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Startup news

  • 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,”...

  • Stores use music to boost sales, this startup applies the concept to online retailers

    There’s a clear, demonstrated effect of music on sales performance, with the right kind of tune helping stores significantly increase footfall and influence purchase decisions. Research from Gensler (PDF Link) also shows that the use of music can help businesses create emotional engagement around their product and strengthen their brand. And, as almost every marketer will tell you, consumers buy experiences and products from brands they personally identify with. With so much of the world’s commerce shifting to online channels, why not apply the same principles to internet companies? That’s the niche Israel-based righTune aims to tap into. The startup works...

  • Venture Bus Tour aims to bridge the Cape Town and Johannesburg startup divide

    The Venture Network Big Bus Tour has come and gone, and while it only lasted for three days, there are big things to come from this initiative. Founded by friends Abu Cassim and Wayne Berger, the programme was created in order to bridge the divide between the startup communities in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The plan is to connect startups, investors, and spotlighting players to the VC community. Another point to the tour was to connect with like-minded individuals and to learn from previous success and failures. "Each ecosystem has a unique profile and set of strengths, through collaboration we can draw on the...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [29/03/2016]

    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...

  • GroTech raises R62m for disruptive tech entrepreneur investments

    Section 12J Venture Capital company GroTech has raised an attractive R62-million in its first round of capital raising for disruptive tech investments. GroTech is looking to invest in entrepreneurs with disruptive businesses. These companies need to be scalable and looking for growth capital in order to disrupt the likes of traditional banking, insurance, and retail industries, among others. In a press release sent to Ventureburn, CEO of GroTech, Clive Butkow, says there is funding ready for businesses, though they want to look at disruptive models within tech. Wealth and management business Cale Capital has invested a significant, though unspecified amount, in GroTech for this...

  • Solar startup The Sun Exchange uses Bitcoin to fund green energy

    Crowd-lending solar energy project startup The Sun Exchange will be using Bitcoin for solar energy investment. This is a first for the Bitcoin industry. Achieved last week, the startup is able to use Bitcoin as a transactional mechanism for investing in a solar energy. The Sun Exchange is now hosting a campaign to solar power a school in Stellenbosch, South Africa. "What makes our platform unique is that investors can finance solar energy using Bitcoin and the electricity generated by the solar installation can be repaid to the investor using Bitcoin wherever they are in the world," says founder of The Sun...