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News

  • Y4PT Hackathon series found its Cape Town representative

    International pitching competition Youth for Public Transportation (Y4PT) Hackathon concluded its Cape Town event on 6 March. It focuses on mobility and takes place in 20 major cities around the world. Y4PT was held in partnership with WhereIsMyTransport, the Bandwidth Barn, KAT-O, and Women in Tech. "This hackathon was our first to showcase what can be done with integrated transport data, and the power of an open platform," said the co-founder of WhereIsMyTransport, Devin de Vries, in a press release to Ventureburn. Teams could compete in four categories which included Integrated Mobility, Healthy Mobility, Inclusive Mobility and Future Mobility. The winners from various countries will compete in...

  • Equity investment in SMEs up 108% says PwC’s Accelerator global report

    PricewaterhouseCoopers' (PwC) Accelerator has released a new global report, which focuses on the equity financing market for SMEs. The report was compiled using data based on Pitchbook and World Bank Data, and looked at SMEs from 2010 to 2015. PwC's Accelerator looked at over 52 000 companies that employed under 250 people, over 81 000 known deals under EUR500-million, and over 33 000 equity investors. "The Atlas is a useful reference guide for CEOs of SMEs looking for financing. It helps them to understand the global equity financing market and to identify barriers and enablers at a global, cross-border and regional level”...

  • New infographic focuses on Cape Town as startup capital of Africa

    A new infographic has been released which shows why Cape Town is the startup capital of Africa. The report has been compiled with the efforts of the City of Cape Town, Invest Cape Town, Wesgro, CiTi and Silicon Cape. The data has been compiled from a number of resources, such as the FNB Property Barometer, SAVCA 2015 Venture Capital Survey and World Economic Forum Global Rankings 2016. "The resources clearly show why the Cape is the leading tech hub in Africa. It is because of our skills pipeline, which is unmatched on the continent, combined with the quality of life and infrastructure in the Cape, and...

  • DPO Group to acquire Botswana, Namibia operations of Virtual Card Service

    Online payments service provider The Direct Pay Online Group (DPO Group), has announced the 100% acquisition of the Botswana and Namibia operations of Virtual Card Service (VCS). The complete 100% equity acquisition of VCS's South African operations are still being finalised and will follow at a later date. Ventureburn asked about the financials details of the African deal, though DPO did not want to disclose the amount. "The VCS team have built a leading market position in the Botswanan and Namibian payments landscapes by offering a distinguished suite of services to all organisations requiring automated, high volume and secure card payment processing," says the...

  • Reunert acquires majority interests in tech SMEs

    Technology group Reunert, which manages a portfolio of ICT-related companies among electrical engineering and applied electronics firms, has added two more companies to their portfolio. Reunert's first acquisition is a 51% stake in Terra Firma Solutions. The company aims to be a leader in the turnkey energy engineering solutions sector. Their speciality lies in serving predominantly industrial and commercial sectors within SA. According to Terra Firma, the company has already installed numerous rooftop solar energy systems with more than 800 sites covered under their remote energy and water management solutions. Reunert's intention to have a majority stake in Terra Firma was so that the company...

  • SingularityU announces 2017 ‘chapters’ in Cape Town, Johannesburg

    Hosting an intimate event last night at Cape Town's Workshop 17, Singularity University (SU) announced more granular news of its upcoming Cape Town and Johannesburg chapters. Better known as SingularityU, the Silicon Valley-based think tank and startup incubator began life in 2009, and is partnered by companies like Google, NASA and Deloitte. The University has previously graced South African shores with competitions geared towards the country's inventors and entrepreneurs, but the opening of its two new chapters is its latest venture. According to SU's Cape Town chapter figurehead Michael Fichardt, SingularityU "is a place where the world's brightest minds convene to...

  • Startups take note: an update on IP exchange control

    During the 2017 Budget Speech last week, the National Treasury announced that IP exchange control would be relaxed. While this is still an ongoing process, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has now implemented changes to the Currency and Exchanges Manual for Authorised Dealers (Exchange Control Manual). Speaking to ExCo member of Silicon Cape and IP & tech lawyer at law firm Webber Wentzel, Aalia Manie, once again, she says that "that Exchange Control approval is still a requirement for cross-border intellectual property (IP) transactions. But now some of the approvals can be obtained from Authorised Dealers and will not...

  • Tala receives US$30-million in funding

    Credit service Tala has recently raised US$30-million in Series B financing, being led by IVP and joined by Ribbit Capital. Additional participants included in the funding round are Lowercase Capital, Data Collective, Collaborative Fund and Female Founders Fund (F3) Their newly received funding will go toward accelerating their product development as well as to expand into new markets along with building their internal team. Jules Maltz, from IVP, has also joined Talas Board of Directors as part of the financing agreement. "By using smartphone data to build financial identity, Tala is pioneering a new model that can reach more than two billion people globally who...

  • Village Capital launches competition for food entrepreneurs in Africa

    Training and investment company Village Capital in association with The Hershey Company, is looking to support food entrepreneurs in Cote D'Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria. The company is looking to identify and support entrepreneurs increasing access and affordability to nutritious food products in those regions. According to a statement on the VC4A website: "West African economies like Ghana, Nigeria, and Côte d’Ivoire are growing rapidly, yet nutrition for children still lags behind. In Ghana, UNICEF estimates that 57% of children under 5 are anaemic, 23% are stunted, and 30,000 children suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition annually." Village Capital will send 10 startups to the Village Capital’s...

  • #Budget2017: big changes to come for startups with IPs [update]

    Intellectual property (IP) exchange control is a contentious issue in South Africa, especially when it comes to software development and technology businesses. In the 2017 Budget Review, the National Treasury announced that IP exchange control would be relaxed, which is good news for startups. Ventureburn had a chance to speak to Aalia Manie, an ExCo member of Silicon Cape and IP & tech lawyer at law firm Webber Wentzel, about the announcement and what it means for the SA startup industry. National Treasury has proposed relaxations to IP exchange control & loop structures. Our lobbying has paid off! @webberwentzel @SiliconCape — Aalia...