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All posts by Stephen Timm: Editor

  • Stop misrepresenting us as Shopin investor unicorn ZocDoc tells Eran Eyal

    US medical platform ZocDoc is demanding that SA entrepreneur Eran Eyal -- who faces fraud charges in the US -- immediately stop claiming that the billion-dollar company is an investor in his startup Shopin. Eyal today however  denied that he had misrepresented the medical platform. Eyal (pictured above) was charged in August by the New York Attorney General with allegedly stealing $600,000 from investors by fraudulently soliciting investors to purchase convertible notes through false representations of his company, Springleap. If convicted of the top count charged, he faces up to 15 years in prison. He is due to appear in court this Wednesday (24 October). In...

  • Five agritech startups that aim to take Africa into greener pastures

    If Africa is to foster more efficient growth, agriculture technology (or agritech) is likely to have an increasing role to play. Already a number of startups across the continent are getting stuck in developing tech solutions to help boost the sector. The agriculture sector employs over two thirds of the work force and contributes over third of gross domestic product according to the World Bank, in a recent report (opens as a PDF). Here then are five agritech startups which already show some promise: AgroCenta Ghanaian agritech startup AgroCenta is an online sales platform started in 2015 by Michael Ocansey and Francis Obirikorang (pictured above). It connects smallholder farmers directly to an...

  • Twiga Foods pilot to put more farm land to use to meet demand [Sponsored]

    Kenyan mobile-based B2B distribution platform Twiga Foods wants to put about 8000 acres of unused agricultural land in Kenya to use to meet growing demand for its platform -- which connects vendors with fresh produce farmers -- the startup's CEO Grant Brooke said today. Brooke (pictured above, right) was responding to questions by venture capitalist Christopher Schroeder of Next Billion Ventures, at Gitex Future Stars, an expo hosted in Dubai alongside Gitex Technology Week. Brooke said while his platform currently serves 2000 informal vendors a day, meeting demand for the traders that source fresh produce from the platform to then retail, still remains a challenge. On top of this the country imports between $6-billion and...

  • African startups hunt for investment at Gitex Future Stars [Sponsored]

    Rendani Nevhulaudzi is looking to take on Google Chrome with Ovuwa, Africa's newest search engine. All he needs is a cool $1-million, he says. His is one of about 40 African tech startups seeking investment at Gitex Future Stars expo in Dubai. The tech expo and conference kicked off yesterday at the city's Dubai World Trade Centre and runs until Wednesday (17 October) alongside Gitex Technology Week. Thousands of visitors -- many of whom are likely to include investors -- are expected to attend. In all about 500 startups are listed as exhibitors on Gitex Future Stars' website -- the bulk of these are...

  • Eran Eyal lied about existence of Springleap advisory board – UK investor

    A UK angel investor says Springleap founder Eran Eyal, who faces fraud charges in the US, misrepresented him as the chairman of an advisory board which the investor claims "never existed". The SA entrepreneur was charged on 24 August by the New York Attorney General with allegedly stealing $600,000 from investors by fraudulently soliciting investors to purchase convertible notes through false representations of his company, Springleap. If convicted of the top count charged, he faces up to 15 years in prison. Eyal is due in court again on 24 October -- after appearing on 11 September when he posted bail of $500 000, after spending three...

  • SA startup Centbee launches app to send bitcoin cash to contacts on your phone

    SA bitcoin wallet provider Centbee yesterday announced the launch of the beta version of a bitcoin cash wallet that makes it easy to send bitcoin cash to friends. Centbee allows global consumers to acquire, hold and spend Bitcoin with retailers and other merchants. The Centbee wallet is now available in the Google Play Store and the App Store. The wallet provides access to bitcoin cash (BCH) which is an upgraded version of Bitcoin (BTC), the legacy cryptocurrency. The news follows Centbee's announcement in January that the startup had received an undisclosed amount in equity investment from blockchain research and development firm nChain Group. At the time the startup said...

  • I am well known to be fake ICO adviser – Vinny Lingham on misrepresentation

    Silicon Valley based SA entrepreneur Vinny Lingham says he has lost track of the number of times he has appeared on initial coin offerings (ICOs) as a fake adviser. "I am well known to be a fake adviser," said Lingham, adding that one Canadian company recently raised $200-million using his name as an adviser. Last month Lingham revealed that fellow South African Eran Eyal, who faces fraud charges in the US, “fraudulently misrepresented” him by claiming that he was an adviser to his startup Shopin. Read more: Springleap’s Eran Eyal misrepresented me as Shopin adviser – Vinny Lingham On Monday (1 October) Lingham again commented on what he...

  • SA startup Tastepal selected for International World Summit Awards

    Johannesburg based food ordering startup tastePal has been nominated as best national digital solution for South Africa for the international World Summit Awards (WSA). The awards are a global initiative run within the framework of the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The event aims to select digital innovation that is making a positive impact on society. There are eight categories and tastePal -- which allows employees to, via an app, order and make a direct payment to their corporate staff canteen to eliminate lunch queues -- was nominated along with about 60 other businesses worldwide, in the business and commerce category. In all, tastePal joins over 400...

  • Will growth of property tech signal the death of the estate agent?

    Property tech is hotting up. But does the rise of online real-estate platforms mean the death of the cornerstone of the sector -- estate agents? Earlier this month online estate agency PropertyFox announced that it had acquired fellow Cape Town based property platform Steeple for an undisclosed sum. It follows the announcement last month by Pam Golding Properties that it had acquired low commission agency Eazi.com. The rise of property tech in South Africa follows the sector's growth in the US. In April US tech publication Techcrunch reported that real estate platform Zillow had launched a new strategy of buying and selling homes directly to users. This, while online real-estate company Opendoor claimed in June to be valued at...

  • Entrepreneur who heads Innovation Prize for Africa jailed, event postponed

    Swiss Angolan entrepreneur Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais -- the founder of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) -- has been jailed in Angola and the organisation's annual prize-giving event -- which was due to be held next month in Rwanda -- has been postponed. The (IPA) is an annual competition which honours leading entrepreneurs and innovators on the continent and is run by the African Innovation Foundation. A Bloomberg report on Monday said Angola’s state prosecutor arrested and jailed Bastos de Morais (pictured above) alongside Jose Filomeno dos Santos, the son of former Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, over the alleged illegal...