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All posts by Matthew Alexander

  • BBOXX secures $20m investment, to step up in Kenya, Rwanda

    BBOXX, an off-grid solar company, has secured a US$20-million Series C investment to step up operations in Kenya and Rwanda. BBOXX not only designs and manufactures their plug and play solar solutions but manufactures them as well. More than 70 000 BBOXX products have been sold in over 35 countries, providing off-grid power to around 350 000 people, the company said in a blog post. The investment comes from Mackinnon, Bennett & Company (MKB), ENGIE Rassembleurs d'Energies and KawiSafi Ventures, as well as existing investors. "We are excited about the growth potential for the African off-grid solar market and delighted with BBOXX's rapid development," said Managing Director of ENGIE Rassembleurs...

  • Etudesk win the Côte d’Ivoire leg of Seedstars World

    Etudesk, a web platform which allows academic institutions to easily set up their e-learning platform, has won the Côte d'Ivoire round of Seedstars World. They will be heading to Switzerland for their spot in the final pitching event. The final event will have 65 startups pitching for their chance to grab US$1-million in prizes. The main prize is a US$500 000 equity investment and there's also a US$50 000 prize to the best startup in education. "We are very passionate about improving education not only in the country but in Africa. We really think that education has the power to improve people's lives and why not start...

  • Custos Media Technologies sign R5.9-million funding agreement with TIA

    Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) has concluded a R5.9-million investment agreement with anti-piracy company, Custos Media Technologies. The two-year agreement was brought forth after Custos ended a round of financing with high-profile investors which included Innovus Technology Transfer, an undisclosed South African Angel Investor, and a New York-based Currency Group. "TIA has again shown their commitment to support early­stage technology businesses in South Africa. The funding agreement will allow Custos to accelerate product development, while simultaneously freeing up resources to spend on bringing the product to the widest possible market," said CEO of Custos, G J. Van Rooyen. "Custos is a good example of the kind of innovation ventures for which TIA was established to provide support, where science and technology advancements are the basis for creating new products, services and global enterprises," concurred the head of ICT...

  • mSurvey secures Safaricom investment

    Kenyan survey/research platform mSurvey has secured a US $1-million investment from the Safaricom's Spark Venture Fund. This fund seeks to help Kenyan based mobile technology startups with great innovation potential. mSurvey leverages SMS and mobile to reach a wide audience for surveys and research. This is the second investment as well as the largest from the Spark Venture Fund to date. Safaricom Spark along with Silicon Valley's Cross Culture Ventures and the Virgin Group-backed, Caribbean Alpha Angels Network have all invested in mSurvey. The data research company will use the investment to drive M-PESA-related efforts. "This investment enhances our efforts to leverage mSurvey's highly-sophisticated technology...

  • This year’s PriceCheck E-Commerce Award finalists

    This year's PriceCheck E-Commerce Awards is set to kick off their tenth birthday by celebrating some of South Africa's outstanding innovators in the tech and ecommerce industries. "From start to finish, including the way in which the categories are defined, the votes counted, and the judges selected, the PriceCheck Tech & E-Commerce Awards offer up a uniquely unbiased and credible snapshot of what local e-tailers are up to," said founder and CEO of PriceCheck Kevin Tucker in a press release to Ventureburn. "Our goal is to draw attention to the advances that individuals are making in what remains a challenging sector,...

  • Edtech startup Chalkboard Education crowned winner of Seedstars World Accra

    Education initiative, Chalkboard Education, has been selected as the overall winner of pitching competition, Seedstars World Ghana. Chalkboard Education is a certified institution which offers a real degree certified by universities. It requires no internet connection and is accessible on any device via SMS. "If I judge by last years winners I think the global summit in Switzerland is going to be life changing. Last year’s winners Asoriba had an amazing year and we hope to be able to do the same with the help of the Seedstars platform," said The founder of Chalkboard Education and CEO, Adrien Bouillot Bouillot and his team will be headed...

  • LaunchLab, ATTACQ to launch growth fund in real estate sector

    The real estate Sector stands to benefit from a new partnership between incubator LaunchLab and ATTACQ, a high-quality real estate investor. The partnership will be driven by the LaunchLab Innovation Platform which will seek to capture new ideas and business models which could enhance the retail industry. Accompanying the LaunchLab Innovation Platform will be LaunchLab Ideas and Lift-Off Programme which aims to help startups every step of the way. The Ideas Programme extends across all the universities across the Western Cape and Gauteng. Tapping into the potential of student and non-student entrepreneurs allows them to find more innovative ways of operating. ATTACQ's desire with this...

  • Securing Water for Food challenge now open

    The Securing Water for Food Challenge is an initiative looking for innovative entrepreneurs tackling the issue of water and food security. The initiative combines the help of not only the US Agency for International Development (USAID) but also the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (MFA-NL) and the South African government. "As we see more and more droughts all over the world and surpass the one billion mark of people who don't have enough food to eat, it is increasingly clear that we need better innovations to help our planet's farmers...

  • Seedstars World lists 10 startups to compete in Côte d’Ivoire

    International pitching competition, Seedstars World, returns to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The event will take place on 29 august at Colab Abidjan. The startups will be competing for an opportunity to win up to US$1-million in the Seedstars World final in Switzerland, with the main prize being US$500 000 in equity investment. "We honestly think the best way to have an impact in emerging countries is by investing and promoting entrepreneurship in emerging markets. We look forward to seeing how the Ivorian startup scene has evolved in a year and we are excited to discover the new startups in Côte d’Ivoire," said associate for...

  • Bottles: delivering a ‘cold one’ to your door

    In a nation that loves to braai and enjoy a good beer, cider or glass of wine, some consumers tend to make reckless decisions and get behind the wheel, especially when the party runs dry. A solution is available though, in the form of Bottles. Bottles is an on-demand alcohol delivery app which delivers drinks to your door in under 60 minutes, saving you the trouble of leaving the party. "Towards the beginning of 2015, we were at a braai in Durban with friends, and as fortune would have it, we ran out of drinks," Vincent Viviers, the co-founder of Bottles, told Ventureburn...