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All posts by Matthew Alexander

  • Swimming in the Shark Tank: an interview with Marnus Broodryk

    Entrepreneurial series Shark Tank SA is made up of an incredibly successful panel of entrepreneurs. Ventureburn sat down with one of the judges, Marnus Broodryk to discuss his journey with the show as well as his take on entrepreneurship today. This self-made millionaire embarked on a journey much like any other entrepreneur. He worked hard, sacrificing most of his childhood to put himself through school. Today, he's been responsible for many successful ventures and has consulted with companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange as well as the New York Stock Exchange. Presently, he sits on a panel of judges known...

  • AlphaCode pitching event sees top startups awarded R1-million in funding

    In an initiative brought on by AlphaCode and Merrill Lynch SA, five black-owned fintech startups have each received R1-million in funding. On 10 October, 11 contestants pitched their ideas and innovations. With only one minute to answer questions from judges, the startups needed to make an impression. The panel of judges consisted of senior investment executive at Rand Merchant Investments, Dominique Collett; CEO of Merrill Lynch SA, Richard Gush; CEO of Royal Bafokeng Holdings, Albertina Kekana and principle partner at Identity Partners, Sonja Sebotsa. The startups awarded R1-million each as a part of Merill Lynch's B-BBEE spend are: E-factor - an online marketplace founded by Tito...

  • Eneza secures investment from US$1-million Spark Venture Fund [update]

    Update: the article has been corrected to reflect the funding amount was not US$1-million, but rather a share of it. Edu-tech company, Eneza Education recently secured equity investment through Safaricom's Spark Venture Fund's US$1-million investment fund. Co-founded by Kago Kagichiri and Toni Maraviglia, Eneza Education is a mobile-based education tool to help students revise for exams. With 1.1-million users across 11 countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, SA, and more, Eneza provides real-time assessments and course level progress through SMS functionality. "We believe in the power of the mobile phone in extending access to learners so they can realise their full potential," said Kagichiri. "The additional investment will go...

  • CarZar gets backed by Silvertree Capital

    Venture Capital firm Silvertree Capital, who backed PriceCheck and CyberCellar, is now backing second-hand auto-trader CarZar. CarZar is a stats-based auto-trader which prices the vehicle you're looking to sell, using national data and their own algorithm, to offer consumers a convenient way to sell their vehicle. The user will first need to fill in the make and model of the vehicle they'd like to sell. Some vehicle models weren't a part of their automated listing, we found, such as the Ford Capri. Next, you'll be required to fill out your contact details and then a quote will be sent to you. You'll also receive details...

  • iKhokha wins 2016 Mastercard Innovation award

    South African mobile commerce provider, iKhokha has won the Innovation Award at the Mastercard Innovation Forum which took place in Budapest, Hungry. The Mastercard Innovation awards celebrate Mastercard partners who use their payment solutions to push for financial inclusion of all businesses, which iKhokha has done with their POS solution. "We are honoured to receive this award from the Mastercard global Innovation Forum judging panel. It serves as great validation for the hard work that the iKhokha team has put into driving digital financial inclusion for SMEs in SA," said iKhokha CEO, Matt Putman, in a press release to Ventureburn. iKhokha is a...

  • Kenya announces their 10 startups to pitch at Seedstars World

    Global pitching event Seedstars World has announced the ten startups to pitch at the next event in Nairobi, Kenya on 7 October 2016. Seedstars World Nairobi, taking place at PAWA254, will see 10 startups pitching for their place at the final event taking place in Switzerland in 2017. Here, startups will pitch in front of thousands of global investors, innovators, mentors and entrepreneurs for their shot at US$1-million in equity. "Kenya has shown impressive development in the startup and tech entrepreneurship ecosystem not just within the country but also for Africa," said Associate for Seedstars World, Selam Kebede in a press...

  • New career acceleration programme hits Cape Town

    The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) in partnership with the Kingdom of Netherlands and #CocreateSA has launched the TenaCiti Career Acceleration Programme. Ten companies will be selected to participate in the programme. As this is a pilot initiative, companies will be exempt from a subscription fee for the duration of the programme. Participating companies will receive specialised HR support while  junior staff will have the opportunity to participate in various skills workshops as well as online learning initiatives. Junior staff will also receive one-on-one coaching, peer-to-peer learning and various other social engagement skills. The TenaCiti Career Acceleration Programme aims to enhance the skills and...

  • Akiba wins Seedstars World Kampala, off to finals

    Innovative finance firm Akiba has emerged victorious at Seedstars World Kampala, taking the golden ticket to the final in Switzerland. The Kampala event, which took place at the Outbox Hub, saw 11 startups competing. Akiba won judges over with their attempt to make finance a lot simpler by giving users a practical and transparent management service. "We started this company because my mom was having difficulties trying to make a difference in her community. We are very happy to see that this has transformed into a business," said Akiba representative Ivan Mworozi in a press release to Ventureburn. Akiba will be one of the 65 countries...

  • Budding entrepreneur? eLearnAfrica might be for you

    Starting your own business with zero experience or knowledge can be difficult. Fortunately, online education platform eLearnAfrica has announced its new marketplace for online education, which includes several SME-related courses. The SME courses offered through eLearnAfrica, range from customer service skills from itSM Mentor or a course on starting your business through the University of Leeds. Students across Africa can enrol in these online courses to obtain degrees as well as professional certifications in their pursuit of more SME knowledge. eLearnAfrica aren't doing it by themselves, however, together with edX and FutureLearn, are providing a wide range of other courses to a predominantly African audience. The non-profit...

  • Pargo adds 500 Clicks stores to its delivery service

    Parcel delivery service, Pargo, has partnered with notable South African retailer, Clicks, to strengthen their business. The partnership will allow online shoppers to collect and return their purchases within Clicks stores. This partnership has grown Pargo's pickup points to more than 1000 stores. Due to this collaboration, online shoppers will be able to purchase items from Spree, BidorBuy, as well as OneDayOnly. "Delivery is recognised worldwide as the key friction point in ecommerce and a major deterrent to the growth of internet-based economy," said Veul. "This is especially true in the South African environment where local online shoppers are often forced to make...