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All posts by Matthew Alexander

  • RainFin concludes 30% equity transaction with LeBashe

    Fintech solution RainFin has announced the conclusion of a 30% equity transaction of an undisclosed amount with The LeBashe Investment Group. "After reviewing a host of investment opportunities, we think that there is an excellent strategic fit between RainFin’s unique value proposition and potential to scale, and LeBahse’s vision to build a pre-eminent black-owned financial services business, which is accessible to all," said spokesperson for LeBashe Investment Group Warren Wheatley. LeBashe's portfolio already consists of a diverse portfolio of stakes in Capitec, and Aluwani Capital among others. As of the end of November, LeBashe has revealed that its asset position stood in excess...

  • Entrepreneurs to compete for Agripreneur of the Year title

    The Global Agripreneurs Summit will see innovative 'agripreneurs' compete at the third Future Agro Challenge (FAC) Global Championships during the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC). The competition and take place on 12 -15 March in Johannesburg and will host entrepreneurs in the food, agriculture, and aggrotech, all of whom will compete for the title of Agripreneur of the Year. In a space of three years, the FAC has gained support from more than 60 countries and five continents, to identify viable solutions for food supply chain challenges. "The food chain is broken. We need a bottom-up approach to identifying new and sustainable solutions to current and...

  • FarmDrive receives investment from the Spark Venture Fund

    Agricultural fintech startup, FarmDrive announced an undisclosed investment amount from Safaricom's Spark Venture Fund. The financial boost from the fund will go toward supporting their next scaling opportunity by building FarmDrive's credit-scoring model. It will also be used to enhance the HR base within analysis, research, and insight generation. "In an era when market uncertainty is creating new challenges for the agricultural sector, mobile-based technology solutions like FarmDrive can empower farmers with the critical access to finance and to help expand their access to other essential services," said Safaricom's CEP, Bob Collymore in a press release. FarmDrive aims to provide smallholder farmers with...

  • Wits Campus Personal Navigator Challenge now open

    The Wits Campus Personal Navigator Challenge is now accepting applications for the first of an annual series of four challenges. It is lead by the Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) with sponsorship from the Carl and Emily Fuchs Foundation (CEFF). The Personal Navigator Challenge will focus on ways to help students with visual and physical disabilities move around their campuses. Those entering will also be assisted in transforming their idea into a viable startup. It will have approximately over 100 entrants benefitting from further training as well as the opportunity to participate in a weekend-long hackathon. The top 10 participants will receive a three-month membership in the Tshimologong...

  • Gambian Youth Empowerment project to tackle youth unemployment

    The European Union (EU), the International Trade Centre (ITC), and the Gambian government, have teamed up to launch an initiative to combat youth unemployment in Gambia. The Gambian Youth Empowerment project is a four-year initiative that benefits from €11-million from the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. The programme will aim to support the local Gambian economy by firstly enhancing the self-employment opportunities for youth through vocational training, as well as the creation of SMEs. Secondly, the programme will create and improve opportunities for employment within various sectors through value addition and internationalisation. The Gambian Youth Empowerment programme aims on providing youth with opportunities within...

  • Endeavor SA’s high-impact entrepreneurs affecting job creation

    The entrepreneurial initiative, Endeavor SA, has recently concluded a study showing how its high-impact entrepreneurs affect job creation within the country. "Our results show a decade of phenomenal financial and job growth with approximately 21 000 jobs created by Endeavor South Africa companies since 2004," said the MD of Endeavor SA, Catherine Townshend, in a press release to Ventureburn. "This is an indicator of a community that is growing and gaining momentum, and we are excited to see Endeavor South Africa fast becoming an enabler of positive change," she continued. In 2007, it launched an accelerator aimed at black-owned startups which demonstrated...

  • Silvertree Capital acquires Nigeria’s TopCheck

    Nigerian price comparison site, TopCheck, was recently acquired for an undisclosed amount by Silvertree Holdings, one of Africa's leading internet platforms. The price comparison site will be joining one of SilverTree's subsidiaries, Compare Africa Group (CAG) which is active in over three African countries. "The TopCheck team is excited to join forces with CAG. Together, we are forming Africa’s undisputed leader in price comparison," said TopCheck founder, Thomas Pilar in a press release. TopCheck was founded by European entrepreneurs Christian Wiesner and Jose Figueiredo, as well as Thomas Pilar in 2014.recorded fast growth last year. Not only have they processed US$10-million in Gross...

  • TenaCiTi to enhance junior recruits for small businesses

    The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) in partnership with #CoCreateSA, an initiative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, have launched their second TenaCiTi programme. The programme aims to improve small businesses by providing junior recruits with sufficient training to up their skills, such as such as time management and planning. This upskilling looks to allow the trainees to become more productive staff to aid in sustaining the business. TenaCiTi also aims to build an enabling relationship between the entrepreneur and their junior recruit by improving the existing HR department. HR consulting firm, LaytonMelville will be responsible for hosting intervention sessions between the entrepreneur and...

  • Startup Grind hosts Yoco’s Katlego Maphai

    Last month, Startup Grind kicked off the year by hosting Lean Iterator co-founders David Campey and Roger Norton. Their latest event, which took place on Monday night, saw Yoco's CEO and co-founder, Katlego Maphai take the stage.  Startup Grind Global Conference In welcoming the crowd, Startup Grind's global community director, Guillaume De Smedt spoke about the Global Conference happening earlier this year in Silicon Valley. "This conference is where over 5000 entrepreneurs from over the world will be congregating to listen to some of the best entrepreneurs in the world," said De Smedt. With tickets being priced at US$500 and US$600 per head, the lineup is promised...

  • Xero’s Gary Turner: Say goodbye to late payments

    Ventureburn recently caught up with Xero's Gary Turner, so we got the chance to speak about one of the underlying threats to small businesses -- late payments. "One of the biggest threats small businesses face is getting money through the door, I'm sure that it won’t always be the problem. We did some research to see how that plays out versus any of the other countries. The bad news is that it's just as bad here as it is everywhere else," said Turner. Their research was conducted through Frontline and looked at 500 businesses across SA (to represent local figures only). What...