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Startup news

  • SA decentralised communication startup joins Silicon Valley accelerator

    Port Elizabeth, South African-based startup Tuse by Millbug is joining Silicon Valley's Founders Space accelerator programme. Thulisile Volwana, Sabelo Sibanda and Michael Kyazze are behind Tuse, which is described as an Android app that allows people to "create wireless mesh networks using their WiFi-enabled mobile devices". Users are then able to send texts, transfer data and make phone called to other people in their network, without the need of traditional wireless infrastructure or network coverage. Read more: SA tech company launches Vuya solar powered tablet After traveling to Germany, Israel, Palestine, Turkey, Ghana and Nigeria since last year, Sibanda tells Ventureburn that...

  • Former Magento heavyweight boards booming SA fintech startup

    Former VP of Engineering at eBay subsidiary Magento, Ted Pietrzak (pictured right), has joined South African fintech startup Jumo to help develop its ground-breaking system to enable financial inclusion in Africa. The appointment is said to mark the first American platform level CTO to be recruited by an African company. The news also adds weight to the startup's impressive hiring spree, growing its team of seven to over 100 within the last 12 months. Headquartered in Cape Town with an office in Nairobi, Jumo is said to have attracted a concentration of data and technology pioneers from across Africa, including talent from Amazon,...

  • SA accelerator boasts startup success, R65m in revenue generated

    Adding weight to its belief that business growth can be engineered, South African VC firm Knife Capital has just revealed "explosive" results of its second Grindstone accelerator programme. On average, the 12 participating companies collectively grew revenue by R65-million while creating more jobs. The programme follows an already impressive Grindstone 2014 which climaxed in the acquisition of radar startup iKubu by Garmin. Grindstone 2015 had a tough act to follow, no doubt. "The success of our first programme meant that we've now set a precedent for ourselves, and we didn't want to be a once-off hit," said Andrea Bӧhmert of Knife...

  • Investors’ roadshow to showcase African talent, adventures

    German and Mauritian-based investors' roadshow Invnture is launching its first trip this coming March, showcasing startups and adventures that South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe have to offer. Filled with pitches as well as cultural activities, the roadshow is meant to change the way investors think about companies by giving them an "on-the-ground" experience. The roadtrip will introduce investors to over 25 investment-hungry startups, that range from tech, tourism, agriculture and the mining industry. It will be targeting companies valued between US$50 000 and US$500 000. For a price tag of €7 800 (nearly US$8 500), participants will also be treated to a...

  • Applications open today for WeChat’s R50-million startup programme

    Applications for the WeChat Fund startup programme, aimed at the mobile space, will open today. Applicants will be required to submit a two-minute video for their application. The R50-million seed fund was announced in December and is aimed at South African startups working in the mobile space. The idea came about after WeChat saw how successful M4JAM, PicUp, and Order In were. WeChat Africa appointed tech strategy firm Batstone as it's coordinator for the programme. Its goal is to identify early-stage investment opportunities for tech startups, which will be handled throughout the application process. When asked about the programme, Alexandra Fraser, partner at Batstone, said...

  • Report: over $185m invested in Africa’s tech startups in 2015

    Tech startups in Africa raised an estimated total of over US$185-million in 2015, according to a recent report. The report, titled African Tech Startups Funding Report 2015 by startup news site Disrupt Africa, polled hundreds of startups, investors, hubs and other ecosystem players over the course of two months. It found that 125 tech startups secured a total of US$185 785 500 during the course of 2015. To little surprise, South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya made up the bulk of the overall figure. In South Africa, 45 startups raised funding, 36% of the overall total. An estimated 24% of deal value was...

  • Nigerian gift-card startup SureGifts introduces unique way to obtain loans

    Nigerian gift-card startup SureGifts is introducing a new service that allows employees in Nigeria to obtain voucher loans to pay for certain online services. Even though many Nigerians on social media described last year’s Black Friday sales by ecommerce giants in Nigeria, Jumia and Konga, as fraudulent, quite a number of online shoppers were able to get some good deals online and at offline stores. But for a good number of Nigerians, whether the deals were true or false, they wouldn’t even think of buying any new stuffs because they don’t have money for such. This could be a very bad...

  • Fastvan wants to change SA logistics with its all-in-one app

    South African startup Fastvan is an all-in-one courier service app looking to change the logistics industry. It's like an Uber but with parcels. With the Fastvan app, clients are able to create quotes and book courier, removal, and domestic delivery services. The nearest free courier will be notified for parcel collection. Once collected, the customers can track the package in real-time through the app's built-in map. The platform offers other Uber-like functionality, such as rating couriers, receiving invoices via email, and app notifications for collection and delivery. Read more: WeChat set to launch on-demand courier service in SA Fastvan’s goal is to move every aspect of...

  • The Creative Counsel incubator to support transformation in SA

    South Africa's largest advertising and marketing agency The Creative Counsel (TCC) has launched an incubator to support transformation in the industry. Five black-owned startups in media, marketing, digital, mobile industries will be supported and mentored by the agency's management team. In a recent press release, co-CEO of TCC Ran Neu-Ner notes that the group will not take equity in participating businesses. “We believe successful black-owned businesses are the true measure of transformation. For as long as the advertising industry continues to find sophisticated methods of fronting and recycling the few black managers in the industry, economic transformation will not be achieved,”...

  • Kenya’s BRCK hauls in $3m from Steve Case, Synergy Energies and others

    To kick off the year on a positive note, Kenyan startup BRCK has raised US$3-million from a group of international investors, which include former AOL executives Jean and Steve Case as well as TED, Swiss-based MKS Alternative Investments, Synergy Energy and Jim Sorenson. Designed by the same team in Nairobi that's behind Ushahidi, Crowdmap and the iHub, BRCK is a mobile WiFi hotspot that’s described as a back-up generator for the internet. The device is physically robust and can connect to multiple networks. Read more: Taking African innovation global: Q&A with Aaron Fu from Nairobi’s Nest Business Day reports that the funding...