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  • Q&A: WooTheme’s Mark Forrester talks hacking, investment tips & more [update]

    Mark Forrester is easily one of the most well-known startup founders in the SA industry. In 2015, his co-founded website theme builder WooThemes was acquired by WordPress founding company, Automattic for a rumoured US$30-million, which he commented is "off target, it is a good ballpark". Started in 2008, WooThemes grew to 55 staff members across 20 countries by the time it was acquired in 2015. The company also launched shopping plugin WooCommerce, which saw over 7.5-million downloads and active installs at the time. Along his journey, Forrester has co-founded IT solutions company Gravit8, social media aggregator Afrigator, invested in Over and...

  • Q&A: Daniel Guasco on his new venture, Click2Sure

    Even with the closure of Groupon in South Africa, the ex-founding director Daniel Guasco has been busy with a range of other projects. He is part of the South African Business Angel Network (SABAN), VC Team Africa Ventures, and investing in Hyperli. Guasco recently launched Click2Sure, an insurance startup, which is a bit of a strange industry for someone with a Groupon background. Ventureburn had a chance to catch up with Guasco and chat to him about this new venture. Ventureburn: With your daily-deals experience (Groupon), why start an insurance-related business? Daniel Guasco: It was from my experience at Groupon and in e-commerce more generally that I identified the...

  • Exclusive Q&A: 88mph founder Kresten Buch on Ahoy investment

    Investment company 88mph recently broke a long silence by announcing an investment into flight booking and management app for small businesses, Ahoy. Though the LinkedIn post, written by the 88mph founder Kresten Buch, detailed the investment, it didn't have all of the details. Ventureburn reached out to Buch to ask a few quick questions on why 88mph invested in Ahoy, the amount invested, as well as any future plans the company may have. Ventureburn: How much was the exact investment? Otherwise, can you give a ballpark figure? Kresten Buch: 88mph went in together with four other investors. Our contribution was approx R1.5-million. VB: Do you know what...

  • Katlego Maphai interview: rivals, data, staff, and more

    We were fortunate enough to attend the second Startup Grind Cape Town event of the year, headlined by Katlego Maphai. The Yoco co-founder tackled a variety of topics during the event, but we managed to interview him, covering rivals, Yoco's future plans and more. Who are their rivals? Is it Snapscan? "We are sort of... mutually cooperating companies in the ecosystem," he says of Snapscan. "If you look at Snapscan, they've had to acquire merchants and the real drive from them now is getting consumers to pay. We're strictly a merchant company." Maphai says that you could potentially see a collaboration between the...

  • 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,...