• BURN MEDIA
    • Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

All posts by Jacques Coetzee

  • Kenya’s BRCK hauls in $3m from Steve Case, Synergy Energies and others

    To kick off the year on a positive note, Kenyan startup BRCK has raised US$3-million from a group of international investors, which include former AOL executives Jean and Steve Case as well as TED, Swiss-based MKS Alternative Investments, Synergy Energy and Jim Sorenson. Designed by the same team in Nairobi that's behind Ushahidi, Crowdmap and the iHub, BRCK is a mobile WiFi hotspot that’s described as a back-up generator for the internet. The device is physically robust and can connect to multiple networks. Read more: Taking African innovation global: Q&A with Aaron Fu from Nairobi’s Nest Business Day reports that the funding...

  • Taking African innovation global: Q&A with Aaron Fu from Nairobi’s Nest

    "We're seeing a lot of innovation born in Africa, servicing the world," says Aaron Fu (pictured left), managing partner of the Hong Kong VC and incubation firm Nest Africa. But there's not enough, which is why the Hong Kong founded startup incubator in July this year launched its African chapter in Nairobi, Kenya. So far Nest has given South Africa's Creditable and Kenya's SuperFluid Labs the opportunity to learn from some of Hong Kong's top financial providers through its DBS Accelerator programme. One of these startups is already in the process of running a pilot with an Asian bank. The...

  • The year of mobile? 9 of Africa’s most exciting startup investments of 2015

    If you ever doubted the significance of mobile innovations in Africa, then this year's developments are likely change your mind once and for all. Not only has 2015 been a good year for investments in startups across the continent (the most we've seen in South Africa thus far), millions of dollars are flowing towards mobile innovations. From micro-jobbing platforms to peer-to-peer payment solutions, more and more investors are growing confident in the potential of the many interesting mobile solutions Africa has to offer. But apart from smartphone applications, companies like M-Kopa and Off Grid Electric are fast growing in popularity....

  • Ventureburn’s top 5 tech startups in South Africa of 2015

    There's no doubt that 2015 has been an exciting year for South African innovation. Out of the hundreds of companies building exciting new products and services, five stand out for their innovative solutions, impact, and sustainability as businesses. "Its been a great year for startup South Africa, which started on a high with the January sale of Stellenbosch-based iKubu to Nasdaq-listed Garmin and has ended with the recently announced sale of Kapa BioSystems," echoes Vuyisa Qabaka from Abaphumeleli Business Consultants, who assisted with nominations. Other judges Ventureburn consulted with include CEO of Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative Ian Merrington, Knife Capital's...

  • Banking on ecommerce growth in SA — Q&A with The Foschini Group’s Brent Curry

    Even though South Africa's ecommerce sector is estimated to estimated to make up only one percent of the total market for consumer goods, we've over the last few years seen many players bank on this figure to grow. Investors are confident to say the least. To give you an idea of how determined stakeholders are hundreds of millions of dollars have been pumped into online-only stores like Takealot, while traditional retailers are forced to restructure their entire business models in order to stay relevant. At the same time the latter group is constantly trying to perfect the omni-channel experience, where...

  • Padi is Nigeria’s new hyper-local delivery service

    Nigerian internet company Iconway has launched Padi, described as a hyper-local delivery service. It allows people to order products from neighbourhood stores and have them delivered to their doorstep within just 90 minutes. Nigeria's ecommerce space is growing fast, with online retailers like Jumia, Konga and Kaymu all trying to get a slice of the pie. But instead of connecting Nigerians with online retailers, Padi wants to connect offline stores with customers. Iconway is described as an African consumer internet company with interests in mobile, media, commerce and advertising platforms. Some of its products include Nigerian Monitor, KokoFeed, Stargist and PricePadi. Read...

  • Kenya’s mobile customer care platform Ongair rakes in funding [updated]

    The Hong Kong-founded venture capital firm and accelerator, Nest, has invested an undisclosed amount into Kenya's mobile customer care platform Ongair. With hundreds of clients around the world, the one-year-old startup is now looking to expand its services into China. Ongair is behind a web-based dashboard that enables businesses to engage with their customers on instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram and WeChat. "Our goal is to help businesses serve customers and we’ll use the additional resources to support growth, expand strategically into Asian markets and deliver great product to delight our customers around the world," says Trevor Kimenye, CEO...

  • Rise: Barclays officially opens hub to catalyse fintech innovation in Africa

    Last month, ex-Barclay's CEO Antony Jenkins warned that banks face massive disruption within the very near future. Similar to how the popular ride-sharing app Uber is upsetting the balance within the transport industry, so too does the financial services sector face inevitable disruption. Technologies such as cryptocurrencies, blockchains and mobile are opening up cheaper, faster and more secure avenues for services. In order to stay ahead of the curve, Barclays has officially launched the African arm of its global innovation network called Rise. Located in Cape Town, South Africa at the The Bandwidth Barn, the hub is also partnering with the...

  • SA instant messaging startup Notafy wants to kill SMS for good

    Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat have become the norm for mobile communication. At least that's the case for the majority of consumers. Most banks, insurance companies, telecoms and other large service providers are still sticking with an outdated SMS technology to communicate with millions of people on a daily basis. SMS technology, according to B2C instant messaging startup Notafy, is a bad thing. Not only is SMS costly, its clunky infrastructure makes for a terrible user experience in our smartphone world. That's not to mention security threats. If Notafy has its way, though, that is all about to change. Founded by entrepreneurs Andrew...

  • Travel marketplace Gummie relaunches site after fresh cash injection

    Cape Town-based travel startup Gummie recently relaunched its website and is now keen to expand its operations across South Africa with new partnerships and affiliate programmes. This comes after the company secured seed funding from two undisclosed local angel investors two months ago. Gummie is behind a curated marketplace for activities and adventures in South Africa. The startup teams up with the celebrity adventurers, sportsmen and award-winning chefs to tailor unique travel experiences. Tourists and adventure-seeking locals can choose from a range of exciting activities such as a Bo-Kaap Cooking Tour, a Cape Town Jazz Safari or a Jozi Urban Hike. "We've...