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All posts by Stephen Timm: Editor

  • Cape Town startup Digemy inks deal with pharma company after R2m funding

    Cape Town Startup Digemy has signed an international pharmaceutical company as a client for their white label training app, the startup's co-founder and CEO Kobus Louw said today. The agreement, which Louw said was concluded earlier this month, follows R2-million in funding the startup received in February from Greenwold Capital (which ordinarily invests in real estate) in return for a 25% stake in the company. The startup is based in the city's Durbanville suburb and was launched in November last year by Louw (pictured above, left) -- a former credit risk specialist -- and tech entrepreneur Carl Wallace (pictured above, right). Wallace runs two tech companies at present --...

  • Google drops $50 000 grant for Launchpad Accelerator for fifth cohort

    Google has dropped a $50 000 grant for each startup selected for its fifth Launchpad Accelerator, which starts next month, the programme's manager Josh Yellin revealed yesterday. The programme targets growth stage tech startups and 24 startups will embark on a bootcamp on 29 January 2018 (see the names here). Talking to Ventureburn in Warsaw, Poland during a graduation ceremony for the programme's four cohort (see the list of participants from the fourth cohort here), Yellen said the tech giant aims to reinvest the $50 000 per selected startup (totaling $1.2-million for the fifth cohort) back into the programme to cover the costs of startups attending conferences...

  • Watch these guys — here are the SA startups to look out for in 2018

    Tech startups that focus on solving problems using data analysis top Ventureburn's list for the 12 South African tech firms to watch in 2018 - be they transport, agriculture, transport, or finance. Fintech, will continue to be the hottest sector -- with half the startups on the list hailing from the sector. The list also includes two startups using cryptocurrency as part of their solution. Aerobotics is definitely a startup to watch. This Cape Town based aerial data analytics platform provides analytics for drone users (mainly in the agricultural sector). In November Google revealed that the startup was one of 24 selected to join the fifth...

  • I believe South Africa will sort itself out, says UK angel invested in country

    While many other investors may have been frightened off by South Africa's unstable economic and political environment, UK angel investor Kevin Gaskell says he believes in the country. "I like South Africa. And I believe South Africa will sort itself out," says Gaskell. "I have faith in the long-term." While he admits that he hasn't realised any returns yet on the three South African tech firms he has invested in since 2012, he reckons the country is a good investment bet. "I'd say keep looking at South Africa because it's a thriving centre for technology, there are some good companies around. But you've just got to be...

  • Slow Bitcoin transaction times mean it won’t replace cash – foundation head

    If you thought Bitcoin will rapidly replace cash, think again, says Bitcoin Foundation executive director Llew Claasen. High transaction fees and long confirmation times from the Blockchain will make it difficult to replace cash with the cryptocurrency, said Claasen, while speaking at a Startup Grind Cape Town event last Thursday. “So you’re kind of looking at between 10 and 30 minutes before the transaction cannot be cancelled or reversed," he pointed out. In addition the Bitcoin network can only handle four transactions per second, versus seven on the Ethereum network and 25 000 on the Visa network. There’s no way to stop Bitcoin and that’s not a bad...

  • Bitcoin price mania being driven by market manipulation – foundation head

    Bitcoin is heading towards a dot.com crash and is being driven by a "mania" and "market manipulation", says Bitcoin Foundation executive director Llew Claasen. "The fact that you have a 30% in value of Bitcoin in one day is dangerous," said Claasen yesterday, commenting on the rise of the price in Bitcoin yesterday (7 December). Speaking at Startup Grind event at Workshop 17 in Cape Town, he said there is strong evidence to suggest that some traders are using what he referred to as "tethers" -- a digital representation of the US dollar -- to push up the price of Bitcoin. Tethers were created by...

  • SA’s Wealth Migrate to launch $30m ICO aimed at global property

    South African based global real estate platform Wealth Migrate plans to run an initial coin offering (ICO) early next year, to raise $30-million in an offering that will allow investors to invest in global property portfolios. Speaking to Ventureburn yesterday, the company's founder and CEO Scott Picken said the ICO will allow investors to build "real wealth". "People are getting tired of ICOs with wasteful dreams and want it (the tokens) to backed by something tangible," he said. Picken wasn't able to confirm a date when the ICO will open to investors, but was able to say that the ICO will be run through a...

  • Here are the 40 Gazelles that aim to take a leap in Seda programme’s 2nd cohort

    A company that sources high quality foam and rubber component, a charcoal and briquettes manufacturer, a farming co-operative and a corporate shuttle service -- these are just four of the 40 participants in the second cohort of the South African government's National Gazelles programme. The programme, which is run by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), aims is to grow the value of each of the 40 participating small businesses by 20% over the next three years. The names were announced by Small business development Minister Lindiwe Zulu on Friday (1 December) -- about five months after the second cohort kicked off in June. It...

  • Q&A: So you want to run an ICO? Just make sure you have a cool R1m at hand

    Okay, so you want to raise millions of dollars through an initial coin offering (ICO)? It seems easy enough, with literally thousands of ICOs being run each month. Not quite, says Llew Morkel. His startup Prosperiprop may have raised "over $200 000" in an ICO which closed last week (30 November), but it didn't come easy. "An ICO can set you back R1-million before you have sold a single token. And there is no guarantee of success," says Morkel. In a wide ranging Q&A with Ventureburn, Morkel outlines what South African entrepreneurs specifically (but not exclusively) should know about in preparing to run an...

  • Being an entrepreneur means knowing yourself – Alan Knott-Craig [Extract]

    No one need tell you that to succeed as an entrepreneur is hard work. What many don't tell you is that it takes an acute sense of knowing yourself to succeed where many others have failed. In fact failure may just be part of the process. In this fifth extract from his new book, tech entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig Junior details how entrepreneurs can go about improving their self-awareness. With permission from Knott-Craig — the founder of Project Isizwe and former Mxit head — Ventureburn is serialising parts of the entrepreneur’s new self-published book 13 Rules for Being an Entrepreneur which is now available via his website http://bigalmanack.com. Ventureburn made five...