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All posts by Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter
Jacques grew up in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Keen to take over the world, one word at a time, he has always been interested in both politics and development and studied International Relations (BA) at Stellenbosch University. With an interest in innovation and social change, he seeks to tell the inspiring stories that highlight socio-environmental and economic impact.
  • French insurance giant buys into African ecommerce in $83m deal

    French insurance giant AXA has bought an eight percent stake in Africa Internet Group (AIG), one of the continent's largest ecommerce players. The deal is valued at €75-million (over US$83-million). According to Forbes, AXA will become the exclusive insurance provider for AIG, which includes the Nigerian-based Jumia and other ecommerce operations in Africa. Other AIG services include Kaymu, a leading online shopping community, as well as marketplaces in food delivery, travel, real estate, jobs and cars. Read more: Kenyan Hellofood users can now order KFC, Ocean Basket online “Internet is creating unparalleled opportunities for consumers and businesses in Africa to connect and do...

  • A Day in the Life of: CiTi CEO Ian Merrington [Native Article]

    The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) is one of South Africa's oldest initiatives dedicated to boost local innovation. Founded in 1998, CiTi has established itself as one of the most renowned hubs for entrepreneurs in Africa by fostering through skills development and incubation services. At the helm of this initiative today is Ian Merrington, who brings with him a wealth of experience in advertising and consulting services. Before joining CiTi, he was Group Financial Director of BBDO SA, a director of Gloo Digital Design and later COO for iKineo, a leading Pan-African customer engagement firm. For the third edition of...

  • Travel booking site Travelstart lands $40m, asserts investor confidence

    Cape Town-headquartered travel booking company Travelstart has secured a whopping US$40-million from Amadeus Capital Partners and MTN, which is an investor in the VC firm. The significant capital injection again reaffirms investor confidence in South Africa as a fruitful market for internet companies -- a space which has seen growing interest within the last year. Founded in Sweden over a decade ago, Travelstart moved to South Africa in 2009 to focus on the growth of emerging markets. The online service today provides two million travellers in 16 countries with real-time access to thousands of flights. It operates in 16 countries,...

  • Vox buys out SA cloud marketing outfit Everlytic

    One of South Africa's leading telcos, Vox, has just acquired a majority stake in local cloud communications startup, Everlytic. The buyout comes in the wake of impressive growth by Everlytic over the last few years. “The addition of Everlytic completes our portfolio of products and solutions that allow customers to communicate via any delivery channel -- email, fax and SMS. They also add significant intellectual property (IP) in campaign management and success that we are keen to leverage,” says Jacques du Toit, CEO of Vox Telecom in a press release sent to Ventureburn. Everlytic started out as a communications agency,...

  • This Google-backed startup from SA is training thousands of coders

    If South Africa is to really become a knowledge economy, it seriously needs to develop the youth's Computer Science skills. That's a no-brainer. But while government and academia have their hands full, creative minds are putting inspiring initiatives in motion to foster the country's next generation of software developers. Hyperion Development is one of these gems. Since it launched in 2012, the Durban-headquartered company has allegedly helped over 8 500 people from six Southern African countries in software development training. "We are fortunate to have the ability to scale this online platform to the point where I don't know everyone's names...

  • Gyft founder Vinny Lingham scores $2.75m for identity protection startup

    South African serial entrepreneur Vinny Lingham has just revealed that his latest startup, called Civic, has raised US$2.75-million in seed funding. Based in Palto Alto, Civic is described as an identity protection service that relies on bitcoin blockchain technology to secure consumer data. "The key thing is that we are offering prevention of identity theft and fraud. The current solutions in the market only clean it up after the fact, with much hassle and losses," Lingham told Ventureburn. Banks and other financial institutions that require Social Security numbers could ping Civic when there is an attempt to open an account....

  • Meet the SA-born chaps who built a Slack for developers

    Chat rooms used to be popular hangouts for cyber dating, gaming and a whole bunch of things. Today, they've undergone a professional makeover. They've become billion dollar communication tools catered for the modern workplace, which is fast-paced, knows no borders and encourages collaboration. "It’s weird that you end up taking a conference call at home and do Amazon shopping at work. Tech today enables you to do anything from anywhere," says Mike Bartlett (pictured top right), one of the founders of a chat collaboration tool, called Gitter. He's talking to me over Skype from his flat in London. I'm sitting...

  • Vault is the SaaS for all your investor relations needs

    The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) encourages listed companies to keep accurate records of all discussions with journalists and investment analysts for future reference. Though, the way most JSE-listed companies communicate with their shareholders and other stakeholders is outdated, costly and inefficient. "Updating information about any given entity to shareholders would typically take a few hours," says Simon Hammerton, co-founder of Johannesburg-based startup Vault. After 10 years of being involved with investor relations (IR), entrepreneurs James and Simon Hammerton realised that there has to be a better way of doing things. This is why they launched Vault, which has shown impressive growth...

  • A Day in the Life of: LulaLend startup CEO Trevor Gosling [Native Article]

    A Day in the Life of... Being an entrepreneur is as tough as it is rewarding. Your career is filled with risks, but also an incredible amount of opportunities. For the second edition of our A Day in the Life of... series, we're following Trevor Gosling, the co-founder and CEO of South African fintech outfit LulaLend. After a good few years in the investment banking space, working for the likes of Rand Merchant Bank and Goldman Sachs, Gosling built his own premium wine and gourmet food venture. The company, 5ounces, as it was called, then got acquired by South Africa's media...

  • Online entertainment startup iROKO closes $19m in deals

    Online entertainment startup iROKO has revealed that it's closed multiple deals totaling US$19-million to beef up the Nigerian company's operations and expand across the continent. The figure is made up of content development and capital funding deals from French media giant CANAL+ and existing investor Kinnevik AB. Launched in 2010 and headed by renowned entrepreneur Jason Njoku (pictured above), iROKO claims to be the largest online distributor of African content in the world. IROKOtv, for instance, claims to be the world’s largest online catalogue of Nollywood movies, with over 10 000 hours of movie and TV content streamed on-demand. “With millions more...