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All posts by Stephen Timm: Editor

  • Joburg hub Blockstarters on hunt for $450k to assist blockchain startups

    Newly launched Joburg hub Blockstarters is looking to raise $450 000 to help fund business support services for at least eight blockchain startups, the hub's CEO Kreaan Singh revealed today. The hub officially launched on 5 June and is currently assisting seven blockchain startups, including Zimbabwean crypto exchange Golix -- which last month told Zimbabwean customers that they would not be able to use the exchange to draw currency like US dollars or Euros (see the story here). Speaking to Ventureburn today, Singh confirmed that corporate companies are among those the hub has so far approached to raise the funding which would cover mentorship as well as technical...

  • Startups, looking for money? Don’t try Michael Jordaan he’s now fully invested

    If you're looking for funding from venture capitalist and former FNB head Michael Jordaan you are probably too late. Last month in a blog post of no more than 10 words Jordaan announced that his venture capital firm Montegray Capital is now full invested. "We’re now fully invested – no more applications please." Jordaan told Ventureburn in an email today that the funds are all from the Jordaan family. "For understandable reasons we are not disclosing the amounts but in most cases these were small investments appropriate for businesses with an operating track record of two years or less," he said. Michael Jordaan says...

  • Advice from four SA tech entrepreneurs behind biggest deals of 2018 so far [Digital All Stars]

    We're nearly six months into 2018 and already South Africa has seen some big deals and acquisitions in the tech sector. It's not just Uber Eats' acquisition of orderTalk -- a tech company that was founded in South Africa, before being relocated to the US (see this story and this one) -- that is getting startups and entrepreneurs to pop corks off champagne bottles. There are a whole number of other deals to celebrate too -- like the investment that Cape Town based mobile software firm wiGroup secured from the Richard Branson's Virgin Group earlier this year -- or an investment worth tens of millions of rands in SA...

  • Simon Dingle sees crptocurrency as shaping new economic order [Extract]

    Money, argues SA investor and speaker Simon Dingle who has been designing crypocurrencies since 2011, is perhaps the most important human invention after language. But who really owns it -- you or the banks? In this extract from his latest book In maths we trust: The future of money released earlier this year, Dingle paints a vision of a future where people themselves are able to control and store their own wealth using digital money such as bitcoin or Ethereum. The new economic order The future economy is one in which money flows in and out of your world seamlessly without the friction of banking infrastructure...

  • SA man’s UK-based fintech nets ‘good interest’ in £15m pre-sale – BVNK official [Updated]

    A UK-based fintech -- that allows consumers to buy, store and use cryptocurrency and which was founded by South African Kyle Redelinghuys -- received "good" initial interest from users in a pre-sale that kicked off in May, says a top official at startup BVNK. The pre-sale aims to raise £15-million*. "We haven’t raised any significant amounts through these users as (we) have been focusing on private deals to lead the pre-sale. Once these deals are concluded we will focus on the public sale," BVNK head of business development, Kyle Hauptfleisch, told Ventureburn in an email last Friday (8 June). The platform -- founded by Redelinghuys (pictured above), a former...

  • Ahead of new deal Clifftop Colony head speaks on portfolio’s performance [Q&A]

    Clifftop Ventures, the venture investment arm of financial firm Clifftop Colony, is expected to announce its fourth deal, an official at the company confirmed today. Clifftop Colony corporate financial analyst Christoff Fernhout said the term sheets for the deal had been finalised and that the company is expected to make an announcement of the deal next week. In March Clifftop Colony CEO Oliver Drews said the investment company had earmarked a fourth investment, "like Wyzetalk a seed investment", and had spent the last "six months or so" getting to know the founders team and refine the business model together with them. Read more: With Zuma gone, investor interest has picked up...

  • SA crowdfunding site The People’s Fund in first payout of R43k to 42 investors

    Ten months after launching, Johannesburg based crowdfunding platform The People’s Fund has made its first payout of R43 800 to 42 investors who earlier this year invested a total of R219 000 in a Bloemfontein based internet company, MySurfer. The People's Fund is an initiative of three companies -- entrepreneurship networking organisation the Hookup Dinner, BrownSense which runs a monthly market in Midrand for black businesses and digital marketing company Payback. Speaking to Ventureburn yesterday, platform's co-founder Luyanda Jafta said it is the first of eight expected payments to MySurfer investors who invested in the campaign which ran from November last year to February. MySurfer provides...

  • SA fintech Bettr launches alpha version of ‘financial ecosystem’ at MoneyConf event [Updated]

    SA fintech startup Bettr has launched the alpha version of its community-built financial ecosystem today at the annual MoneyConf tech event in Dublin. Bettr -- which aims to go live in the final quarter of 2018 with its alternative banking service for everyday transactional use -- is one of only two South African fintechs to be invited to attend and pitch to heavy-weight investors at the event. The other SA startup that will attend is Johannesburg based cryptocurrency investment platform BitFund. On its website, Bettr claims it will offer a low cost account and app powered by a debit card. "It works like a bank, but with additional features...

  • Google opens applications for its second class of Launchpad Africa accelerator

    Google has opened applications for the second class of its Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme. The programme will now take applications from an additional 12 African countries -- to add to the six that it took applications from in the first class. The announcement was made by Google last Friday (8 June) in Lagos during the graduation of the first 12 startups from its first three-month programme. Applications for class 2 close on 8 July. The 12 new countries from which Google is accepting applications from are: Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Cameroon, Botswana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire and Algeria. The 12 startups from Google's first Launchpad Africa cohort...

  • Burn Media to embark on aggressive growth after deal to go solo – Buckland

    The Burn Media Group, a media stable with publications that include Ventureburn and Memeburn, has broken away from M&C Saatchi Abel's digital agency Creative Spark and has embarked upon a new "aggressive" growth curve, says Burn Media's founder Matthew Buckland. Buckland, the former CEO and founder of Creative Spark, this week announced the conclusion of a deal with M&C Saatchi Abel and the formation of Burn Media Group -- an independent digital media company. The deal with advertising company M&C Saatchi Abel was concluded on Monday (4 June). It follows Buckland's exit in April from Creative Spark  -- the company he founded in 2010 and which he subsequently sold...

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