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All posts by Staff Reporter

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [30/07/2018]

    As July draws to an end, the Department of Higher Education and Training is hosting the first of its nationwide Student Entrepreneurship Week events at Wits University in Johannesburg. The initiative, which kicks off today (30 July), encourages the youth to explore entrepreneurship rather than relying on formal employment. MEST Africa will explore crowdfunding tomorrow (31 July) in Cape Town with Catherine Du Ploy and Justene Josias. If you're in Zambia, you'll want to listen to ALU Education's Tolu Agunbiade as she talks about the ups and downs of starting and growing an African startup. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights...

  • Kenyan B2B ecommerce platform Sokowatch raises $2m in seed funding

    Nairobi based B2B ecommerce platform Sokowatch has reportedly raised $2-million in a seed round led by Africa-focused early stage venture firm 4Dx Ventures. The investment was first reported by US tech publication TechCrunch yesterday (26 July). Four other venture capital firms: Lynett Capital, Golden Palm Investments, Outlierz Ventures and Village Global were reportedly involved in the round. We are pleased to announce our investment in @Sokowatch. Through #Sokowatch, we establish a platform for multinational companies to partner with informal retailers and satisfy the demands of the African consumer. We wish the #Sokowatch team success. https://t.co/ncYn8OWlRc — Golden Palm VC (@GoldenPalmVC) July 26, 2018 Sokowatch -- which was founded in 2013 by CEO Daniel Yu and COO Josh Middleman -- enables...

  • MTN Women in ICT awards to help close gender gap, recognise top achievers

    Telco giant MTN is looking to help close the gender gap and recognise top achievers with the third edition of its MTN Women in ICT Awards. Nominations close on 12 August. The awards, which are spread out across nine categories, will also aim to celebrate and acknowledge tech innovators and women entrepreneurs running ICT businesses. In a statement yesterday (25 July), MTN South Africa executive for corporate affairs Jacqui O'Sullivan said the telco believes that gender diversity is crucial to growth in the ICT sector and that the company is committed to help drive the change. The MTN Women in ICT awards aim to...

  • Energy startups can win €15k in second edition of EDF Pulse Africa Awards

    French energy company EDF Energy is offering a €15 000 grand prize to the first place winner of the second edition of its EDF Pulse Africa Award. Entries close next week Wednesday (1 August). The EDF Pulse Africa award is aimed at African energy startups with innovative solutions around off-grid electricity production, electricity services and usage, and water access. Those startups that place come second and third will take home €10 000 and €5 000, respectively. In addition, the top three winners stand to benefit from access to further funding and possible development partnerships with EDF Group companies in Africa. The EDF Pulse Africa Award is aimed...

  • Kenyan fintech Tulaa closes $627k seed round led by AHL Ventures Partners

    Nairobi-based fintech platform Tulaa has closed a $627 000 seed round led by Canadian impact investor AHL Venture Partners. Tulaa, which was founded by CEO Hillary Miller-Wise in July last year, provides smallholder farmers in Kenya with access to inputs, credit and markets. The startup announced the investment yesterday in a statement on LinkedIn. The seed funding will be used to bankroll Tulaa's expansion in Kenya. In addition the capital will also finance the further development of the startup's tech platform which leverages mobile technology and artificial intelligence to enable farmers to purchase inputs on credit and to market their crops efficiently at harvest time. Tulaa provides small holder...

  • Kenyan startup wins $50k grand prize in Visa Everywhere Initiative

    Digital payments company Visa has selected Kenyan startup Mookh Africa as the overall winner of the inaugural edition of the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Everywhere Initiative. Visa's Everywhere Initiative is a global innovation programme that aims to encourage startups to develop "the next big thing" in payments. Applicants from the region were tasked with solving for merchant payments, social business payments and financial inclusion. Mookh Africa -- which came out tops in the social business payments challenge -- beat 11 other finalists who were selected from 238 submissions to win the $50 000 grand prize and an opportunity to collaborate with Visa. Founded in 2015,...

  • Andela partners with Rwandan govt to launch pan-African tech hub in Kigali

    Andela, a talent accelerator that trains software developers and pairs them with top employers around the world, has announced that it is partnering with the Rwanda Development Board to launch a pan-African tech hub in Kigali. In a statement yesterday (24 July) Andela announced that it would launch the hub later this year in December. The New York based company stated that it had selected Kigali to host its first-pan African hub because of its strong existing infrastructure and ease of access for developers across the continent. Andela's first pan-African hub will open in Kigali, Rwanda later on this year in December Andela...

  • Silicon Valley VC model doesn’t work in Africa, argues Silvertree Holdings man

    The Silicon Valley venture capital (VC) model doesn’t work in Africa and other emerging markets, argues Manuel Koser, the managing director and co-founder of Silvertree Internet Holdings. The funder likes to refer to itself as a "investment growth partner" holding stakes for a longer period in those it invests in than your traditional seven to eight years that most VC funds do. The fund counts Pricecheck.co.za, CompareGuru.co.za, Petheaven.co.za, Faithful-to-nature.co.za, Cybercellar.com, aumax.co, Ucook.co.za and CarZar.co.za among its investments. Koser's latest remarks -- made in an emailed article to Ventureburn -- follow those made in November last year by co-founder Paul Cook. Cook at the time charged...

  • New market maps uncover over 50 startups, companies in SA healthtech

    With advances in technology thanks largely to the uptake in smart phones, South Africa's health-care sector is ripe for disruption, says Alex Fraser, head of Fraser Consulting and partnerships. Fraser -- who is also the ecosystem advisor for startup support organisation mLab -- made the comments yesterday in a statement to announce the unveiling of two market maps (see below images) she helped developed for the reHealthAfrica project to help investors, startups and corporates to better understand the opportunities in the local healthtech sector. 'The market maps are designed to give people a quick, broad overview of who else is the space and what they are doing' ReHealthAfrica...

  • Wits aeronautical engineers win $10 000 prize in travel innovation challenge

    Three Wits aeronautical engineering students Jules Ntumba, Tso Mello and Fiona Ndlovu have clinched a $10 000 prize in a travel innovation challenge run by UK-based SITA Air Transport Community Foundation. The foundation made the announcement yesterday (23 July). The travel innovation challenge was launched earlier this year together with Johannesburg-based hub Tshimologong Precinct and Wits University. It aimed to get innovators to come up with information, tools or technology that first-time air travellers on the continent would need to make their journeys easy, successful and enjoyable. Finalists were judged on originality, target audience, solutions, and their presentations. Going by the name "Team One Exceptional", the winning...