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All posts by Stephen Timm: Editor

  • Startups hold unrealistic view on securing VC, angel funding suggests new survey

    Over a quarter of South African tech startup founders believe that they will grow their business by securing venture capital (VC) or funding from angel investors. Yet the reality is that only about eight percent report ever having been able to secure such funding, a new survey reveals. In the Ventureburn Tech Startup Survey powered by Telkom Futuremakers -- which was released today -- 27% of the 260 startup founders that were canvassed via an online questionnaire said they hoped to secure angel or VC investment (see the below graphs). The majority of SA tech startups use their own cash to...

  • White males in Western Cape the most successful startup founders – survey

    It’s no surprise that the majority of those South African tech founders who report running a profitable or growing startup are white and male. A new survey, the Ventureburn Tech Startup Survey powered by Telkom Futuremakers, reveals that while just 10% of 260 startups surveyed report making a profit, just over a quarter (27%) can be termed "successful", in that they are generating a profit or growing. While 27% of startups solely run by men say they are successful, just 18% of startups that include women among their founders can say the same. More white founders report being successful -- about two thirds of...

  • SA medical bookings platform Recomed set to announce new funding round

    Cape Town based medical bookings platform Recomed is set to announce a new funding round led by local venture capital (VC) firm HAVAÍC, the startup's founder Sheraan Amod has confirmed. Amod, who celebrates his 32nd birthday today and will speak at tonight's Startup Grind Cape Town event, told Ventureburn in a phone call yesterday that an announcement on the deal would be made next week. After selling his previous startup Personera (who he co-founded with Jaco de Wet and Michael Champanis) in 2011 for an undisclosed sum, Amod started Recomed in 2013. In January last year the company received R6-million in equity funding for an disclosed stake, from local funder...

  • Silvertree founder takes aim at Silicon Valley model of building African startups

    African angel investors and accelerators are doing a disservice to entrepreneurs by mimicking the Silicon Valley model of glorifying the pitching of ideas - rather than helping entrepreneurs to better execute on these ideas, charges Silvertree Internet Holdings MD Paul Cook. "Far too often in our view, angels and even more so startup pitching events glorify pitching an idea rather than pitching some way that you are going to take a proven idea and execute in a market that is early stage," Cook said, at a panel discussion held today at the African Angel Investor Summit 2017. The summit is being held at...

  • Funder’s focus on making social impact key in $24m deal says JUMO founder

    South African fintech startup JUMO opted to go to Finnish development finance company Finnfund for debt funding, because the financier is "very ethical" and "focused on making meaningful social impact", says the startup's founder and CEO Andrew Watkins-Ball. JUMO is a Mauritius-headquartered financial services platform that provides mobile financial services in emerging markets. Last week the startup announced that it had secured $24-million in funding in a loan facility arranged by Gemcorp Capital, a London based investment management firm which already has an undisclosed equity stake in the startup. Finnfund participated in the round with $6-million. The funding is to support Jumo’s expansion in Africa and...

  • Alan Knott-Craig Junior’s book – Seven attributes of a hero [Extract]

    Entrepreneurs are society's new heroes. In this third extract from his new book, tech entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig Junior unpacks some of the attributes that make an entrepreneurs a hero. 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 is also giving away five copies of the new book. See below for details. Here’s the third extract — taken from the third chapter titled “Seven attributes of a hero”. See the first extract here and the second one here. 1. Be Hungry Are...

  • Nigerian fashion designer Minku to raise $200 000 in funding with bitcoin

    Nigerian fashion designer Minku has announced that it is seeking to raise $200 000 in bitcoin through a seed round. The round won't be an ICO at all, however, the startup's founder Kunmi Otitoju said. "We are planning a traditional seed round raise, where primarily bitcoin investment will be accepted. In exchange for bitcoin, an investor will receive company shares," Otitoju told Ventureburn yesterday in an email. In an earlier email Minku said the proceeds from the round will be used to develop a follow-up to Minku's first men's clothing collection, which was released in September. The company began as a leather goods maker in 2011. Minku...

  • Google opens applications for first cohort of Launchpad Africa accelerator

    Google today launched applications for its Launchpad Africa accelerator to early-stage startup from across a number of countries across the continent. The tech giant will take on 10 startups in the programme’s first cohort, set to start early next year in Lagos, Nigeria -- from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. The three-month accelerator programme is aimed at early-stage tech startups in Africa that target the African market and have already raised seed funding. Those startups chosen can get equity-free support and the programme will conclude with a demo day to provide exposure for the startups. Launchpad Africa is aimed at early-stage tech startups in Africa...

  • Alan Knott-Craig Junior’s new book out now – The values that are essential [Extract]

    Developing values such as loyalty, respect, humility and perseverance will stand you in good stead as an entrepreneur In this second extract from his new book,tech entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig Junior unpacks some of these values in more detail. 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 is also giving away five copies of the new book. See below for details. Here’s the second extract — taken from the second chapter titled “Values”. See the first extract...

  • New Simodisa web portal Venture Central aims to unify entrepreneurship ecosystem

    A new portal for South African entrepreneurs -- Venture Central -- aims to unify the South African entrepreneurship ecosystem, says SA entrepreneurship advocacy body Simodisa. The site -- which contains various resources such as events and online tools for entrepreneurs -- is an initiative of Simodisa. The organisation's managing director Matsi Modise (pictured above) said the portal has been live for "about a week and a half". While she said the site initially went live on 5 September, it was subsequently taken down to amend some challenges. Modise said the site's security was also beefed up after it was hacked during this time (which is why...

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