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Markets

  • SSX: ‘The evolution of crowdfunding’ for startups [Video]

    Crowdfunding has become something of a phenomenon in the last few years. Key players like Kickstarter have facilitated products and projects coming to life that otherwise would never have seen the light of day. Yet when it comes to crowdfunding startups it becomes a lot trickier -- for example how liquid is your investment, or moreover, how secure is it? The Startup Stock Exchange (SSX), headquartered in Curaçao, believes that it is the marketplace to handle these issues, combining the benefits of crowdfunding with the "liquidity, security, and oversight of a regulated securities exchange." The marketplace believes so strongly in...

  • Looking for a tech startup job in SA? Here’s all you need to know today

    The tech scene in South Africa is a hot spot for opportunities. Don't believe me? That's okay because the kind folks over at jobs platform Adzuna have sent Ventureburn their latest report, this one on job specifics in technology startups in South Africa -- so you can believe them. The report looks at current vacancies, the skills in demand, the locations of the startups, and the industry the product or service is in, to determine an overall view of the startup job climate in South Africa. The research was conducted in November 2013, and analysed over 65 000 jobs on...

  • Now is the time to be a private investor in Africa: here’s why

    There is a lot of talk about the great “African Growth Story”, but talk is one thing, when it comes to actually participating, the road map is not so clear. As an investor interested in entering Africa, and benefitting from the opportunities that exist within the fast-growing continent, there are quite limited options. As a first port of call, investors often turn to public financial markets as a means of investing in a region of their choice. This would entail purchasing shares of a public company listed on a regional stock exchange, or similarly, purchasing debt instruments (bonds, notes etc.)...

  • Restaurant discovery service Zomato now finds restaurants in Pretoria

    Zomato is a mover and a shaker. Hot on the heels of extending its South African reach to Cape Town, the online restaurant and nightlife guide has now launched in Pretoria taking its presence in South Africa to a total of three cities, including Johannesburg. Zomato now provides in-depth information on over 350 restaurants in Pretoria, and claims to be the most exhaustive restaurant discovery platform in the city. Zomato's design covers most diners' needs, whether they are looking to eat out, have food delivered or pick up a take-away. Zomato prides itself on being the most comprehensive online guide,...

  • Aim to be unique, not the best: truths about competition from Michael Porter

    I was recently introduced to Michael Porter through a book called Understanding Michael Porter: The Essential Guide to Competition and Strategy by Joan Magretta. While Porter is no doubt a seminal thinker in economics, I'd like to raise his thoughts on competition aimed at debunking commonly held notions of the term. I believe this will be beneficial to both newcomers to his ideas and business strategists alike who could perhaps use a contrary idea to think about competition in a more fruitful (profitable) manner. The book points out a commonly held misconception about competition - that you have to...

  • Prodigy Finance helps MBA students from emerging markets get ahead

    Prodigy Finance is a fascinating company. It takes elements of micro-lending, as well as some proprietary risk-assessment practices, and applies them to MBA students seeking out funding. The result is effectively a loan network comprising of top MBA students, and alumni (the investors) from around the world -- including high net-worth individuals from emerging markets -- who can invest in their region's future business leaders. Founded by South Africans Cameron Stevens (CEO), and Ryan Steele (COO), the company is a registered LTD in London. This marriage of emerging and developed markets permeates through Prodigy's student portfolio and business ethos, and...

  • US company Symbion Power targets energy sector in Africa

    Coinciding with African Utility Week taking place in Cape Town later this month, US energy company Symbion Power has taken strides to invest in the power sectors in South Africa and Nigeria which builds on its presence in Tanzania, and cements its interest in the continent as an investment destination. Symbion's expansion in Africa appears to take advantage of a growing demand for power on the continent, as well as the privatisation of power generation and power distribution, affording huge market opportunities. The company's interest in Africa is best explained by CEO Paul Hinks: “These firms are ethical,” Paul adds, “they have...

  • 500 Startups takes ‘Geeks on a Plane’ tour to exciting Southeast Asia

    Asia's startup scene is booming. A large contributor to this boom is Southeast Asia's rise as an exciting region for tech startups due to an increase in internet and smartphone access, among other factors, and a budding presence of local accelerators. Noticing this, Western accelerators are keen to get in on the action. Leading the way is none other than 500 Startups, the ever impressive and expanding seed accelerator, who is taking their 'Geeks on a Plane' (or GOAP) tour to the region. GOAP is an invite-only tour designed to connect startups and investors while teaching both parties about the local...

  • Yup, the Malaysian IPO market is sizzling

    Pop quiz. Who had the second largest IPO this year, after Facebook? If you guessed Felda Global Venture Holdings, the Malaysian government-owned palm-oil-plantation company you are dead on -- I certainly wasn't. Felda, who raised US$3.1-billion last week, is among a series of companies turning up the heat in Malaysia’s IPO market this year. According to the Wall Street Journal, the latest proposed billion dollar IPO is one by the Malaysian Cable-television operator...