• 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 downgrade ‘nearly irrelevant’ to startups – Michael Jordaan

    South Africa’s downgrade to junk status earlier this month by two rating agencies may have depressed Michael Jordaan, one of the country's most respected venture capital (VC) investors, but he believes the downgrade is "nearly irrelevant" to startups. "In this tough economic climate it is useful that one of the advantages of startups as opposed to big business is that the macro economics are nearly irrelevant as it is far more important for the startup to first succeed in its narrowly defined micro-market," said Jordaan in an email to Ventureburn. However, in a wide-ranging interview, the former head of First National Bank, now the...

  • 6 artificial intelligence startups in Africa to look out for [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. In this piece we take a look at some interesting African startups involved in developing artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. DataProphet South African startup DataProphet last year received a significant investment of an undisclosed amount from Yellowwoods Capital Holdings to expand its international offering. As part of the deal, DataProphet will act as the advanced analytics partner for the group. The...

  • We lost R200k to wrong developers, Shark Tank startup tells Fuckup Nights

    They may have secured R400 000 from two investors on SA TV show Shark Tank last year, but Jason Newmark and Chelsea Evans learnt a hard lesson when they recently lost R200 000 on tech developers. Speaking at a Fuckup Nights event held in Cape Town on Wednesday, Newmark and Evans, co-founders of wedding planning site Plan My Wedding, detailed how choosing the wrong website developers also set them back a year. The monthly event, in which entrepreneurs detail their biggest failures, was hosted by co-working space Cape Town Office at the Canterbury Club. "We ended up spending R200k on developers we...

  • ‘I couldn’t sleep for three years,’ Nigerian entrepreneur tells Fuckup Nights event

    Nigerian entrepreneur Dayo Elegbe was feeling good. He’d worked with big names in the UK and his latest idea to give away a car on a Nigerian game show looked like a money spinner. Little did he know that he was one move away from losing thousands of dollars. "I couldn't sleep for three years. I had crazy insomnia," says Elegbe, recalling his biggest failure in business, at a Fuckup Nights event held at the Canterbury Club in Cape Town last night. The monthly event, in which entrepreneurs detail their biggest failures, was hosted by co-working space Cape Town Office. Elegbe, founder...

  • SEC ban puts brakes on equity crowdfunding in Nigeria – report

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria's ban on equity crowdfunding "is seriously slowing down" the introduction of crowdfunding in the country, says a new report. The Crowdfunding Potential for Nigeria report released last month by the Crowdfunding Hub, says crowdfunding has significant potential in the country, but that the SEC's ban issued in August last year has stifled the setting up of crowdfunding platforms. The SEC believes that crowdfunding cannot be effective in Nigeria for now because of a lack of rules. Donation and reward-based crowdfunding are however excluded from the SEC’s regulatory remit. This is despite a fast-evolving banking system which...

  • ‘Fintech startups in Middle East, North Africa raised $100m last decade’

    Fintech startups in the Middle East and North Africa have raised $100-million over the last decade, yet 28% fail in their initial years, says a new report by business support organisation Wamda and online payment gateway Payfort. Released last month the report, titled State of Fintech: Unbundling the financial service sector in MENA, estimates that about $50-million in investments are expected to go to fintech startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region this year. The region was home to 105 fintech startups by the end of 2015 (see featured image), with half of these having been launched since...

  • University, science council spinoffs climbs to 45 startups, finds survey

    The number of startups spun out of SA science councils and universities climbed from 29 to 45 between 2008 and 2014, following the implementation of a new IP law in 2009, a report released this week revealed. The SA National Survey of Intellectual Property (IP) and Technology Transfer at Publicly Funded Research Institutions, which was released yesterday by the Department of Science and Technology, noted that some progress had been made since the Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development (IPR) Act came into effect in 2009. The act aims to get publicly-funded research institutions such as universities and...

  • South Africa’s FSB to rule on crowdfunding by June 30

    South Africa's Financial Services Board (FSB) has set a date of 30 June by which it plans to rule on whether to craft specific rules or not for equity crowdfunding, an FSB spokesman said this week. This follows the completion of a research report by the FSB on crowdfunding. FSB internal communications coordinator Thandolwethu Masango told Ventureburn however that the report on the FSB’s research would not be made public. “The research was meant to assist the FSB to get insight into how other jurisdictions are supervising crowdfunding activities and which piece of legislation would be applicable in governing the said activities in...

  • IDC approves R17m deal to fund SA’s first 3D metal printer

    The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has concluded an agreement with an SA startup that plans to launch the country's first production-based 3D metal printer by June. The investment of R17-million in Metal Heart, approved last month, is the 11th deal concluded by the IDC's new industries unit, since the unit's launch in 2015. Six of the deals have been in new companies. "They moved quickly," says Gert Lombard, who says he and business partner Kim Gray initially met with the unit in November last year. The deal was approved two weeks ago. The investment is in the form of a term loan and a...

  • Exclusive: ‘Government won’t match private sector in R1.5bn SME fund’

    The SA government has no immediate plans to match the R1.5-billion that 48 large companies have committed to the SA SME Fund, National Treasury Director-General Lungisa Fuzile told Ventureburn today. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa pledged during the launch of the fund in May last year that the government would match any contribution made by the private sector. However Fuzile, who sits on the fund's board, said the government will instead look to improve coordination between the state and private sector, while stepping up its existing funding and business support to small businesses. "It is not clear from a fiscal point of view...