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All posts by Matthew Alexander

  • Bitcoin exchange company BitX rebrands to Luno, launches new products

    SA Bitcoin exchange company BitX, has announced it's rebranding to Luno. Along with the announcement, the company is launching a number of new products. "We believe that decentralised digital currencies like Bitcoin will fundamentally change how the world views and uses money," said the CEO of Luno (previously BitX), Marcus Swanepoel, in a press release to Ventureburn. "Cheaper, faster and safer transactions; more privacy and financial freedom; a significantly better user experience; and ultimately, more equality by giving everyone in the world access to the same financial system. "Our new brand and product offerings are better aligned with this vision and will help drive our...

  • OPIC to finance Unreasonable Capital with US$5-million

    The US government's Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has announced their  support of Unreasonable Capital, to the tune of US$5-million. Unreasonable is a venture capital firm which invests in emerging startups across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Their main focus is assisting startups which address social and environmental issues while still showing promise of being profitable and scaleable. OPIC's president and CEO, Elizabeth Littlefield commented on the investment in a press release. "OPIC is delighted to support Unreasonable Capital as the fund invests across several regions and in a variety of sectors, from energy access to financial technology, that will have a positive development...

  • Coworkite: a co-working space for beach bums

    Co-working space, Coworkite has launched in Blouberg, Cape Town. Situated along one of the most popular kitesurfing beaches, their name, location and marketing emphasises the sport's lifestyle. Entrepreneurs can enjoy a workspace on two floors as well as fibre internet, being available for every member. Space at Coworkite also comes with free parking, meeting rooms, and access to expert mentors and investors. The working space offers flexible packages ranging from R850 per month for five days of access, with discounts given to teams, long-term members and early stage startups. The working space also offers entrepreneurs a space for a daily fee of R180 to...

  • Flat6Labs acceleration programme now open in Egypt

    Early-stage investment company, Flat6Labs has announced their participation of the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The IFC and Flat6Labs will now form part of the World Bank's Startup Catalyst initiative and Social Fund for Development (SFD). Cairo-based Flat6Labs will be receiving US$2-million in equity financing from the IFC. Over the next five years, the acceleration programme will then be investing in 100 Egyptian tech startups while supporting over 300 entrepreneurs. The programme, which consists of a four-month accelerator programme, will also provide seed-funding. Flat6Labs will also be providing mentorship, networking opportunities as well as help startups become investment-ready. "We’re very excited to have received the support of IFC,...

  • Africa shines at Endeavor International Selection Panel

    Startup accelerator giant, Endeavor has selected 37 entrepreneurs to form part of their extensive group of Endeavor Entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs represent 20 companies across 13 countries. They will now form part of the 1403 entrepreneurs who collectively represent 875 companies across 25 markets around the globe. During the selection process held in Palo Alto, panellists from around the world got to interview the participating entrepreneurs about their businesses. This gave the panellists a chance to evaluate them, choosing the entrepreneurs with the most potential for high-impact growth. One of the key deciding factors was the commitment to advancing their respective ecosystems. Once the Endeavor Entrepreneurs were selected, they...

  • Cairo receives £1-million startup investment from UK

    The British embassy has announced a £1-million investment fund to benefit startups of Cairo in Egypt. Entrepreneurs eligible for the fund need to demonstrate that their business is both commercially viable while still serving the needs of the community. They need to be able to create jobs, have suitable opportunities for women as well as support underprivileged regions. Participating entrepreneurs would also have to go the extra mile, showing how their business improves access to public services as well as the delivery of said services. The final selection of entrepreneurs will in the form of a competition with the winners being chosen by an expert panel...

  • Bottles pops cork after R500 000 Shark Tank investment

    On-demand alcohol delivery app, Bottles has successfully pitched their business on Shark Tank SA and walked away with an investment of R500 000. Their investment comes at a 10% stake in their business after the co-founder of The Creative Council, Gil Oved found Bottles model to be a profitable investment. The alcohol delivery app allows users to choose from their favourite beers, spirits and wines to be delivered to their door within 60-minutes. "Attending Shark Tank SA has been an incredible experience for us, we prepared for days on end, watching every past episode of the show available online to make sure we...

  • Paystack closes $1.3-million seed investment

    Nigerian fintech startup Paystack, backed by Y-Combinator, has closed on US$1.3-million in Seed Funding. "Having painstakingly identified the many barriers that merchants on the continent have when it comes to online payments, we have built and refined a product for Africa that we hope will act as a catalyst for the continent's online economy, be it on-demand services, ecommerce, travel & hospitality, financial services or entertainment," said CEO of Paystack, Shola Akinlade in a press release to Ventureburn. Paystack aims to utilise their new-found investment to scale themselves successfully The seed investment comes from various investors, some of which include: Tencent Comcast Ventures Singularity investments ...

  • All sunshine for Mobisol after €14m in investments

    Solar power company, Mobisol has acquired large investments from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), as well as from the Dutch development bank. The IFC has invested €5.42-million in equity while the AEF and MASSIF Dutch government fund has invested €9.2-million. "Our partnership with IFC and FMO, alongside Investec Asset Management marks an important milestone in the growth history of Mobisol. We are excited by the value such a reputable list of global investors stand to bring to Mobisol. We can now concentrate on scaling and even better serving our customers," said founder and CEO of Mobisol, Thomas Gottschalk in a press release. According to...

  • Startup with an education focus? This contest might be for you

    The Jacobs Foundation's TRECC initiative, in partnership with Seedstars World, has launched a new competition to find innovative startups with education-focused ideas and services. The competition is focused on ideas and services for rural areas. Startups participating in the competition, called the TRECC Rural Distribution Contest, could win a prize of US$1000. "Rural distribution challenges often limit access to quality education for the communities that need it most, further exacerbating social inequalities," said the company in a press release to Ventureburn. "We want to better understand how education systems -- as well as education entrepreneurs -- can leverage existing distribution networks or create socially responsible...