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Interviews

  • Xero’s Gary Turner: Say goodbye to late payments

    Ventureburn recently caught up with Xero's Gary Turner, so we got the chance to speak about one of the underlying threats to small businesses -- late payments. "One of the biggest threats small businesses face is getting money through the door, I'm sure that it won’t always be the problem. We did some research to see how that plays out versus any of the other countries. The bad news is that it's just as bad here as it is everywhere else," said Turner. Their research was conducted through Frontline and looked at 500 businesses across SA (to represent local figures only). What...

  • Xero to take on traditional accounting software companies

    Since Ventureburn reported on Xero's partnership with Sasfin Bank, we had a chance to speak to the MD for Xero's operations across EMEA, Gary Turner, about the deal and more. After announcing their partnership at a recent roadshow, the team over at Xero have been hard at work in keeping that momentum going. "What we do when we partner with banks has never existed before, this isn't about the bank selling or recommending Xero, or becoming some kind of sales channel for Xero," said Turner. "I know the banks in SA, the UK and other countries have had bank referrals where they...

  • Watch: Ventureburn chats to OfferZen founders about their ‘Journey’ in Silicon Valley

    Several years ago, the now founders of OfferZen went to Silicon Valley to create their own startup. Along the way, brothers Philip and Malan Joubert acquired an exceptional amount of knowledge about startups that they wouldn't have otherwise learned here. Ventureburn's editor, Graham van der Made, had a chance to sit down with the Jouberts to pick their brains about visas, finding a place to live, and pitching competitions. Read more: Watch: Ventureburn chats to OfferZen founders about Silicon Valley, Silicon Cape Watch the full video below:

  • Watch: Ventureburn chats to OfferZen founders about Silicon Valley, Silicon Cape

    The founders of OfferZen are no strangers to creating companies. The brothers had previously ventured to Silicon Valley where they not only founded Journey, but also went through an incredible learning process. Ventureburn's editor, Graham van der Made, had a chance to sit down with Philip and Malan Joubert to ask them about the differences between Silicon Valley and Silicon Cape, advice for entrepreneurs, and bootstrapping as opposed to receiving funding. Watch the full video below and keep an eye out for part two of our chat with the OfferZen brothers.

  • Q&A: Craig Hudson on Xero’s break into the SA market

    Ventureburn recently spoke to Xero's regional director EMEA, Craig Hudson, about the cloud-based accounting software helping thousands of SMEs around the world.   Xero, founded in 2006 in New Zealand, rapidly grew from a small startup to being recognised by Forbes as the number one innovative growth company for 2015. Breaking into the SA market, Xero shared their plans and strategy to support the SA small enterprise economy Ventureburn: What are your responsibilities within Xero? Craig Hudson: I’m responsible for everything to do with Xero’s growth strategy and get great support from the global business and our (team) GM out of the UK. VB: What was the inspiration...

  • Travel startup Timbuktu aims to take fuss out of safaris

    A new travel company aims to take the hassle out of safari trips on the African continent. Based in Cape Town but focusing on the UK, Timbuktu claims to simplify the planning process and save on agent fees, allowing UK users to effectively design their own safari trip. Destination countries supported by the service are: Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The company says that Ethiopia, Madagascar, Rwanda and Uganda are "coming soon". The numbers behind Timbuktu The service was officially launched in April 2016 by Johnny Prince, Ian Petzer and Giles Trotter, and is growing at a brisk pace,...

  • The Bob Skinstad startup interview: here’s a taste of what you can look forward to

    Most South Africans know Bob Skinstad for his feats on the rugby field, both as a player and, more recently, as a commentator for Supersport. But the ex-Bok captain also has a serious head for business. Ventureburn recently sat down with Skinstad to talk about how he got started out in business during his playing days, how he got into the technology space, and the philosophy behind his approaches to investing and entrepreneurship. The full interview, including extra videos and a podcast will appear early next week, but for now here's a taste of what's to come:

  • Efritin MD: Nigeria’s tech space is becoming increasingly competitive

    Gbenro Dara, the newly appointed Managing Director of Efritin.com, a platform that allows Nigerians to buy fairly used products online, has affirmed that the tech space in Nigeria is becoming increasingly more competitive. In a chat with Ventureburn, Dara said this development affirms that the tech space in Nigeria is developing. He however noted the non-existence or lack of essential infrastructure had slowed down the rate of growth of the tech industry in Nigeria – yet he said the prospect is still bright for the ecosystem adding that the decision of the government to focus on diversifying the economy would...

  • Former Konga VP Gabriel Gab-Umoden on his latest venture, Legend.ng

    Gabriel Gab-Umoden isn’t new in Nigeria’s tech space. Having served as a Vice President at ecommerce company Konga, Gabriel knew what the potentials of the ecommerce sector in Nigeria are but he surprised the industry when his next venture had absolutely nothing to do about ecommerce and was opposed to the norm in the ecosystem in Nigeria where tech companies start in Lagos before going elsewhere. His new venture, Legend, is a trifecta offering Premium cable TV entertainment, unlimited Internet access, and local and international voice phone calls – all on the same wired network. He speaks to Ventureburn on...

  • Onyeka Akumah on Travelbeta, ecommerce and Nigeria’s tech space [Q&A]

    The first time I heard about Travelbeta launch by Onyeka Akumah was in July 2015 at the official launch of HouseMax in Lagos. Akumah described the platform as one that would totally transform the travel space in Africa. Few months later, the platform was officially launched and a few week later, it raised US$2-million. I recently caught up with Akumah to speak about the exciting travel company, startups and a range of issues they face in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Ventureburn: How has the market responded to the launch of Travelbeta? Onyeka Akumah: It's been exciting. Every day we keep...