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All posts by Hadlee Simons

Hadlee Simons
Terrible puns make Hadlee Simons difficult to work with, but he brings almost seven years of tech journalism experience to the table. When he's not at work or watching motorsport, he's in the foetal position on a jiu jitsu mat.
  • Ventureburn, Startup Grind CT announce partnership

    Good news for startup enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs! Ventureburn is teaming up with startup community Startup Grind Cape Town. The partnership will see Ventureburn attend every Startup Grind Cape Town meetup this year, featuring pre- and post-event coverage. Ventureburn editor Graham van der Made shed more light on the agreement. "Two of the strongest brands in the SA startup ecosystem, Ventureburn and Startup Grind, are partnering to create more awareness in the industry. This partnership will see Ventureburn covering all of the Startup Grind Cape Town events in-depth, with social media and written coverage," van der Made explained. Read more: Startup Grind Cape...

  • Report: African tech startups receive funding boost in 2016

    The number of African tech startups receiving funding in 2016 has risen by almost 17% compared to the previous year, a new report found. The second annual Disrupt Africa Tech Startups Funding Report found that 146 African startups raised US$129.1-million in 2016. The report clarified that, while the number of startups receiving funding has increased, the actual amount of funding saw a decline. As for the most popular nations, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria accounted for just over 80% of funding secured. Fourth-placed Egypt was a fast mover though, seeing 100% fundraising growth. The continent has seen a slew of fintech-related startups...

  • Algebra: VC tech fund in Egypt hits $40m mark

    A new tech VC fund by Algebra Ventures has completed a US$40-million first closing. Algebra claims that it's the largest tech VC fund in Egypt. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the fund will invest in up 25 tech startups or "tech-enabled" startups. Focus areas include "technology IP, fintech, industry platforms, e-commerce and consumer internet", Algebra explained. As for funding amounts, Algebra confirmed that investments would mostly be in the range of US$500 000 to US$4-million. The fund is expected to achieve a final closing of US$50-million. Algebra Ventures is aiming for a rather lofty final goal, but it's only got US$10-million to...

  • Three SA startups a step closer to international accelerator

    Three local startups have been shortlisted for participation in an international acceleration programme. The three SA startups are competing to be one of ten startups to join international accelerator Startupbootcamp InsurTech next year. "Aerobotics, Emerge Analytics and NuvaLaw are up against 20 other startups for the opportunity to collaborate with 400+ mentors, partners, and investors over a three month period to build world class products, with the ultimate goal of becoming industry leading companies," read an excerpt of a statement emailed to Ventureburn. Startupbootcamp InsurTech received 633 global applications from early stage startups, calling for companies with solutions for the insurance industry. Startupbootcamp InsurTech...

  • FbStart: Facebook’s startup drive gathers local steam

    Facebook has made a concerted effort to court mobile-based startups with its FbStart initiative. The programme offers qualifying app developers year-round support, access to a global community of startups and a suite of tools to the value of up to US$80 000. These tools include MailChimp, Dropbox, and Stripe. FbStart is divided into two categories, namely Bootstrap and Accelerate. The former category is for apps that have just launched, while the latter is for "thriving" apps that need to grow even more. The initiative made its way to the African continent a while back, so what has the progress been like? How are...

  • Absa teams up with fintech startup walletdoc

    Absa has partnered with fintech startup walletdoc to make bill payments a more convenient process. Walletdoc, founded by Dan Wagner and Leonard Shenker, is an app billed as a "smart, secure and free way" to pay bills on the go. Notable features include notifications for bill arrivals/payment dates, the ability to remember account/reference numbers for payments and electronic bill storage. To get started, users create an account on the service and ask billers to direct all bills to the associated walletdoc email address. The app will then give you relevant notifications/reminders and allow for seamless payments (including the ability to pay for...

  • Gartner: 2016’s ‘Aspiring Innovators’ startups revealed

    Last year saw the Gartner Symposium host the first talk for the Aspiring Innovators programme, highlighting some noteworthy African startups in the industry. The class of 2015 was comprised of Nandie, Wyzetalk, Entelect, Build, Clevva and Mapzania. So who made the cut this year? First of all, Gartner analyst Jeffrey Mann, who spearheads the programme, expanded on the criteria for selection. Who makes the cut? Mann explained that it was a "subjective selection" and that the startups were also picked for their relevance to the Gartner Symposium audience. "It is really aimed at providing... access to some vendors that we normally wouldn't be talking about,...

  • iFix becomes WeFix: what’s next for the company?

    Did they expand to Nintendo consoles but marketing didn't know how to spell "Wii"? Or is it because the company formerly known as iFix is simply expanding operations? I'm leaning on the latter, but the company has provided an explanation, though. "Having being in the business since 2007, and at the time fixing mostly iThings, iFix was the obvious name. However, over the years the phenomenal development and growth of iFix in South Africa through its partnerships and offering, has expanded from specialising in repairing Apple devices to also include the repairs of Samsung, LG and Huawei," the company explained in...

  • innovateAFRICA: a $1-million fund for enterprising newsrooms in Africa

    Whether you accept it or not, journalism is changing fast in the modern age. Traditional media and even digitally focused newsrooms are facing a host of challenges, so what are writers and editors to do? If you think your newsroom is innovative or has a unique solution to overcome these obstacles, you can apply for the US$1-million innovateAFRICA Fund, which aims to support digital innovations and "leapfrog technologies". The programme, which is open to both individuals and mainstream organisations, will deliver mentorship, seed funding and technology support to successful applicants, innovateAFRICA custodians Code for Africa announced in an emailed press statement. "innovateAFRICA will provide grants from $12 500 to...

  • Who needs seed funding? Not this Indian VR startup

    It's always refreshing to see emerging markets take to new technologies, and virtual reality (VR) is no exception. So we're glad to see an Indian VR startup not only taking to the technology, but seemingly making a success of it all, as is the case with FlipSpaces. Focused on interior design, FlipSpaces "enables people to visualise how products they are seeking to buy for their home or office look like in virtual  environment similar to their own", the company wrote in an emailed press release. It also claimed to rake in US$1-million in revenue in three months. Prove your mettle and revenue follows...