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All posts by Staff Reporter

  • Applications open for Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme

    Lagos-based non-profit the Tony Elumelu Foundation has opened applications for this year's edition of its eponymous Entrepreneurship Programme. The programme is open to African entrepreneurs with businesses that are less than three years old. Applications will close on 1 March. Those selected for the programme stand to benefit from $5000 in seed capital, business training, mentorship as well as access to other African entrepreneurs as well as the foundation's global networks. Applications for the 2019 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme will close on 1 March Applications will be judged on feasibility of the business idea, market opportunity, financial understanding, scalability, leadership potential, as...

  • Here’s why you should consider attending this year’s Africa Tech Summit Kigali

    With more than 100 expert speakers, over 400 corporate decision makers and 20 breakout sessions, this year's Africa Tech Summit Kigali -- which takes place in the Rwandan capital between 13 and 15 February -- is shaping up to be one of the biggest tech events to take place on the continent. This year's edition, the second of its kind, has been split into three tracks, namely the Future Summit, Africa Startup Summit and the Creative Summit. This new format is a departure from the setup of last year's edition which only had one track aimed solely at tech startups. Africa Tech...

  • Eight SA startups to look out for in 2019

    A number of tech startups hit the headlines this year. Ventureburn has picked eight that we think readers should follow closely in 2019. They include SA's soon-to-be first app-based bank, several fintech companies, a former Seedstars World competition winner and a data analytics startup that uses drones.  Here then are Ventureburn's eight SA startups to watch out for in 2019: Bank Zero has yet to launch and has already made the news several times this year. Venture capitalist and former FNB CEO Michael Jordaan’s new app-based plans to begin beta testing in the first quarter of 2019, before launching to the public in mid-2019,...

  • These will be Africa’s biggest tech innovation city projects when completed

    Can a tech innovation city or digital innovation precinct stimulate and encourage innovation? A number of African countries appear to think so and have invested tons of money in these multi-million dollar projects. Last month Rwandan daily The New Times reported that pan-African infrastructure investment firm Africa50 will invest $400-million in Kigali Innovation City, which forms part of the government’s Vision 2020 and National Strategy for Transformation 2017-2024. The $2-billion project will be located in Rwanda's capital Kigali and the tech hub is set to accommodate tech firms, universities, biotech companies as well as both commercial and retail properties. The development -- which sits...

  • JUMO’s $12.5m deal from UK investor, brings funding raised to $64.5m in 2018

    In a further sign that fintech startup JUMO will again be a company to watch in 2019, the Mauritius-registered mobile financial services platform earlier this month announced it had clinched a further $12.5-million in an investment from UK based Odey Asset Management. The announcement was made on 13 December. The investment is in addition to a $52-million equity funding round that startup -- founded by South African Andrew Watkins-Ball (pictured above) in 2014 -- closed in September this year -- bringing the total it has raised in funding this year to a whopping $64.5-million. The earlier $52 million round was concluded with...

  • 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...

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