Second place was awarded to road maintenance startup Mobilized Construction, which uses local labour to build climate-resistant roads. The final place in the top three went to Ujuzi Software Solutions Ltd, a company that AML solutions for all segments. The other contestants consisted of Lakt co, OptiSmart...

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

    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...

  • Peach Payments to expand in Africa, launches new product

    Payment processing platform, Peach Payments will be expanding into Kenya and Nigeria in 2016. "We have unlocked a significant barrier to e-commerce in emerging economies. Peach Payments' solution is highly scalable for fast-growing businesses," says co-founder of Peach Payments, Rahul Jain, in a press release to Ventureburn. The company is in the process of dealing with the necessary requirements and should launch in Kenya by early 2016, with Nigeria following thereafter. "Despite there being many players in the payments solutions space, the dire need for advanced payment platforms in developing countries presented us with a tremendous opportunity." According to senior investment and head of AlphaCode (a...

  • PayGate receives R100-million in funding, merges with DPO

    South African payment facilitator, PayGate has received R100-million in investment from Direct Pay Online (DPO) Group. The investment sees PayGate merging under DPO. The merger will allow both companies to further spread across Africa. According to the managing director of PayGate, Peter Harvey, nothing in the company will be affected by the merger. There will be no change in SA staff or management. "What happens to PayGate? Nothing bad; everything good. There is no change to the management. There is no change to the staff, in fact, the team will grow," he says. Harvey will become the CEO of DPO in SA and join...