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News

  • Moroccan fund launches to help African startups

    Morocco-based seed fund Outlierz, has launched and aims to provide smart capital to African startups. The organisation looks at startups with an MVP or an executable prototype, who are in the pre-seed or seed stages. They should also have a ticket size between US$50 000 to US$200 000. Startups also looking to raise seed or Series A round funding are also eligible. Outlierz will also provide startups training tools, such as advice and access to its network. "We started from a simple yet striking conclusion: too many startups fail at the pre-seed and seed stages because of a lack of appropriate resources. We...

  • Eduardo Saverin in $25m funding for insurance and wellness marketplace

    Rosaline Koo made a huge bet with CXA. Not long after she started up the healthcare products marketplace, it acquired Singapore’s third-largest homegrown insurance brokerage, Pan Group. Rosaline injected all her life savings and took out a loan to finance the purchase and build the venture. It’s now paying off. CXA today announced it has become a US$100 million company following a US$25 million series B investment, co-led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group and Singapore-based EDBI. Global life and health reinsurance company RGA, Philips Healthcare, maker of data-driven medical devices and disease management programs, and existing investors NSI...

  • Silvertree Capital acquires Nigeria’s TopCheck

    Nigerian price comparison site, TopCheck, was recently acquired for an undisclosed amount by Silvertree Holdings, one of Africa's leading internet platforms. The price comparison site will be joining one of SilverTree's subsidiaries, Compare Africa Group (CAG) which is active in over three African countries. "The TopCheck team is excited to join forces with CAG. Together, we are forming Africa’s undisputed leader in price comparison," said TopCheck founder, Thomas Pilar in a press release. TopCheck was founded by European entrepreneurs Christian Wiesner and Jose Figueiredo, as well as Thomas Pilar in 2014.recorded fast growth last year. Not only have they processed US$10-million in Gross...

  • TenaCiTi to enhance junior recruits for small businesses

    The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) in partnership with #CoCreateSA, an initiative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, have launched their second TenaCiTi programme. The programme aims to improve small businesses by providing junior recruits with sufficient training to up their skills, such as such as time management and planning. This upskilling looks to allow the trainees to become more productive staff to aid in sustaining the business. TenaCiTi also aims to build an enabling relationship between the entrepreneur and their junior recruit by improving the existing HR department. HR consulting firm, LaytonMelville will be responsible for hosting intervention sessions between the entrepreneur and...

  • Report: SA private equity comes out on top

    According to the recent RisCura-SAVCA South African Private Equity Performance Report , private equity in SA yielded favourable returns over a 10-year period. The report shows that private equity delivered a 10-year internal rate of return (IRR) of 17.7% at the end of September 2016, as opposed to 16.5% from the FTSE/JSE Financial and Industrial Index (FINDI TRI). "The steady, attractive returns delivered by private equity is particularly appealing in the current volatile, low-returns environment," says CEO of the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA), Erika van der Merwe, in a press release to Ventureburn. SA private equity was also strong against the FTSE/JSE...

  • Startup Grind hosts Yoco’s Katlego Maphai

    Last month, Startup Grind kicked off the year by hosting Lean Iterator co-founders David Campey and Roger Norton. Their latest event, which took place on Monday night, saw Yoco's CEO and co-founder, Katlego Maphai take the stage.  Startup Grind Global Conference In welcoming the crowd, Startup Grind's global community director, Guillaume De Smedt spoke about the Global Conference happening earlier this year in Silicon Valley. "This conference is where over 5000 entrepreneurs from over the world will be congregating to listen to some of the best entrepreneurs in the world," said De Smedt. With tickets being priced at US$500 and US$600 per head, the lineup is promised...

  • New Economy Accelerator announces second cohort of entrepreneurs

    New Economy Accelerator (NEA) has selected 12 entrepreneurs to join its 10-month readiness programme, which commences in February. The objective of the NEA is to find SMEs in SA which could potentially have a large impact socially and environmentally, as well as to provide those startups with the necessary support and development assistance needed to scale successfully. Those selected attended a three-day NEA bootcamp to determine whether or not they make the cut for the programme. The participants were selected for their use of innovative methods to tackle challenges such as nutrition, sustainable agriculture, digital inclusion, renewable energy as well as waste management...

  • South African steps up at top Silicon Valley VC firm

    South African-born Roelof Botha has been promoted to one of the three stewards of Sequoia Capital. Botha joins the stewardship along with current partners Doug Leone and Neil Shen. He takes over from Jim Goetz, who held the position for 13 years. Even though the position brings with it more responsibilities, Botha has been running the U.S. division of Sequoia Capital with Goetz since 2007. Before joining the VC, Botha was the chief financial officer (CFO) at PayPal from 2000 to 2003. He later sat on the board of directors for the likes of YouTube and Evernote, was a business partner in Instagram, and more. He is also...

  • Investment company Arise launches to accelerate banking

    Arise, a new investment company focused on the banking sector, has launched. It is the brainchild of international institutions, Norfund, FMO, and Rabobank, which collectively manage more than US$660-million in assets. "The main objective of establishing this company was to strengthen and develop effective, inclusive financial systems in Africa in order to contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction," said the CEO of Arise, Deepak Malik, in a press release to Ventureburn. "Arise will take and manage minority stakes in Sub-Saharan African Financial Service Providers (FSPs) with the core aim of building strong and stable institutions that will serve retail, small and medium...

  • Local blockchain-based AR game nears funding goal

    A new Blockchain-based augmented reality (AR) mobile game, made in South Africa, looks well on its way to meeting its crowdfunding target. Michael Deon and Kyle Haffenden pitched their Augmentors game on the Shark Tank TV show last year, with venture capitalist Vinny Lingham getting on board. Deon and Haffenden created a 30-day crowdfunding round for the Android and iOS game, in the form of an initial coin offering (ICO), hitting half of its US$1-million target in 24 hours. The campaign saw its biggest backers coming from the USA, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia, Norway, Romania, Netherlands, Canada, and China. The crowdfunding campaign...