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Startup news

  • Shopstar announces new investment partners

    Online shopping platform Shopstar has announced its new investment partners, in the form of Nona Creative and Kamers. Financial details weren't revealed, but Shopstar said the deal would allow them to expand and develop their business. Developed in 2013, Shopstar allows businesses and individuals to quickly create their own online store, accessible via mobile devices or traditional computers. "Kamers have a wealth of experience in retail and in nurturing emerging brands to become successful and develop their potential. Nona Creative is one of the top digital product development studios in the country. By combining forces and signing them on, Shopstar is now able to expand,...

  • WDB Investment Holdings, Grovest aquire stakes in Seed Engine

    Seed Engine has announced that WDB Investment Holdings (WDB) and VC firm Grovest have acquired stakes of 30% and 27.5% respectively in the accelerator. Seed Engine includes entrepreneurial programme, Seed Academy. "We needed a strategic partner that would instantly allow us to scale up our efforts around entrepreneurship in SA, especially amongst women," writes CEO of WDB Faith Khanyile in a press release to Ventureburn. "Seed Engine was one of the first ICT accelerators in this country, and this dynamic for-profit social enterprise is now supporting the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem from startup through to supplier," she continues. Speaking on the acquisition, CEO of Seed Engine...

  • WeFarm names mobile architect Adam Neilson as CTO

    Adam Neilson will join peer-to-peer farming network WeFarm, as CTO, the company announced in a press release. Neilson has previously held positions at Probability, Sea Monster, Health Unlocked, and Rareburg. He had experience with mobile technology and building social platforms. "When I first heard about the work WeFarm has been doing impacting farmers' lives in such a positive way, I was bowled over. After digging a little deeper, I found more data than you can shake a stick at, a cutting-edge machine learning platform and I knew this was something I had to be a part of," explains Neilson. Read more: 8 mobile...

  • Landmark Barclays Africa accelerator programme concludes

    Ten companies have showed off their wares as part of the first ever Barclays Africa accelerator programme. The programme, hosted by the Barclays Rise innovation hub in Cape Town, saw the companies receive 13 weeks of mentorship, networking and development before their Demo Day, Absa said in a statement. The Barclays Accelerator is supported by Techstars and promises an "intensive startup programme" for innovative businesses in the fintech sector. The Demo Day saw over 400 people in the audience, including investors, industry/fintech experts as well as Absa and Barclays executives. "We are thrilled with the quality of the ventures. This first-ever cohort to...

  • Tradesman platform IDWork crowned Seedstars World SA winner [update]

    Update: added comment from Sayo Folawiyo The South African leg of the Seedstars World competition has finally come to a close, with IDWork crowned the overall SA winner. Held in Johannesburg on 30 June, the event consisted of ten startups -- from the Cape Town, Durban, and Soweto pitching events -- as well as the 'Wild Card,' IDWork. All of the contestants pitched in front of a panel of judges and an audience. IDWork will go on to represent SA in the SeedStars World finale in Switzerland in March 2017, where it will stand a chance of winning a US$500 000 equity prize. A Gauteng-based startup, IDWork is a...

  • 10 startups the New Economy Accelerator thinks are seriously investable

    The New Economy Accelerator, launched in 2015, has announced the graduation of its first cohort of entrepreneurs. The graduating startups, it says, are focused mainly on green and environmental technology and represent an investment opportunity of R22-million. The investor showcase is hosted at the inaugural ATTANE Forum taking place at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria from the 27th -28th of June 2016. The ATTANE Forum is a platform for championing Africa’s transition into a more inclusive and sustainable economy by bringing together thought leaders from business, government and civil society to collaborate towards driving Africa’s development agenda. The 10 startups are:...

  • #Brexit: Berlin to shoot past London as Euro startup capital?

    Britain's plans to leave the European Union (EU) will be good news for Germany's startup scene, a major German venture capital provider said. According to Christoph Gerlinger, CEO of Berlin Startups Group, Brexit will see London lagging further behind Berlin. "The Brexit is good news for the German startup scene. Only since 2015 was Berlin able to surpass London, the previously dominant hub of Europe, in the number of and overall volume of financial transactions from startups," Gerlinger explained in a statement. "This development will now accelerate and the distance between Berlin vs. London will increase. We expect a significant decrease in new...

  • Cape Town VC Llew Claasen appointed executive director of Bitcoin Foundation

    The Bitcoin Foundation has appointed Cape Town venture capitalist Llew Claasen as its executive director. The appointment was announced during the Blockchain Training Conference in Toronto, Canada, on 20 June. Claasen was elected by a board of directors on 14 June. "I'm looking forward to leading the Bitcoin Foundation going forward.  There is an amazing opportunity for the organisation to help the Bitcoin ecosystem.  In the coming weeks I’ll be working closely with the board, membership, transition team and various stakeholders to create the best plan for success possible," wrote Claasen in a press release on the Bitcoin Foundation website. Claasen is managing partner...

  • iKhokha merchants can now get cash advances

    Mobile app and card-reader startup iKhokha on Monday announced that merchants using its devices and platforms can now get cash advances to help grow their businesses. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the new feature is designed to assist small business owners who can't access capital through more traditional means. "We have always wanted to help solve the real challenges which face South African entrepreneurs and we know from working closely with them that their number one issue is access to capital," says iKhokha managing director, Matt Putman. "The majority of our merchants do not qualify for a formal...

  • Andela receives US$24-million investment from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

    During a round of Series B funding, coding startup programme Andela, received US$24-million (+R360-million) from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI). The funding was announced on the Andela website and Facebook on 16 June. "This marks the first time that Mark and Priscilla have led a round and we’re thrilled to welcome them, as well as GV (formerly Google Ventures), to the Andela family," writes co-founder and CEO of Andela, Jeremy Johnson, in the announcement. Andela launched two years ago and trains software developers in Africa. Those trained during the six-month programme are then placed in positions with Fortune 500 companies and international...