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News

  • South Africa’s FSB to rule on crowdfunding by June 30

    South Africa's Financial Services Board (FSB) has set a date of 30 June by which it plans to rule on whether to craft specific rules or not for equity crowdfunding, an FSB spokesman said this week. This follows the completion of a research report by the FSB on crowdfunding. FSB internal communications coordinator Thandolwethu Masango told Ventureburn however that the report on the FSB’s research would not be made public. “The research was meant to assist the FSB to get insight into how other jurisdictions are supervising crowdfunding activities and which piece of legislation would be applicable in governing the said activities in...

  • Exclusive: ‘Government won’t match private sector in R1.5bn SME fund’

    The SA government has no immediate plans to match the R1.5-billion that 48 large companies have committed to the SA SME Fund, National Treasury Director-General Lungisa Fuzile told Ventureburn today. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa pledged during the launch of the fund in May last year that the government would match any contribution made by the private sector. However Fuzile, who sits on the fund's board, said the government will instead look to improve coordination between the state and private sector, while stepping up its existing funding and business support to small businesses. "It is not clear from a fiscal point of view...

  • SA startup get\Worth to disrupt online car market

    A Cape Town startup is looking to change the way customers buy and sell cars on the internet, by using machine learning and what it says is a unique payment model. The startup launched its platform last month after trading for six months to gain proof of concept. Get\Worth co-founder Mark Ridgway – a former CEO of TransUnion Receivables – says the company was able to conclude about R20-million in deals through the platform in March. The startup's model is different from other online car dealers such as CarZAR.co.za and WeBuyCars.co.za. 'We think this is almost first world. No one is providing a...

  • Close to fifth of Joburg, Cape Town startup founders are immigrants

    Almost one in five startup founders in Cape Town and Johannesburg are immigrants, reveals a new report. The 2017 Global Startup Ecosystem report, released by StartUp Genome last month, reveals that 18% of founders in Cape Town and 17% in Johannesburg are immigrants – slightly under the average of 19% for the 56 cities measured by the report. In comparison, just four percent of founders in Lagos, Nigeria are immigrants -- significantly below the 46% that are immigrant founders in Silicon Valley. Of the emerging market cities measured, Shanghai tops the list with 36% of startups founded by foreigners. Other notable cities...

  • SA procurement rule change will be a boost for startups

    Startups that do work for the government are in for a major boon with a new procurement rules coming into effect this week that will see 30% of state procurement directed to small enterprises, says Silicon Cape director Alexandra Fraser. Fraser says the revised Preferential Procurement Regulations, which were gazetted in January and came into effect on 1 April, would provide a "stepping stone" for small firms and startups that wish to do work for government. They make provision for government departments, municipalities and state agencies to ensure that those bidding for contracts of R30-million or more subcontract at least 30% of the value of...

  • ‘Shortage of VC funding, not of black entrepreneurs’

    The US has no shortage of black entrepreneurs. The shortage rather is one of funding for black entrepreneurs, says Monique Woodard of 500 Startups. Woodard, speaking at Startup Grind Cape Town last week Friday as part of a fireside chat, made the statement in response to a question from an audience member who asked why there was a shortage of black entrepreneurs. "So, I don't think there's... comparatively, in the space... there's not a huge shortage of black entrepreneurs. There's a shortage of black entrepreneurs getting VC funding," Woodard told the audience. The 500 Startups representative and Black Founders co-founder expanded on the topic. Monique Woodard of 500 Startups says...

  • Geeks on a Plane: A night out in Cape Town

    Wesgro in partnership with Silicon Cape hosted The Geeks on a Plane dinner in Cape Town last night in honour of the participants of the initiative. The planned speakers for the evening consisted of the CEO of Wesgro, Tim Harris; director of Silicon Cape, Alexandra Fraser; MD of 4di Justin Stanford; CFO of Zoona, Keith Davis and investors Monica Brand Engel and Doug Galen. In Harris' opening remarks, he touched on the significance of what Geeks on a Plane is trying to achieve. "What you’ve done as geeks on a plane, is gone to see for yourself," referring to the misconceptions people usually...

  • Creditinfo Group, Alternative Circle join forces for financial inclusion

    Credit information and risk management solution Creditinfo, has signed a USD$1.1-million agreement with Nairobi-based mobile financial solution Alternative Circle, to facilitate financial inclusion within Africa. Creditinfo's seed capital and expertise in both classic and alternative credit risk management will allow Alternative Circle to access data that it otherwise couldn't. "Seeing the turn that the credit risk management industry has been taking during the past few years, we are being proactive in finding alternative ways to create data which can be added to the 'classic' historical data on consumers held via our credit bureaus all over the world," said the founder and CEO of Credit...

  • Tony Elumelu Foundation selects 1000 African entrepreneurs for programme

    The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), has announced the selection of 1000 African entrepreneurs to join the third cohort of the foundation's USD$100-million TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. According to TEF, the programme saw over 93 000 entrepreneurs from over 55 countries applying, which was double the amount of applicants in 2016 and four times the amount of applicants in 2015. The selected entrepreneurs will be trained and mentored over the next nine months to develop a solid business plan. Following their training, the cohort will be eligible to receive seed capital of up to US$10 000. The TEF will aim to facilitate the development of...

  • Why did 22seven founder leave Old Mutual? [Exclusive]

    News broke earlier this week that 22seven would finally be absorbed into Old Mutual, following the app's acquisition in 2013. It was also confirmed that co-founders Christo Davel and Kenny Inngs would be leaving the business as a result. Now, Davel has explained the reason for his departure in an interview with Ventureburn. "It was just a differing of long-term strategies, mostly..." Davel explained in a telephonic interview, confirming that it was a mutual agreement. "Oh yes, it was a very amicable agreement between us and Old Mutual." Davel confirmed that 22seven was looking for buyers last year, elaborating on the process. 22seven co-founder Christo...