• 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

  • Vice-president in meeting with Google head to showcase Nigeria’s tech sector [Updated]

    Nigeria's vice-president Yemi Osinbajo, who is leading a three-day US roadshow to showcase the growth of Nigeria’s tech and entertainment sectors, yesterday met with Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Yesterday Pichai tweeted: "Happy to welcome the Vice President of Nigeria @ProfOsinbajo to the Googleplex today -- great to chat with him about the opportunities of Nigeria's digital economy". Osinbajo, who arrived in the US yesterday, is leading a public-private sector collaborative investment roadshow to the US, where he will be speaking to global industry leaders in IT and entertainment sectors in Silicon Valley in San Francisco and in Hollywood, California, until tomorrow (11 July). Osinbajo...

  • SA web platform Virtual Actuary turns down bid from major insurance firm

    Things are hotting up for SA web platform Virtual Actuary, which allows actuaries to collaborate on projects without the need for expensive offices. The startup last week turned down an investment bid from a major local insurance company. Speaking to Ventureburn today, the platform's co-founder Adi Kaimowitz declined to name the interested insurance company, but said that the firm wanted to take a 65% to 70% stake in his company which he said didn't make sense to the founders. He added however that the parties did not discuss a selling price. Despite turning the bid down on Friday (6 July), Kaimowitz said he has opted to "keep the door...

  • Six black SA tech entrepreneurs to watch [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. Yoco, Recomed and Giraffe. For many SA entrepreneurs these startups and their respective founders -- Katlego Maphai, Sheraan Amod and Anish Shivdasani -- have become household names. They are just some of the many new tech startups emerging headed by black entrepreneurs (Ventureburn uses the definition in the Constitution to define black people -- which include: black African, Indian, coloured and Chinese South...

  • Tech sector can help drive future growth in Western Cape says Wesgro head

    The tech sector has the potential to be one of the most critical drivers of future economic growth in the Western Cape believes Wesgro CEO Tim Harris. The head of the Western Cape government's investment agency says with the services sector already making up more than 70% of the province's gross domestic product (GDP), a strong opportunity exists for the province to position itself as a leading hub for innovation on the continent. "Central to this process is the development of a strong tech ecosystem that has global recognition, and in turn attracts multinational entities, capital and talent to the province,"...

  • Weetracker African VC report raises questions on definition of tech startups

    Did the first half of 2018 really see African startups net over $168-million in 118 disclosed deals, as a new report claims? The African startups and VC ecosystem report released this week by tech blog Weetracker includes a $47-million deal involving a 14-year-old Kenyan telecommunications company, Cellulant. In addition, the report counts data from several other deals to companies which one could hardly consider to be startups -- such as nine-year old mobile insights firm Terragon Group, eight-year old software company Africa's Talking and seven-year solar power company M-Kopa. Or can one? 'Mentality of innovating on existing ideas' WeeTracker Media founder and CEO Rishabh Lawania maintains these deals and others, should be included in calculating deal flow to African...

  • Endeavor SA welcomes former Outsurance CEO as new board member

    Endeavor South Africa, an organisation that promotes high-impact entrepreneurship, today announced the appointment of Ernst Gouws, the former CEO of Outsurance Insurance Company, to the Endeavor board. Gouws retired recently and is currently a social entrepreneur and the founder of Catch-Up Community Projects, which offers tutoring to struggling learners at several township schools. Endeavor’s model screens almost 1000 companies in South Africa per year and currently supports 24 Endeavor companies led by 38 entrepreneurs, and five Excelerator companies led by six Excelerator entrepreneurs in South Africa. Former Outsurance CEO says he looks forward to working closely with entrepreneurs In a press release by Endeavor today,...

  • Five SA angel investors you want to meet

    If you're a startup and you need money the chances are you are going to look to friends and relatives for help. Or you could try an angel investor. Angel investors often choose to operate in the shadows, as a silent investor -- which means it is difficult to measure exactly how many such investors South Africa has. A 2017 VC survey (opens as PDF) by the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Savca) revealed that angel investors invested R89-million in deals in 2015 and 2016. Between 2014 and 2016 angel investors disclosed 112 deals to the value of R122-million. The value of deals...

  • Heavy Chef founder on four ways startup hires are different [Extract]

    Startup hires are different to recruits in established companies. Successful startup hires possess a unique skill set, a different work ethic and a different attitude, says entrepreneur and Heavy Chef founder Fred Roed, in his new book Starting a Business in South Africa. Heavy Chef started as a platform that focused on digital tools where digital entrepreneurs, advertisers, creatives, technologists and others presented at monthly events. Roed, who in 2003 founded digital advertising company World Wide Creative with Mike Perk before recently exiting, says apart from the monthly events, Heavy Chef has initiated two tours to entrepreneur hotspots -- London’s Fintech hub, Shoreditch, and Silicon Valley in the US. Successful startup...

  • Seven SA insurtech startups to watch [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. Insurtech. Say the word and investors are already losing their grip on their wallets. In the last two years investors have put millions of rands into startups that are promising to disrupt the way traditional insurance models work -- using artificial intelligence (AI) and technology to deliver insurance more affordably and quicker to clients. Last month Dominique Collett, head of AlphaCode, a club for fintech...

  • Joburg hub Blockstarters on hunt for $450k to assist blockchain startups

    Newly launched Joburg hub Blockstarters is looking to raise $450 000 to help fund business support services for at least eight blockchain startups, the hub's CEO Kreaan Singh revealed today. The hub officially launched on 5 June and is currently assisting seven blockchain startups, including Zimbabwean crypto exchange Golix -- which last month told Zimbabwean customers that they would not be able to use the exchange to draw currency like US dollars or Euros (see the story here). Speaking to Ventureburn today, Singh confirmed that corporate companies are among those the hub has so far approached to raise the funding which would cover mentorship as well as technical...