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All posts by Matthew Alexander

  • Reunert acquires majority interests in tech SMEs

    Technology group Reunert, which manages a portfolio of ICT-related companies among electrical engineering and applied electronics firms, has added two more companies to their portfolio. Reunert's first acquisition is a 51% stake in Terra Firma Solutions. The company aims to be a leader in the turnkey energy engineering solutions sector. Their speciality lies in serving predominantly industrial and commercial sectors within SA. According to Terra Firma, the company has already installed numerous rooftop solar energy systems with more than 800 sites covered under their remote energy and water management solutions. Reunert's intention to have a majority stake in Terra Firma was so that the company...

  • Click2Sure: Groupon co-founder set to take on insurance sector

    Daniel Guasco, the former Silicon Cape chairperson and ex-founding director of Groupon South Africa, has launched Click2Sure, which looks set to disrupt the insurance sector. Guasco is also the co-founder of early-stage investment fund Team Africa Ventures, which is run by himself and co-founder Wayne Gosling. The service stands out from traditional offerings by digitising the distribution as well as the management and administration of insurance. "With Click2Sure, we have simplified the processes and limited the documents and human intervention required, that go together with traditional insurance offerings and have replaced them with a simple, completely customer-centric offering. As a result, we have been able...

  • Kasipedia: startup directory for SA townships

    Kasipedia is a new online directory for SA townships by telecoms startup Maru Telecoms, giving users their own online presence on a platform which caters to localised community interests. It is based out of the Innovation Hub in Pretoria. Some key features on Kasepedia include an encyclopaedia, a business directory, digital school, a dictionary, and more. "We are providing a  platform and a portal, where our communities can narrate their own stories about their day-to-day experiences, history, culture, business and share knowledge about places of interest," said Maru Telecoms representatives in an interview with Ventureburn. The startup, based out of the Innovation Hub in Pretoria, was...

  • Watch: eCommerce MoneyAfrica Confex panel discussion on industry, fintech

    The eCommerce MoneyAfrica Confex conference that took place recently in Cape Town was filled with many talks and discussions around e-commerce and fintech solutions in Africa. Most notably was the panel discussion on the first day, which consisted of CEO of Zando SA, Sascha Breuss; CEO at ZoobaShop, Albert Biga; MD MENA of Criteo, Dirk Henke and country manager for Gumtree, Johan Nel. The panel fielded questions from the host and editor at Ventureburn, Graham van de Made, around issues relating to trust within the ecommerce industry as well as who they thought were the driving forces behind ecommerce at the...

  • Startup Reactor set to begin again

    The fourth cycle of the Startup Reactor, hosted by Innoventures in partnership with VC4A, has opened up applications following the finale in December last year. The Startup Reactor is designed to support innovative SMEs operating in high-opportunity industries in Egypt. This edition of the Startup Reactor also launches with a new EGP30-million (R24-million) venture capital fund. The programme sets out to foster a networking environment for entrepreneurs, mentors and investors for six months. Both investors and mentors will receive an equity stake of an undisclosed amount in any venture they choose to support. Eligible startups will undergo an intensive training programme which focuses on...

  • Go Ignite: Second call for startups

    The Go Ignite Second Global Call is seeking innovative SMEs that have market-ready solutions in the fields of AI, Connected Homes, IoT Security and more. Go Ignite is established by an alliance of telcos consisting of Hub Raum, Orange Fab, Singtel, Innov8 and Telefonica Open Future. The alliance announced the programme at the Four Years From Now (4YFN) startup and tech event at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. "We are very happy to announce the second call for the Go Ignite programme. In the telco industry, this programme creates an unmatched win-win-situation. The participating teams can gain exclusive knowledge and fast access to new...

  • SA companies take on Agritech Expo in Zambia

    The Agritech Expo, which takes place on 27 to 29 April in Zambia, has seen a strong South African interest in Zambia's agricultural sector. The expo is owned by the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) and returns to Chisamba for the fourth time this year. "Zambia is an exciting market to explore, not just for South African suppliers to the agriculture sector, but also for South African farmers," said the commercial director for the Agritech Expo, Liam Beckett in a press release to Ventureburn. The SA companies which are involved in the expo in an exhibition or a sponsorship role include AGRICO, Gallagher,...

  • Brandchat: Message your favourite brands through WeChat & more

    A new SA startup, called Brandchat, allows businesses to interact with their customers through multiple messaging platforms such as Facebook, WeChat, Telegram and Kik. "We want to make it as simple and natural to get in touch with a business as it is to get in touch with friends. Starting a chat is quicker than downloading an app, more immediate and cheaper than making a phone call, and simpler than figuring out a complex website," said Brandchat director, Pete Matthaei in a press release to Ventureburn. Brandchat has developed a "unified dashboard" which allows businesses to create and manage a bot, giving them...

  • Google’s Launchpad Accelerator now accepting African startups

    Tech giant, Google has announced that its Launchpad Accelerator is accepting applications from African countries for the very first time. Startups from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa are eligible to apply. The six-month programme will help entrepreneurs by means of mentorship, training and, equity-free support. The programme will also consist of a two-week all-expenses-paid training workshop at the Google headquarters in Silicon Valley. Accepted entrepreneurs will also receive access to various Google engineers, mentors, as well as resources. The participants will also receive various marketing opportunities through Google and credits for Google products. Some startups who apply will be asked to participate in a one-hour...

  • Yoco concludes Series-A funding round, plans international expansion

    SA payments provider Yoco has recently concluded a Series-A funding round of an undisclosed amount led by two foreign investors namely US-based Quona Capital and Netherlands-based Velocity Capital. The new influx of capital will help Yoco expand its reach nationally as well as increase its product offering. It'll also be used to lay the groundwork for its international expansion in 2018. "In addition to being a milestone and validation for Yoco, this round is a vote of confidence in South Africa’s growing fintech and startup ecosystem," said Yoco CEO and co-founder Katlego Maphai in a press release to Ventureburn. "Raising smart capital from...