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Startup news

  • Paper Video founder could teach mom Helen Zille thing or two on disruption

    Like mother, like son. Western Cape premier Helen Zille once served as an education minister in the province. Now years later her son, former maths teacher Paul Maree is making waves as an edtech entrepreneur. Maree runs edtech startup Paper Video which he launched with another former teacher Chris Mills in 2015. The Cape Town based startup provides extra teaching material on its online platform, as well as offline content through microSD cards. The company, which works with several non-governmental organisations such as Edunova and AVA, is already making waves. Last year the startup represented South Africa at the Global Edtech Startup Awards finals in London and...

  • Is new Jozi artist investment platform Sunkambe set to be the JSE of music?

    Recording, launching and distributing an album can typically cost an artist tens of thousands of rands -- money many new and upcoming musicians often don't have. Added to that, artists, much like startups, face a near impossible task financing their projects from banks. Enter Sunkambe, a platform that allows artists to crowd fund the distribution and recording of an album in return for allowing investors a share of their royalties. The platform is set to launch later this month. In April Sunkambe was one of 25 startups from around the world selected to pitch at Seedstars World Summit's startup garden in Lausanne, Switzerland. In the same month the...

  • Seedstars opens call for Zimbabwean startups to pitch at Harare event

    One of the world’s largest emerging market competitions for tech startups Seedstars World has opened a call for startups from Zimbabwe to apply to take part in a pitching event on 29 June at Impact Hub Harare. Seedstars made the announcement yesterday in a press release. The winning startup will have the opportunity to compete at the Seedstars Summit, that takes place annually in Switzerland, where the winner there stands the chance of getting up to $1-million in equity investment. For the Seedstars Harare event, the organisation's team will shortlist 10 startups. The 10 startups selected will give a five-minute pitch in English, in front of...

  • CDI Capital launches new application round for R12.8m Growth Fund

    The Craft and Design Institute (CDI) has opened a new round of applications for its R12.8-million Growth Fund which aims to help 60 small businesses scale up and create jobs. Applications close on 29 June. The Growth Fund is managed by CDI Capital -- which was incorporated as a CDI subsidiary in 2016 to catalyse funding for SMEs -- and includes contributions from the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund, the Technology Innovation Agency, and the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism. To be eligible for the fund, businesses must be at least one year old, tax compliant South African-owned and have turnover or assets...

  • SA fintech Bettr launches alpha version of ‘financial ecosystem’ at MoneyConf event [Updated]

    SA fintech startup Bettr has launched the alpha version of its community-built financial ecosystem today at the annual MoneyConf tech event in Dublin. Bettr -- which aims to go live in the final quarter of 2018 with its alternative banking service for everyday transactional use -- is one of only two South African fintechs to be invited to attend and pitch to heavy-weight investors at the event. The other SA startup that will attend is Johannesburg based cryptocurrency investment platform BitFund. On its website, Bettr claims it will offer a low cost account and app powered by a debit card. "It works like a bank, but with additional features...

  • AfriLabs extends network into North Africa, West Africa, Somaliland, Angola

    Afrilabs, a pan-African network of tech innovation hubs, has announced that it is adding 40 new hubs to its network and extending its reach to six countries: Algeria, Angola, Ivory Coast, Mali, Morocco, and Somaliland -- an autonomous region of Somalia. Afrilabs announced the expansion in a blog post on Friday (8 June). Afrilab's executive director Anna Ekeledo said the organisation had launched in 2011 with just five hubs. "The journey to 100 hubs has been an interesting one. We are thrilled with the overwhelming positive response from our network members and the tech and entrepreneurial community at large. Here’s to 100 more," Ekeledo said in...

  • Google opens applications for its second class of Launchpad Africa accelerator

    Google has opened applications for the second class of its Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme. The programme will now take applications from an additional 12 African countries -- to add to the six that it took applications from in the first class. The announcement was made by Google last Friday (8 June) in Lagos during the graduation of the first 12 startups from its first three-month programme. Applications for class 2 close on 8 July. The 12 new countries from which Google is accepting applications from are: Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Cameroon, Botswana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire and Algeria. The 12 startups from Google's first Launchpad Africa cohort...

  • Seedstars announces launch of hub in Cape Town to take place this month

    Seedstars, the Swiss-based organisation that supports startups in emerging markets, has announced that it will this month open a Seedspace hub in Cape Town. In a statement yesterday (6 June), Seedstars announced that the hub will be opened on 21 June. Prior to the announcement, Seedstars had been operating a work space in Cape Town in a joint venture with co-working space Spin Street House. Seedstars head of operations Romulo Navarrete said Spin Street House had "played a vital role in our settlement in the city". Seedstars currently operates eight hubs around the world, with plans to add seven more before the end of...

  • Online lender Rainfin sells majority stake in business to bankroll new R1bn fund

    SA online lending platform RainFin has effectively sold its business to its current BEE shareholders, the LeBashe Investment Group. The deal, announced last week on the lender's blog, will enable Rainfin to finance a new R1-billion fund targeting small businesses. Terms of the deal -- which resulted in the BEE investors having increased their present stake in Rainfin from 30% to 75% -- were not disclosed. Founded in 2012 by CEO Sean Emery (pictured above), and COO Hannes van der Merwe, Rainfin -- which in April announced a partnership with Johannesburg-based alternate exchange 4AX -- also announced that it had established the RainFin SME Fund which the company said will "focus on...

  • How Michael Jordaan inspired Investsure, the ‘world’s first cover for investors’

    Sometimes in the SA tech ecosystem all it takes is two words to get someone's attention. Sometimes those words are someone's name -- someone called Michael Jordaan. At least this was the case for one of the founders of insurtech startup Investsure. The Johannesburg based startup last month launched what it claims is the "world's first" insurance cover for investors, via local startup EasyEquities' investor platform. So, then where does Michael Jordaan -- the famed venture capitalist and former FNB head -- fit into all this? Chat bots and Micheal Jordaan Explains one of the startup's founders Mbulelo Mpofana: "The idea for Investsure came to one...

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