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All posts by Matthew Alexander

  • SA’s FinChatBot expands to France with a layover in Kenya

    FinChatBot, a chatbot for financial services, has recently expanded into France, attracting interest from the Kenyan market. Founded last year after a market study conducted by startup incubator Far Ventures, FinChatBot allows businesses to engage with their customers in real-time via their preferred communication channel. FinChatBot CEO Antoine Paillusseau spoke to Ventureburn recently on the company's latest development in France and Kenya. "We were introduced to a potential client (in Kenya). When we met them they were quite excited about the product. We haven't signed any contract yet, we're still busy discussing with them, but our solution had a lot of interest." Although the chatbot service has courted...

  • PitchDrive aims to help 15 African startups raise collective €20m in Europe

    Fifteen African startups will get the chance to raise a collective €20-million in Series-A funding from European funders when startup tour PitchDrive gets off the mark in the coming weeks. The three-week tour, which is set to begin on 14 August, is an initiative of Nigerian technology innovation centre Co-creation Hub (CcHUB) which has partnered with Google for Entrepreneurs. The tour kicks off at Google's Campus in London, before heading to TQ Amsterdam, Factory Berlin and then to the Impact Hub in Zurich, Switzerland, before concluding at NUMA Paris. Startups will get to explore the various markets the tour passes through and get the chance to pitch in front...

  • SA Startup AIR makes it as finalist in Citibank Tech for Integrity Challenge

    Always In-touch Real-time (AIR) founder Prashant Paima is waiting eagerly to hear whether his online security service startup has been chosen as the winner of this year's Citi Tech for Integrity Challenge (T4I) after taking part in a pitching event in Abu Dhabi earlier this month. The Johannesburg-based startup is competing against 102 other startups from around the world who are pitching in events in six different cities (see the list here). The challenge kicked off in Abu Dhabi on 14 and 15 May and ends with Hyderabad, India on 12 and 13 June. The overall winner will be announced next month, following the conclusion of the...

  • Nigerian startup Tuteria wins Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Award

    Nigerian online tutoring network Tuteria took home a cash reward of £25,000 after winning the top Engineering Innovation prize at the Royal Academy of Engineering Africa competition. Tuteria connects students to qualified tutors closest to them. Customers can find any skill they want to learn using the mobile app, they simply set their budget and wait for the nearest tutor to contact them. The platform also uses a rating system and allows customers to book lessons by paying for them through an upfront payment system. Once the tutors are paid after the lesson has been confirmed, Tuteria takes a commission of 15% to 30% for each paid lesson. 'Godwin Benson’s invention changes way Nigerians, Africans share knowledge' Tuteria founder Godwin Benson...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [29/05/2017]

    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 them 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,...

  • Seedstars World announces final call for startups in Cape Town

    Following its announcement earlier this week of the 12 startups that will pitch at Seedstars World Johannesburg today, the major early-stage business competition heads to Cape Town early next month in search of top startups. Those startups looking to pitch at the event -- to be held at Workshop 17 on 8 June -- have until only this Sunday (28 May) to apply. To qualify to pitch startups need to be less than two-years old, have raised less than $500,000 in funding and have a working example of their product or service. Startups also need to have existing traction and the capacity for regional and...

  • Snapplify joins Ed21 forum to tackle inefficient education system

    The key to tackling the education sector as a startup is being able to move fast and adapt quickly to the changing needs of the sector says Snapplify growth director Tarryn-Anne Anderson. The digital publishing solutions startup has teamed up with the likes of Vastratech, Principal Software and D6 Technology to form the Ed21 forum. The forum forms part of an ongoing movement to assist schools in transforming into a digital space. "Snapplify decided to join the Ed21 forum because we believe in developing better, and more effective ways of promoting and providing digital education," said Anderson. "The other members of the forum are also...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [22/05/2017]

    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 them 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,...

  • African startups clinch €10k, trip to Canadian event at Innotribe challenge

    The Innotribe Startup Challenge in partnership with SWIFT’s African Regional Conference concluded yesterday in Abidjan, with three fintech companies walking away with cash prizes and more. The three winners are: Irofit Technologies -- which provides a mobile point of sale that helps small businesses process card payments in real time even during poor internet connections. Sokowatch -- with its SMS ordering system that provides a distribution channel for companies to reach smaller retailers. Vugapay -- which helps mobile-money merchants across Africa to get paid. Aside from claiming a cash prize of €10,000 each, the three winners have been invited to attend Sibos, SWIFT's global financial services conference,...

  • ‘SA should look to Israel as lesson in boosting entrepreneurial ecosystem’

    Israel's success as a startup nation can be attributed to the notion of "if you don’t have it, you either go without it or innovate, invent, and do better". So says Carel De Wet, the general manager of cloud service vendor iCloudius. He was talking at Salesforce's "What Western Cape’s Tech companies should learn from Tel Aviv’s Startup Nation" event, held at Workshop 17 in Cape Town today. "It’s not as if they have better technology than we do. It’s not that we don’t have the same resources or the skill... We just need to take it to the next level," says De...