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All posts by Stephen Timm: Editor

  • 7 South African healthtech startups to watch in 2018 [Digital All Stars]

    Digital All Stars is a series of articles which aims to celebrate the best of South African digital. The articles, which will appear on Memeburn and Ventureburn, recognise and celebrate South Africa’s best digital entrepreneurs, business people, advertisers, and media professionals among others. An increasing demand for accountable care and the digital delivery of health care is driving more startups to develop innovative health care solutions. With the launch of new call for startups on 3 April by accelerator Digital Health Cape Town (see the story here), Ventureburn takes a look at seven promising South African healthtech startups to keep an eye on. Recomed Fresh off a R4.5-million...

  • Savca raises concern over governance issues in Section 12J VC tax incentive

    The Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Savca) has raised concern that governance issues could emerge in some venture capital companies approved by the SA Revenue Service (Sars) for a tax incentive. The VC tax incentive, set up under Section 12J of the Income Tax Act, allows investors who make investments in approved VCs -- that then invest in qualifying small companies -- a tax deduction. While the incentive came into effect in 2009, the number of VCCs approved under the incentive by Sars shot up in recent years following amendments the Treasury made to the incentive to make it more...

  • GEM looking into questionable data says director

    Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) executive director Mike Herrington says he and his team are looking into the accuracy of various data in its annual global report. This, after the GEM team discovered that several of the 54 countries surveyed in the year's report - released in January - had seen significant changes in the rate of entrepreneurship for adults that the report tracks. In Malaysia the total early stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA) rate rose by a massive 16.9% from 2016 to 2017 – from 4.7% to 21.6%. The rate measures the number of adults between 18 and 64 involved in starting or...

  • Bitcoin, blockchain rules must evolve as sector matures – cryptocurrency expert

    Regulations around initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin should be flexible enough to enable them to be regularly updated as regulators gain a better understanding for the sector. So says cryptocurrency expert David Orban. Regulations on cryptocurrencies and ICOs differ from country to country, with some like Korea and China having banned ICOs and others such as Russia and France planning to bring out regulations on cryptocurrency (see this Bloomberg story published yesterday). Bitcoin and other tokens are not regulated in South Africa. Speaking by telephone from an event held today the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) by SA fintech startup...

  • Reserve Bank changes to IP exchange have had no impact – venture capitalist

    While intellectual property (IP) attorneys say changes instituted a year ago by the Reserve Bank have helped speed up IP exchange control approvals, a leading local venture capitalist believes it is no easier than before to get IP transferred out of South Africa. “The SARB (SA Reserve Bank) continues to create blockages, such as randomly preventing local investors from investing overseas (as startups globalise for instance) due to arbitrary conditions. It’s still all the same,” 4Di Capital founder Justin Stanford told Ventureburn in an email last week. This, as last week Silicon Cape chairperson Sumarie Roodt told Ventureburn that she had not seen any difference...

  • Venture capitalists welcome Section 12J proposals but call for more changes

    Venture capitalists have welcomed The National Treasury plan's to amend a venture capital tax incentive, but want further amendments to be made. The VC tax incentive falls under Section 12J of the Income Tax Act and has been in place since 2008. The treasury has amended it several times to make it more attractive to high net worth individuals, who can get a tax deduction by investing in approved VC companies (VCCs) that then invest in qualifying small businesses. At present there are 103 such approved entities contained on a list (opens as a PDF) on the SA Revenue Service's (Sars) website. The treasury said in last month’s Budget Review...

  • Cape Town’s Dineplan launches booking app with network of 1000 restaurants

    Cape Town's Dineplan has gone from offering booking service software to restaurants, to a launching their own app -- that allows diners to search for available tables and instantly book at more than 1000 restaurants countrywide. The app, available on Android and iOS phones since last week, allows users to explore restaurants by availability, name and area or find nearby restaurants with available tables based on their current location to make effortless reservations at a tap of a button. Diners can peruse ratings, cuisines on offer, price range, open times and the attributes of each eatery to help them pick and book a...

  • Lagos is perfect backdrop for startups says Google Launchpad Accelerator man

    Lagos, Nigeria provides "the perfect backdrop" for tech startups on Google's Launchpad Accelerator Africa to build, collaborate and accelerate. So, says Folagbade Olatunji-David, the tech company's head of startup success and services for Launchpad Accelerator Africa. Google's first class of 12 startups for its three-month Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme kicked off on Monday last week (19 March). Olatunji-David said Nigeria's thriving startup ecosystem and the country's formidable economy -- one of the largest in Africa -- are what has attracted Google to hosting its first Launchpad Accelerator Africa there. The country has about 90 million internet users, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission, the highest on the...

  • How Knife Capital once turned down JoJo Tanks because VC ‘didn’t see use case’

    With Cape Town in the grip of its worst drought in living memory JoJo Tanks has been catapulted into an overnight success story, and can barely keep up with demand. But the SA company was once turned down by one of the country's top venture capital (VC) firms, Knife Capital. Since its inception in 2010 Knife Capital has invested in some big names such as CSense (which exited to General Electric just a few months ago) and recently concluded a $110-million exit of Fundamo to Visa. But along the way the VC company has also made mistakes -- turning down big names that have gone...

  • Yoco had month of capital left in bank before we closed deal – Katlego Maphai

    SA fintech startup Yoco was living on the edge in the two years it took to conclude the company's first funding round, says co-founder and CEO Katlego Maphai. In a tell-all session at FuckUp Nights Cape Town -- held in Cape Town on Tuesday evening (20 March) and hosted by Aspiring Black Leaders and Cape Town Office -- Maphai detailed the struggle he and his three co-founders faced before they were able to clinch the startup's first round of funding. The deal, which involved an undisclosed amount in a round led by US-based Quona Capital and Netherlands-based Velocity Capital, was announced in March last year. Read more: Yoco concludes...

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