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All posts by Staff Reporter

  • Nigeria’s Wakanow secures $40m investment from The Carlyle Group

    In what is one of the biggest disclosed deals this year, Lagos-based online travel company Wakanow.com has secured a $40-million equity investment from US alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group. While the company is no longer a startup, it is none the less a further indication of how deals are hotting up in Nigeria. The country accounted for the second highest value in deals concluded this year -- after South Africa -- that Ventureburn reported on for companies of up to seven years old -- see this story). In a statement yesterday (20 December), The Carlyle Group said the investment came from...

  • Entries now open for Spring 2019 Westerwelle Young Founders Programme

    The Westerwelle Foundation, a German non-profit which aims to promote entrepreneurship and collaboration among innovators in emerging markets, has opened applications for its Spring 2019 Westerwelle Young Founders Programme. To be considered for the programme applicants must have in the last five years started a for-profit company with a scalable business model that has achieved a product-market fit. In addition, prospective applicants must ideally have secured their first external funding for their firm. The 25 entrepreneurs selected to join the programme will each receive six months of business mentorship in addition to a scholarship to attend the Young Founders Conference in Berlin, Germany...

  • Africa Development Bank approves $7.5m investment in Kenyan VC fund

    The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $7.5-million investment in Nairobi-based venture capital firm Africa Tech Ventures. In a statement on Tuesday (18 December) following the approval of the deal by the board, the AfDB said that the equity investment forms part of its Boost Africa Investment Programme -- a collaboration with the European Commission (EC) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). Africa Tech Ventures, which was founded in 2015 by Mairead Cahill and Eline Blaauboer, provides seed investment to early-stage companies that improve and facilitate access of essential goods and services to the underserved on the continent, while promoting inclusive growth. The...

  • Prize of $10k up for grabs for two startups in Seedstars Health Challenge

    Seedstars, the Swiss organisation that assists tech startups in emerging markets, has teamed up with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to identify innovative solutions to vaccine delivery and the malaria supply chain in Africa through the Seedstars Health Challenge.  The initiative  -- which was first announced at the Seedstars Africa Summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania last Thursday (13 December) -- entails two separate challenges, namely the Vaccine Delivery Challenge and the Malaria Challenge.  Two selected startups -- one from each challenge -- will be each awarded with a $10 000 prize at the Seedstars Global Summit in Switzerland in April next year. Applications...

  • Endeavor selects eight African entrepreneurs to join organisation

    Endeavor, a non-profit organisation that supports high-impact entrepreneurs around the world, has selected eight African entrepreneurs to join the prestiguous organisation. The selection was made at Endeavor's 84th International Selection Panel held in Stellenbosch from last Tuesday (11 December) to last Thursday (13 December). At the event 25 entrepreneurs in all, leading 18 companies in 15 markets were selected to join Endeavor. The selection follows a rigorous multi-step process to identify innovative and driven entrepreneurs who are committed to advancing an ecosystem of entrepreneurship. The African entrepreneurs selected at Endeavor's 84th International Selection Panel hail from four countries, namely Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa...

  • Startups stand to win up to £15k in prizes in UK’s Accel Awards 2019

    African entrepreneurs and startups stand to win £15 000 in prizes as well as a fully sponsored trip to London in the London Business School's Africa Club Accel Awards 2019. The awards are an annual startup contest organised by the Africa Club in collaboration with the club's alumni, FTSE 100 companies, venture capital (VC) firms and entrepreneurship incubators. Entries close on 31 January. By entering the awards, African entrepreneurs stand to gain global exposure,as well as access to international business mentorship from talent at the London Business School and its partner firms. The Accel Awards top three finalists will receive £15k in...

  • Six African startups selected for GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund

    Six African startups have been selected for the third cohort of the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund. The names of the six companies were announced last Wednesday (12 December) in a post by GSMA's Mobile for Development Utilities and Ecosystem Accelerator head Max Cuvellier, along with those of five other startups -- from Indonesia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Sri Lanka. The African startups hail from Benin, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Kenya and Ghana. The six are: agritech and mobile financial services startup AgroCenta, Ivorian mobile-supported plastic recycling solution Coliba, Yaounde-based healthtech GiftedMom, edtech Eneza Education, medical identity solution KEA...

  • SA fintech startup takes second place at Techcrunch Startup Battlefield Africa

    Ahead of its expected launch to market next year, SA fintech startup Bettr last week scored a major victory -- by being placed second at TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa. The event -- which was held in Lagos, Nigeria last Tuesday (11 December) -- saw 15 startups square off against each other in a pitching session (see this Techcrunch story for more). The pitch was won by Ugandan startup M-SCAN who took home a $25 000 equity-free cash prize and a trip for two to TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco 2019. M-SCAN has invented a mobile ultrasound that is portable and compatible with basic devices, including a...

  • PIC, UIF partner to launch R2bn fund for startup companies in SA

    The SA government on Friday (14 December) launched a R2-billion fund to help small business startups that create jobs and contribute towards the growth and development of the economy. SANews reported on Friday that fund is part of the Project Development Partnership Fund (PDP) -- established through a joint venture between the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), an entity of the Department of Labour. While the fund won't exclusively be aimed at tech startups, but rather at all small business startups in general, the Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant (pictured above) revealed that the fund will invest...

  • Gauteng’s Innovation Hub gets new head

    Pieter Holl is the new CEO of Gauteng government's Innovation Hub. Holl, who was officially appointed last month, replaces McLean Sibanda and was the Acting CEO from June to last month. In a statement last month, the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency and members of the Innovation Hub's board, welcomed Holl into his new position.   Prior to joining The Innovation Hub, Holl was the deputy director-general responsible for business regulation and governance at the Gauteng Department of Economic Development, a position he held for eight year. Before joining The Innovation Hub, Holl was the deputy director-general responsible for business regulation and...

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