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Startup news

  • African fintech startup goes past $1bn in transactions

    African fintech startup Zoona this week announced that, since going live in 2009, it has processed more than US$1-billion in transactions. Playing in the highly competitive mobile payments space, the service operates predominantly in Zambia and Malawi. Using a network of entrepreneur agents, the Zoona allows ubanked consumers access to money transfers, bill payments and other financial services. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the company’s entrepreneur agents serve more than one million customers every 60 day, across close to 1 500 locations. "Zoona was born from an idea in a text message," says Zoona CEo Mike Quinn....

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [18/04/2016]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or scratch up on some of your skills? Well, you’ve come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we’ve rounded up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or...

  • Giraffe receives undisclosed seed funding from Omidyar Network

    Recruitment service startup Giraffe has closed a round of seed funding from Silicon Valley-based VC fund Omidyar Network. The VC was established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. When inquiring about the funding amount, Giraffe declined to disclose the amount publicly. "Omidyar Network’s focus on job creation and particular expertise in marketplace networks makes them an excellent strategic fit for Giraffe," says co-founder and CEO of Giraffe, Anish Shivdasani. He goes on to say, "We're very proud to have a Silicon Valley investor supporting a South African company, especially at this troubled time of prevailing economic malaise." According to the principal of investments at Omidyar Network, Charmaine Padayachy, the VC...

  • LeWeb founders announce new startups

    Long-time Burn Media readers know how important LeWeb is to Burn Media. It was at the Paris-conference, after all, that the first lines of code for our flagship site Memeburn were written. So when we receive news that conference founders Loic and Geraldine Le Meur are launching their own startups, we're bound to sit up and take notice. Both startups launch in May at exclusive events in Paris and both are aimed at continuing LeWeb's original vision of helping out entrepreneurs. Geraldine is launching The Refiners, a cross-border accelerator aimed at helping foreign startups thrive in Silicon Valley (co-founded...

  • Sw7 looks to bridge UK and emerging market investment

    South African-based tech innovation accelerator Sw7 is working to bridge the gap between the UK and emerging markets for investment. Sw7 will be hosting a funding event at the House of Lords in London on 22 April. The aim of the event is to connect UK investors wanting for tech investments in emerging markets. It will be hosted by Lord St. John and will have key speakers talking about opportunities and market dynamics. According to Sw7 co-founder Keith Jones, this is the first in a number of events the company plans to do in the UK. "The event is aimed at making...

  • Blockchain anti-piracy startup Custos raises R4m seed round

    A little whole back, we told you about Custos; a startup that uses the Bitcoin blockchain to curb film piracy. It's an idea that looked set to have Hollywood studios knocking at the startup's door and now, it seems, at least one group of investors agrees. The Stellenbosch-based startup recently announced that it had raised a US$265 000 seed round from a South African private investor, and Digital Currency Group (DCG). Based in New York City, DCG has been an active seed investor in the digital currency industry with 60 investments in 20 countries. Custos' technology allows companies to...

  • SA networking startup Asimmetric raises 7-figure funding round in Silicon Valley

    Asimmetric, the South African networking startup, has announced a funding round from a group of high-profile Silicon Valley VCs. One of a handful of hardware startups to come out of South Africa, Asimmetric's product monitors and optimises Wi-Fi networks so that providers can easily measure and manage the users’ experience. While the startup hasn't revealed exactly how much the investment is worth, it has confirmed to Ventureburn that it's a seven-figure US dollar amount. The investment was led by Avidan Ross' Root Ventures, an early-stage venture fund focused on hardware, logistics and manufacturing, and engineering design. Ross, who will...

  • These are the 10 African startups entering Barclays’ Rise programme

    Barclays Africa has announced the 10 startups that will enter its Rise programme. The programme, run in partnership with TechStars, aims to provide mentorship and developmentfor startups working on breakthrough financial technology (fintech) innovations. It is the first time that the programme is being run in Africa. More than 450 start-ups from over 45 countries applied for one of the ten places on the programme. The chosen fintech companies range from a solution empowering the financial literacy and inclusion of people with special needs, to one that allows governments to convert physical land titles to digital copies on an...

  • SA ranks 2nd on global emerging markets startup ecosystem index

    Go to any startup event in South Africa and you'll likely hear at least one conversation about everything that's wrong with the local ecosystem. Some of those complaints are valid, but there's plenty to celebrate too. The latest reminder of that fact comes courtesy of Seedstars Index (SSI) of Global Emerging Markets Ecosystems, which ranks South Africa as the second best ecosystem of its kind around the globe and the best in Africa. When you consider that South African startup Giraffe took top honours at this year's Seedstars World Global Summit, that's perhaps not overly surprising. According to Seedstars...

  • Angels, VCs throw their weight behind creative platform

    A group of angel investors and venture capitalists have invested in Conte Magazine, a new platform for emerging creatives and artists. While no amounts were revealed, the investment is understood to be large enough to have made a significant difference to the fledgling startup, allowing it to grow its team and footprint. “The company has grown significantly since the funding. We have attracted a lot of brands, interested media outlets, universities and other organisations who are interested in collaborating with us.” said Charmaine Ngobeni, co-founder of Conte Magazine. “Always have a plan for the money you are looking for,”...