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Startup news

  • Interest in Zimbabwe’s tech startup scene picks up, but startups still struggling

    Today Zimbabwe marks 38 years of independence from British colonial rule. This will be the first Independence Day the country has had under a president other than Robert Mugabe, this after President Emmerson Mnangagwa assumed office last year in November. Five months on, Ventureburn looks at developments in the country's tech startup scene under the new administration and the challenges Zimbabwean tech startups are facing. ICT Innovation Drive launch By far the biggest development to have taken place in the country's tech startup scene since President Mnangagwa's inauguration is his March launch of the ICT Innovation Drive which saw six startups get...

  • Meet the 10 startups, scale-ups selected for Webber Wentzel’s Ignite incubator [Updated]

    South African law firm Webber Wentzel has announced the selection of 10 startups and scale-ups to join its Ignite legal incubation programme. In a statement yesterday, Aalia Manie, project lead and partner at the firm, commented that the legal firm is thrilled at the "exceptional quality" of the applications received and the level of interest shown in the programme. In a subsequent email today, Manie said she could not immediately disclose the number of applications without the permission of her team members. The 10 companies are: The 10 will receive support that includes legal services valued at up to R100 000, focused mentoring and support which will...

  • Seedstars winner AgroCenta secures third of $750 000 funding from US investor

    Fresh off being named 2018 Seedstars Global winner, Ghanaian agritech startup AgroCenta is hoping to raise $750 000 in funding in a new seed round, and has raised about a third of this from a US investor, the startup's co-founder Michael Ocansey said. Ocansey was speaking to Ventureburn last Thursday (12 April) at the Seedstars Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland, where the startup was crowned the 2018 Seedstars Global winner and with it $500 000 in equity investment from Seedstars. He said $230 000 of the round had been committed by the US investor. AgroCenta is an online sales platform started in 2015 by Ocansey and Francis Obirikorang. It...

  • Michael Jordaan backed startup Alto Africa reports 85% growth in 2017

    Cape Town based tech company Alto Africa, which has investment from Michael Jordaan's Montegray Capital, saw 85% growth in revenue in 2017, following a 50% growth in revenue in 2016. The company has developed Cloudbox -- what it calls an "all-in-one" IT cloud solution in a box for SMEs. The solution incorporates email, email backups, file sharing, computer backups, antivirus and communication into one simple package to take the complexity out of IT. Trent says everything is taken care of under one roof by one vendor on a per-user, per-month basis for a flat monthly fee. He says the company has signed up 170 SMEs so far -- most of...

  • Is this platform API the game changer that will disrupt SA’s insurance industry?

    A Cape Town-based fintech startup has launched an insurtech platform API that will enable developers to speed up development, prototyping and launching of digital insurance products in the country -- at no cost. Insurance is a complex space, one requires a slew of initial expertise and resources, says Louw Hopley, the CEO and co-founder of Root, the startup behind the developer-focused insurance platform. "Upfront costs and capital requirement involved in securing an insurance license are massive, often leaving insurtechs in the mercy of incumbents," adds Hopley. The platform API -- Root Insurance -- aims to disrupt this. Hopley says it will make the development...

  • Zim crypto exchange Golix launches and activates country’s first Bitcoin ATM

    Zimbabwean cryptocurrencies exchange Golix has launched and activated the country's first ever Bitcoin ATM which will allow customers to buy and sell Bitcoin. Golix announced the launch last week in a blog post on its website. The Bitcoin ATM will be located in the exchange's offices in Harare. In a recent email to Ventureburn, Golix communications director Nhlalwenhle Ngwenya said over 10 000 customers who are faced with a "slow and cumbersome" banking process for settling international payments had over the past six months "religiously" used the cryptocurrency exchange. Customers using Golix's Bitcoin ATM will be limited to a $5000 transaction limit Ngwenya, who...

  • African agritech startup AgroCenta named 2018 Seedstars Global winner

    Ghanaian startup AgroCenta has been crowned 2018 Seedstars Global Winner at an awards ceremony in Lausanne, Switzerland today, and walks away with $500 000 in equity investment. African startups dominated the awards ceremony -- which took place at the SwissTech Convention Centre at the conclusion of the fifth annual Seedstars World Summit today (12 April). Four of the five main awards were scooped by African startups. AgroCenta is an online sales platform started in 2015 by Francis Obirikorang and Michael Ocansey. It connects smallholder farmers directly to an online market which has wider geographic size, to sell their commodities. Read more: Ghanaian agritech startup AgroCenta eyes expansion with Nigeria...

  • CiTi to train 3000 IT professionals after securing R250m from BCX, Jobs Fund

    The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) today said it plans to train 3000 developers in the next three years through its CapaCiTi technology skills and job readiness programme. This, after CiTi received funding from Telkom-owned company BCX and the National Treasury 's Jobs Fund -- which together have each injected R100-million and R75-million into the programme, respectively. The R175-million will be matched by other South African corporates that have partnered with CiTi in the past. The organisation has also called on other companies to partner with it on the initiative. In a phone call with Ventureburn today (12 April), CiTi senior ecosystem manager Claire Jowell said...

  • Vula Mobile’s new revenue model, plans to raise $500 000, help 100k patients

    Medical referral startup Vula Mobile is working on the development of a new partnership-based commercial revenue model, with plans to raise $500 000 and assist a minimum of 100 000 patients this year, says the startup's founder Dr William Mapham. Mapham (pictured above), who is currently in Switzerland attending the Geneva Health Forum which ends today, told Ventureburn of the startup's plans in an email yesterday (11 April). Vula enables health workers – particularly in remote areas – to get patients quick and specialist referrals in opthalmology, cardiology and orthopedics. Vula Mobile currently has 897 specialists on its platform "We developed a commercial partnership model and are actively...

  • Here are the 12 finalists who will pitch for 2018 Seedstars World prize, up to $1m

    Cape Town healthtech startup EM Guidance is among 12 startups that has been selected by a panel to compete later today for the title of 2018 Seedstars Global Winner, and up to $1-million in equity investment. CEO Yaseen Khan was the last of the names to be called out for the 12 yesterday late afternoon at the SwissTech Convention Centre in Lausanne, Switzerland where the fifth annual Seedstars World Summit is taking place today (12 April). Ventureburn is in attendance. The 12 were shortlisted out a list of 65 startups who were invited to attend the summit and which Seedstars had arrived at after spending a year...

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