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All posts by Stephen Timm: Editor

  • 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...

  • Fintech Prosperiprop nets over $200 000 in ICO to develop property software

    South African fintech startup Prosperiprop has been able to raise "just over $200 000" through an initial coin offering (ICO) which closed yesterday, the startup's founder Llew Morkel said today. Prosperiprop launched the ICO earlier this year to raise funds from investors to develop software that will help financial institutions to offer property investment products via the Blockchain. Read more: SA’s Prosperiprop responds to poorly performing ICO, adding PROPX NanoChain Responding in an email to Ventureburn, Morkel said the company was able to sell over 600 000 PROPX tokens through the ICO. The ICO, he said, had helped raise "more than enough" money to fund the development...

  • SA’s Ekasi Bucks ICO falls short of R50m target, nets just R500 000

    South African blockchain consultancy Ekasi Bucks has fallen far short of an ambitious target to raise R50-million in an initial coin offering (ICO) to fund a Blockchain-based rewards programme for township residents that buy from certain affiliated township businesses. Ekasi Bucks' ICO, which kicked off on 25 September, came to an end yesterday. The platform raised just R500 000, the site's co-founder Lucky Kgwadi said today. He however said most of the R500 000 -- which had come from US -- was returned to investors. The platform has retained only about R100 000, netted from non-US citizens -- including investors from India. The R100 000 has none the less allowed the...

  • Everything you need to know about the South African cryptocurrency ecosystem

    A day doesn’t pass without news on the price of Bitcoin, the latest initial coin offering (ICO) or the launch of a new cryptocurrency. With the increasing interest in cryptocurrencies Ventureburn brings you a listing on where to go to get help if you want to invest in, build or simply know more about cryptocurrency in South Africa. While South Africa does not currently regulate cryptocurrencies, the Reserve Bank’s position on virtual currencies is set out in the Position Paper on Virtual Currencies issued in 2014. The bank also recently established a dedicated fintech programme to increase focus and assist the existing working groups...

  • Exclusive: GoMetro ride-sharing service to take on Uber, Taxify, tackle congestion

    Cape Town smart mobility startup GoMetro claims it has the solution to tackling traffic in one of Africa's most congested cities. The company plans to begin trialling a door-to-door ride-sharing service in the city in February, CEO Justin Coetzee revealed today. Speaking at the launch in the city of the Craft and Design Institute's new R12.8-million grants fund for craft and design firms, Coetzee said more details of the first 100-person trial would be announced in February. He said the startup plans to run the trial for its "pop-up service" with a corporate and added the service would allow users to opt for any kind of transport service --...

  • Seedspace in drive to buy up, partner with co-working spaces across world

    Seedstars, the startup competition for emerging markets, is on a drive to acquire or partner with co-working spaces in cities around the world through its Seedspace brand. Three of its 16 planned sites will open in Africa shortly. Nathan Heller, who heads up Seedspace experience and is the founder of Cape Town Seedspace venue Spin Street House, says among the 16 new sites planned, the organisation aims to add sites in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Cairo (Egypt) and Casablanca (Morocco). Other sites are planned for Quito, Mexico City, Lima, Medellin, Jeddah, Beirut, Naigaon (India), Saigon, Islamabad, Baku, Abu Dhabi, Manila and Hong Kong. Heller could not provide any dates on when the...