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All posts by Stephen Timm: Editor

  • Telkom assists 40 black technician firms, helps set up 11 black Express dealers

    South African telecoms giant Telkom had in the year to end of March this year, procured R130-million in services from 40 black-owned technician businesses employing 364 people last year, said Telkom Futuremakers head Litha Kutta. In an email last week to Ventureburn, Kutta (pictured above) added that the telecoms company also helped build four black-owned Telkom Express stores, set up 11 black-owned dealers and supported 24 internet cafes, He said the aim is to set up black-owned sales and distribution partners to enable the telecoms company to diversify its revenue channels, penetrate the informal market, and enhance product access and brand visibility in...

  • Cape Town company Digital Cabinet lands R5m funding from HAVAÍC, Growth Grid

    Cape Town tech company Digital Cabinet has landed R5-million in equity funding, local venture capital (VC) company HAVAÍC announced today. The investment was secured from a consortium of individuals led by HAVAÍC, with a smaller stake from Growth Grid Venture Capital Partners, a registered section 12J VC fund founded by Roy Fine and Rob Ferguson. The company, which was founded in 2011, offers companies cloud-based paperless document and workflow management solutions. The deal was revealed in a press release today from HAVAÍC. When contacted by Ventureburn, HAVAÍC executive director Grant Rock said he did not want to disclose the equity stake each partner has taken in Digital Cabinet. 'The proceeds of the capital raise will be...

  • SA venture capitalists slam inaccurate valuations by local angel investors

    Inaccurate valuations from local South African angel investors are skewing the value of companies venture capital (VC) funds are keen to invest in, two leading venture capitalists have charged. Speaking yesterday at an event held by Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Savca) to launch a booklet (opens as PDF) on 20 local VC success stories, Angel Hub Ventures lead investor Brett Commaille pointed to a recent deal involving an angel investor. “We had a deal recently where the guys from (financiers) Business Partners asked us to come along. And we were about to do a co-investment with them and the entrepreneur...

  • SA equity crowdfunding site Uprise.Africa launches after response from FSB

    South Africa’s first equity crowdfunding platform Uprise.Africa has officially launched after being told by the Financial Services Board (FSB) that the platform does not fall foul of the Collective Investment Schemes Act, the platform’s founder and COO Patrick Schofield said yesterday. Speaking at a media briefing at Workshop 17 in Cape Town yesterday to highlight the first four deals that will shortly go live on the platform, Schofield -- the founder of donations based crowdfunding site Thundafund -- said the FSB has been "very quiet" on commenting on the platform. The FSB was notably absent yesterday from the briefing despite being sent...

  • Knife Capital reveals deal with Swedish startup, bemoans lack of local funds

    South African venture capital (VC) fund Knife Capital has co-invested in a Swedish startup alongside a Swedish fund, Knife Capital co-founder Keet van Zyl revealed today. “We just made an investment in Sweden, in a Swedish startup and we are quite proud of it. It’s our first investment outside of South Africa that we’ve done and we are quite proud of it,” said Van Zyl. Speaking at a Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Savca) event held at the PwC offices in Cape Town today, he said Knife Capital would put out a press release likely next week which detailed the deal,...

  • SA’s Prosperiprop responds to poorly performing ICO, adding PROPX NanoChain

    Following the lack lustre performance so far of its PROPX initial coin offering (ICO) SA startup Prosperiprop has added a new offering to its current ICO. The offering will allow investors to invest in software that will help financial institutions to offer property investment products via the blockchain. Prosperiprop CEO Llew Morkel told Ventureburn on Tuesday that the new opportunity Nanochain PROPX will allow ProsperiProp to become the supplier of a financial technologies platform that will be implemented by licensed financial institutions. The PROPX NanoChain will be developed for ProsperiProp by Lucid Ocean run by Jonathan Crossland and will be funded by a PROPX token sale currently...

  • SA drone startup UAV Industries to enter three more countries after $499 000 deal

    Hot on the heels of securing R6.84-million ($499 000) in funding from local investors Glenheim Venture Capital Company, South African drone operator UAV Industries plans to expand into at least three neighbouring countries over the next 18 months. The announcement of the deal was made yesterday by Glenheim Venture Capital Company, but was concluded three months ago. Speaking to Ventureburn today, UAVI Industries chairman Peter Venn said he could not confirm the amount in equity taken by Glenheim, explaining that the figure is based on future deliverables such as turnover and profit. Venn said the drone sector is a "highly regulated" environment and that it would take time...

  • Here are the 15 SA tech startups that have netted $137.7m in 2017 deals

    South African tech startups have concluded deals valued at over $137.7-million so far this year, shows data tracked by Ventureburn. Ventureburn has tracked and reported on 15 deals valued at over $137.7-million to date in 2017 -- including the $123-million acquisition in May of Cape Town startup GetSmarter by US listed company 2U. In all 12 of these deals involved Cape Town based startups, with one each based in Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Stellenbosch. If one excludes the GetSmarter deal, 14 tech startups have been able to raise $14.7-million this year (see the below graphic). In a further three deals reported on by Ventureburn the parties did not...

  • Ghanaian lending platform Bloom Impact plans to expand following funding close

    Ghanaian lending platform Bloom Impact, which last week landed an undisclosed amount in seed funding from a Canadian fund, plans to enter three other African markets in the next three years. "We are currently laser-focused on customer usage and growth, product enhancements and revenues in the coming months in order to successfully close a seed round in early 2018," said Bloom Impact co-founder Carol Caruso in an email to Ventureburn yesterday. Caruso said the startup has mapped out a forecast of two to three other countries for expansion in West Africa over the next three years, such as Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Senegal. Bloom Impact...

  • Angel investing has seen ‘phenomenal growth’ in Africa says SABAN co-founder

    Angel investing on the African continent has seen "phenomenal growth" in recent years, SA Business Angels Network (SABAN) co-founder Chris Campbell said today. He was speaking to Ventureburn ahead of the fourth annual African Angel Investor Summit (AAIS2017) set to take place on 15 to 17 November at Workshop 17 in Cape Town. Campbell said while he didn't have numbers in front of him to point to, he said he had anecdotally seen "phenomenal growth", with African Business Angels Network (ABAN) membership now at 63 angel groups, up from perhaps fewer than 10 such groups four years ago. He attributed the growth in angel investing on the continent...