• BURN MEDIA
    • Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

All posts by Stephen Timm: Editor

  • SA entrepreneurs detail the software they use to run their tech start up

    Jira, Google Suite for Business, Ruby on Rails and fathomhq. These are just some of the software programs that SA tech entrepreneurs are using to set up their startup. Ventureburn spoke to founders from eight SA tech startups to find out what software programs each used to launch their startup -- why they opted for the programs they opted for and on whose recommendation they took these up and how much these cost their startup to run. Stuart Murless (Feastfox) Stuart Murless, the co-founder of Cape Town eating-out app Feastfox, says he relies heavily on Google Suite for Business for everything from email to storage to video calls to...

  • SA insurtech startup Pineapple to launch insurance product in activation on Friday [Updated]

    After two years of development insurtech startup Pineapple is finally set to launch their insurance product -- with the startup claiming today in a statement, to have made insurance as simple "as snapping a picture". The startup's co-founder Ndabenhle Junior Ngulube told Ventureburn in an email today that the startup will on Friday hold an activation for the brand in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town -- saying more details would be revealed closer to the time. He was able to tell Ventureburn how premiums would be priced. "Once a user has snapped an image of an item they want to insure, we have artificial intelligence (AI) that...

  • Not all tech giants operating in SA offer support tailored to black startups

    "We really got a lot". This is how Thabo Moshoane describes the year of support his startup got from IBM, which included access to two cloud-based services to the value of $140 000. Moshoane -- who co-founded Slyk (pronounced "slick") IT Solutions in 2010 with Tshepo Motiki -- was one of four startups that were part in IBM's Aspiring Entrepreneurs initiative last year. Slyk has so far been able to sign agreements with tech suppliers Dell, Lenovo and HP for their app which tracks the warranty on digital products. Moshoane may have been lucky to tap support from IBM. The US tech giant aims to spend millions over the...

  • Could mysterious Durban man be the investor behind SA startup Zapper?

    Is a media shy Durban-born entrepreneur the angel investor behind South African tech startup Zapper? Mystery continues to surround who the investor behind the Durban-based startup is. After a brief investigation by Ventureburn no one close to the company, other than the co-ordinator of the supposed investor's scholarship fund, was willing to comment. In September last year when interviewed by Ventureburn, Zapper CEO David de Villiers refused to name who the angel investor was behind the company (see the story here). Then last month a Ventureburn reader pointed out in a comment to the initial story that following a five-minute search on Google, they were able to connect the...

  • SA fintech JUMO secures first two commitments in new funding round

    SA fintech JUMO has secured equity funding from French development agency Proparco and Finnish development finance company Finnfund -- the first commitments to a new funding round, the startup's founder Andrew Watkins-Ball revealed yesterday. The startup’s platform helps facilitates digital financial services such as credit and savings in emerging markets. The Finnish development took part in a A$24-million debt facility last year (see this earlier story). In a call from London yesterday, Watkins-Ball told Ventureburn that the commitments from Proparco and Finnfund were secured six weeks ago. He declined to reveal the value of the funding, but said each of the organisations have taken a single-digit equity in return for the funding. He said...

  • Identity.com a ‘first-of-kind’ for secure identity verification says Vinny Lingham

    South African entrepreneur and Civic founder Vinny Lingham has announced the name of his new decentralised identity ecosystem – Identity.com. In a blog post yesterday East London born Lingham, who is based in Silicon Valley, said Identity.com will be a "first-of-its-kind" decentralised platform that will open up access to on-demand, secure identity verification. "Identity.com is designed to connect users, requesters, and validators around the world to enable reusable identity verification, powered by Civic tokens (CVCs). "This ecosystem allows individuals, companies, and other entities to interact easily and safely in the digital world," he said. SA entrepreneur and Civic founder Vinny Lingham says Identity.com will be a 'first-of-its-kind' decentralised platform for...

  • How SA tech startups plan to celebrate Mandela Day by reaching out to needy

    With South Africa today honouring the legacy of former president Nelson Mandela, a number of SA tech startups have taken to celebrating Mandela Day by offering to reach out to those more needy. Here then are how three startups have chosen to honour Madiba, or give up 67 minutes of their time in remembrance of the icon's legacy. Cape Town based logistics startup Pargo is running a challenge today to get clients to send food or toy parcels up to underprivileged children in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. A number of SA tech startups are celebrating Mandela Day today by offering to reach out...

  • Five SA tech startups that are expanding into the rest of Africa [Updated]

    South African tech startups are slowly waking up to the massive untapped market that is the rest of the continent. If data from Ventureburn's 2017 tech startup survey is anything to go by, an increasing percentage of tech startups are looking to Africa to market their new solutions. In all 40% of the 260 SA tech startup founders Ventureburn surveyed in a 2017 tech startup survey listed Africa as their principal market, up from 13% in a 2015 Ventureburn survey which sampled 197 founders. Ventureburn spoke to five SA startups to find out how their expansion to the rest off the continent is going and what some...

  • How Google Launchpad helped prepare newly cash flush Aerobotics to scale

    Funding has little value if you don't put it to good use as some startups often discover when it's too late. This makes business advice from experts invaluable -- as Benji Meltzer, the co-founder of Cape Town aerial data analytics platform Aerobotics will likely know. It come hot on the heels of last week's Series-A funding announcement (for an undisclosed amount) in which local Nedbank was the lead investor. Aerobotics co-founder Benji Meltzer (pictured above right, with co-founder James Patterson (left) and Google research director Peter Norvig) told Ventureburn today that being part of the six-month Google Launchpad programme has helped the startup in place the necessary systems and processes that...

  • SA platform Bitfund claims hundreds of signups since yesterday’s launch

    SA cryptocurrency investment platform Bitfund has had "hundreds" of investors sign up since its launch yesterday claims one of its founders, Josh Miltz. The founders of the Joburg-based startup claim that the new platform gives investors exposure to index portfolios of more than 20 of the largest cryptocurrencies. "We think a lot of people are excited by the technology," Miltz told Ventureburn today. However, Miltz -- a software engineer, who founded the startup with three former school friends last year -- declined to say how much the platform was able to raise in funding from three local entrepreneurs last year. He could say only that the platform received a "significant" amount in seed...