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All posts by Matthew Alexander

  • Geeks on a Plane dinner details SA startup ecosystem

    The Geeks on a Plane (GOAP) dinner hosted by Wesgro and Silicon Cape provided many insights into the investment landscape in SA and Africa. The dinner also consisted of a panel discussion with Zoona's CFO, Keith Davis and investors Monica Brand Engel of Quona Capital and co-founder and CEO of Rippleworks, Dough Galen. Speaking at the dinner, was co-founder of Silicon Cape and 4Di Capital, Justin Stanford who spoke on his experience in Silicon Valley and his reason for starting Silicon Cape. He explained to the GOAP cohort and other attendees that his main takeaway from his time in the Valley was...

  • Lidya closes US$1.25-million in Seed Funding

    Fintech platform Lidya has closed a seed funding round of USD$1.25-million, being led by Accion Venture Lab, the company announced. Newid Capital were among several other investors also responsible for contributing to the funding round. The seed stage investment is an Accion initiative which invests capital in innovative fintech startups that either reduce the cost of financial services or improves the quality of financial services for the underserved. "This round of funding and backing from our world-class group of investors is a strong validation of the potential of fintech in Africa and will position the company to be the go-to source of financing for entrepreneurs looking...

  • Hepstar heads to Silicon Valley Plug and Play accelerator

    Cape Town based travel technology startup, Hepstar has been selected to participate in Silicon Valley's Plug and Play accelerator hosted by the Plug and Play Tech Center. The accelerator, which connects various startups to suitable investors as well as invests in over 100 companies every year, made the announcement last month. The company's portfolio includes major companies such as PayPal, Dropbox and Skytree. Hepstar was among the top 20 participants handpicked for the accelerator from more than 1000 global applicants. The company places a strong emphasis on data analytics, e-merchandising, machine-learning and personalisation. "We are really excited about this opportunity. With partners like Turkish Airlines, Carlson Wagolit,...

  • Wirecard AG acquires MyGate Communications

    Payments solution Wirecard has acquired 100% of payment service provider MyGate's shares. "Over the last couple of years we had quite a few companies wanting to acquire MyGate. We were looking for the right payment partner that could help accelerate our strategy across Africa and when Wirecard approached us it became apparent very quickly that they were the perfect fit," said MyGate MD Dan Edmiston in an interview with Ventureburn. Edmiston also commented on whether or not core management staff would still be in place. "All of the management including myself are staying. Our staff are some of the most experienced online payment specialists in...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [3/04/2017]

    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...

  • VoguePay takes home the Best Fintech Startup Award

    Payment gateway VoguePay has walked away with the Best Fintech Startup Award at the sixth edition of the Cashless Africa Award 2017 presented by Mobile Money Africa. The event was held at the Ballroom Oriental Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria on 25 March. A number of African and global stakeholders in digital finance attended. VoguePay launched in 2012 with the aim of making online payments and cross-currency payments safer for businesses, traders as well as consumers. With offices in Lagos and the UK, VoguePay also serves clients in three other continents including North America, Europe and Asia. "The awards honour organisations that have made significant contributions to the digital...

  • Q&A: Google’s John Kimani on Launchpad Start

    Ventureburn had the opportunity to interview John Kimani, the Developer Relations Ecosystem Program Manager for East Africa and is responsible for looking after the Launchpad programme in Sub-Saharan Africa. "We work by providing startups with the in-person mentoring that they need to tackle critical challenges and enable each startup to grow or scale. We currently operate in 30 countries with over 600 mentors," said Kimani over email. "Startups can join a Launchpad activity through our partner network of startup organisations around the world, or at Launchpad Space in San Francisco," he continued. Launchpad Start Johannesburg, which is held in partnership with JoziHub,...

  • Geeks on a Plane: A night out in Cape Town

    Wesgro in partnership with Silicon Cape hosted The Geeks on a Plane dinner in Cape Town last night in honour of the participants of the initiative. The planned speakers for the evening consisted of the CEO of Wesgro, Tim Harris; director of Silicon Cape, Alexandra Fraser; MD of 4di Justin Stanford; CFO of Zoona, Keith Davis and investors Monica Brand Engel and Doug Galen. In Harris' opening remarks, he touched on the significance of what Geeks on a Plane is trying to achieve. "What you’ve done as geeks on a plane, is gone to see for yourself," referring to the misconceptions people usually...

  • Creditinfo Group, Alternative Circle join forces for financial inclusion

    Credit information and risk management solution Creditinfo, has signed a USD$1.1-million agreement with Nairobi-based mobile financial solution Alternative Circle, to facilitate financial inclusion within Africa. Creditinfo's seed capital and expertise in both classic and alternative credit risk management will allow Alternative Circle to access data that it otherwise couldn't. "Seeing the turn that the credit risk management industry has been taking during the past few years, we are being proactive in finding alternative ways to create data which can be added to the 'classic' historical data on consumers held via our credit bureaus all over the world," said the founder and CEO of Credit...

  • Camscorp launches Ventures Lab accelerator programme

    Private equity group Camscorp, has launched its Ventures Lab programme which aims to accelerate African businesses, helping them expand into foreign markets. "I am very humbled by the support from everyone who has been involved in bringing this programme to life," said Camscorp representative, Sean Ndiho Obedih in a Medium post. Ventures Lab is a three-month programme which will help businesses develop a sturdy product strong enough to create and deepen relationships with international investors. The programme will achieve its goals by providing business with mentorship, access to networks, as well as an investment readiness programme which concludes with a pitch day in London. Selected participants...