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All posts by Mich Atagana

  • Uber is bringing its enterprise-like offering to Africa, meet Uber for Business

    Uber is shaking things up with its latest offering Uber for Business. The enterprise space is hotly contested right now and everyone's favourite private driver is digging in for its share. According to the service, it wants to assist businesses with very mobile employees. How? By assisting business travelers to "move with ease and get where they need to go". The new enterprise offering was launched earlier this year in parts of North America and Europe. Uber says that since the launch it has seen "Uber for Business" trips take place in more than 120 cities across 35...

  • Grim start to Dragons’ Den SA: six pitches, one investment

    Okay South Africa, Dragons' Den is here. "In the Den, sometimes dreams are made and sometimes hopes are dashed," said show host Xolani Gwala as he introduced the audience to the first episode of SA's version of the popular UK pitching show. The rules of the Den are simple: entrepreneurs have three minutes to pitch and the Dragons interrogate them. They have to get the full amount requested or leave empty handed. Tough crowd, no? We have already met the Dragons and we have told you why entering the show is at your own peril. But with these pieces, which...

  • Disrupt everything: 11 exciting Kenyan startups worth your time right now

    We love Kenya. So much so that we recently headed to the East African country for some fun times with startups. Ahead of the trip, we thought we would list some noteworthy startups. How do you pick 11 great startups to write about? You reach out to the community. And the community delivered. By no means is this the definite list of Kenyan startups, but these are ones our community loves. Kenya has long been at the forefront of tech innovation in Africa and we are excited to get more involved in that community, so please tell us which startups you...

  • 22seven now officially free for everyone

    Yup, you heard right. Money management platform 22seven is now free, according to an email from founder Christo Davel. The move to take the platform free will start today. "We’ll no longer charge a subscription fee for the current service," the email to users reads. The platform has been slowly moving toward making the service free since its inception. Previously users were charged R70 a month to access its money management system but this was later reduced to R25. "We’re doing this because we have great plans," Davel adds in the mail. According to Davel, 22seven is great at helping people manage their...

  • CcHub Nigeria launches $500K seed funding for its pre-incubation startups

    Nigeria's Co-creation Hub (ccHub) is kicking things up for the next two years with the launch of a US$500 000 seed fund to support early stage startups. Located in Lagos' up-and-coming tech neighbourhood, ccHub is a social innovation centre dedicated to providing a space and accelerating tech startups. "We leverage a community of progressives -- software developers, organizations, government officials, businesses, academics who bring their creativity and knowledge into play in crafting novel ways to address the myriads of social and economic challenges that impact the lives of Nigerians every day," says the hub. This new fund will be disrupted...

  • More than just words: Dragons’ Den judge interview sparks serious Twitter debate on SA startup space

    A war of words seems to have broken out on Twitter following the publication of our interview with entrepreneur Vinny Lingham yesterday. Lingham will be appearing as one of the dragons in South Africa's version of the popular entrepreneur pitching show, Dragons' Den. In our interview, Lingham stated that he felt "very few people" in the South African tech investment landscape understood technology and how to go about making worthwhile investments in the sector. Lingham's comments, which were made largely on the back of his Dragons' Den experience, talked about the number of successful exits and the disconnect between wealthy...

  • [Exclusive] Fresh off the Dragons’ Den set: Ventureburn chats to Vinny Lingham

    The announcement of the judges for the South African version of Dragons' Den was pretty much the headline news of the week in the country's entrepreneurial space. The show is set to air in South Africa in the coming months, with 13 episodes of startups pitching to the Dragons for investment. One said Dragon, Vinny Lingham, of Yola and Gyft fame, popped round Ventureburn’s Woodstock offices in the Silicon Cape for an interview. Lingham was very hush-hush about any of the show's secrets or the amount of money that was invested. Despite much prompting, he refused to budge. "Over 10-million?" I...

  • Grindstone reports 61% increase in revenue for all its companies

    A little more than a year ago, I had breakfast with Keet Van Zyl, from Knife Capital. He told me he was about to launch an accelerator programme for "scale-up" companies. My response: "Oh dear, not another one". Knife Capital is a Southern African growth equity fund manager and advisor that focuses on innovation-driven ventures with proven traction. What the company wanted to do was prove that growth could be engineered through its Grindstone accelerator programme -- an entrepreneurial leadership academy of some sort. A couple for months later, the programme launched and the company selection programme began. I chatted to Andrea...

  • The UN and Microsoft want to empower 200K Ethiopian entrepreneurs

    There is no denying that Africa, and East Africa in particular, is currently buzzing with entrepreneurial activity. Adding to the buzz, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has signed a collaborative agreement with Microsoft East Africa Limited to grow entrepreneurship in the region. The agreement sees Microsoft providing training and mentorship services to Ethiopia’s UNDP supported Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) for 200 000 entrepreneurs. These services fall under Microsoft's flagship entrepreneurship programme in Africa, the 4Afrika Initiative. The initiative looks at helping African entrepreneurs accelerate their economic development as well as improve the continent's global competitiveness. "Microsoft brings this...

  • Media24 launches Efinity, its ecommerce fulfillment service

    We are all gaga for online shopping. It's true, South Africa's ecommerce space is currently growing at a rate of 30% annually and is projected to grow even faster as barriers to entry drop. Armed with this information, the tinkerers at Media24 eCommerce -- a division of Media24 -- today announced the launch of Efinity an ecommerce fulfillment service. According to the company, the service integrates with a retailers ecommerce site. This move makes perfect sense for a company like Media24 and an inevitable outcome. Publishers with inbuilt ecommerce in their site are already a step ahead of the curve...