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All posts by Matthew Alexander

  • SA startup Mobenzi receives R16m investment from Edge Growth

    Andi Friedman is feeling "energised and excited" following a R16-million investment his startup Mobenzi received from Vumela Fund. Friedman said the Series-A funding served as a good recognition of all the hard work the company has done. He said the fund, which is managed by FNB and Edge Growth, took a significant minority stake in Mobenzi. The startup clinched the investment after taking part in one-on-one mentoring with accelerator and capital advisory firm Impact Amplifier. The accelerator provided the company with strategic support as well as other acceleration services. Mobenzi was founded in 2009 by Friedman and Pete Fowles. The two have developed a suite of products which include...

  • Paygo raises US $1.43-million in Series Seed funding

    Kenyan clean-energy provider, Paygo has raised US$1.43-million in Series Seed debt and equity funding. The clean energy provider uses an innovative solution that allows households to cook using clean burning liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in small amounts. The company's investors consist of Novastar ventures, Energy Access Ventures (EAV), Village Capital and the Global Innovation Fund. It also includes Global Partnerships/Eleos Social Venture Fund. "A billion households are forced to cook with dirty fuels every day, which is not only a serious development challenge but also a significant market opportunity. This financing will allow us to invest deeply in our technology, build...

  • SAB’s Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Awards now open

    The South African Breweries (SAB) Foundation is calling on social entrepreneurs who are involved in assisting disadvantaged South Africans, to apply for its Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Awards. The awards are split into two categories: Social Innovation Awards -- Aimed at social entrepreneurs, institutions as well as social enterprises that already have prototypes or an early-stage business tackling social issues Disability Empowerment Awards -- Seeks to award entrepreneurs and enterprises which have developed innovative solutions which improve access to the economy for disabled people. The application process opens early next month and can be completed by visiting the SAB Foundation website. "We define social innovation...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [24/04/2017]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or catch up on some of your skills? Well, you've come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we've rounded up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or...

  • World Bank launches accelerator programme for African digital startups

    The World Bank has announced the launch of XL Africa, an acceleration programme aimed at supporting 20 top digital startups from Sub-Saharan Africa. XL Africa will run over five months and startups will be put through a tailored curriculum, while receiving mentorship and the chance to attract early-stage capital of between US$250,000 and US$1.5-million. "Digital startups are important drivers of innovation in Africa," said Makhtar Diop, the vice-president for the Africa Region at the World Bank, in a press release. "To scale and spread new technologies and services beyond borders, they need an integrated ecosystem that provides access to regional markets and global finance. "Pan-African initiatives...

  • Startupbootcamp launches its first African-based programme

    Global accelerator Startupbootcamp has announced the launch of its first African-based programme in Cape Town with the aim of accelerating 10 startups from September. The announcement was made yesterday. The three-month bootcamp, backed by BNP Paribas, the RCS Group and PwC, is open to startups that focus on a number of sectors. These include: blockchain, connected devices, payment solutions, asset management, ecommerce, alternative financing, identity management, data and behavioural analytics, digital connectivity, enabling technologies and integrated supply chains. Ten successful applicants selected for the programme will each be awarded EUR€15,000. Selected participants will also receive free office space, convertible notes, access to...

  • Union Bank, CcHub launches the Centenary Innovation Challenge

    The Union Bank of Nigeria has partnered with the Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) to launch the Centenary Innovation Challenge with entries closing 19 May. It comes as the Union Bank celebrates its 100th anniversary with the theme "Celebrate, Impact and Lead". The bank aims to find innovative startups and offer them support to address the country's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The challenge is open to university students, software developers, entrepreneurs and academics from Nigeria. The Union Bank CEO Emeka Emuwa recently addressed the partnership at a press conference held last week. In his address Emuwa said the bank is committed to being at the leading edge of innovation,...

  • Africa regional conference to spotlight future financing solutions

    Over 500 financial representatives from more than 45 countries will next month come together for three days to tackle various issues affecting African businesses when secure financial messaging service Swift hosts its African Regional Conference (Arc) in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast on 16-18 May. The conference will take on the theme of "Financing for the future" and will also look at how African countries can diversify their economies to promote more sustainable growth. "Holding the Swift African Regional Conference in Côte D’Ivoire (the Ivory Coast) illustrates the strength and stability of the country’s economic and business environments and the dynamic role it is playing in Africa’s development," said the...

  • Dubai authority opens call for fintech startups to join acccelerator

    The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is calling for applications for its Fintech Hive. Applicants have until 28 May to apply. The 12-week programme aims to accelerate startups within the early and growth stages by providing them with insights and exposure to top financial institution executives. Selected participants will have the opportunity to develop and test their products and solutions in collaboration with senior financial representatives. These include representatives from the DIFC Authority, Accenture, Citi, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Visa, Emirates NBD, and Mashreq. "The FinTech Hive at DIFC will connect innovators in financial services technology with the banks, financial institutions and service providers within our dynamic ecosystem...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [17/04/2017]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or catch up on some of your skills? Well, you've come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we've rounded up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or...