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Startup news

  • Cairo receives £1-million startup investment from UK

    The British embassy has announced a £1-million investment fund to benefit startups of Cairo in Egypt. Entrepreneurs eligible for the fund need to demonstrate that their business is both commercially viable while still serving the needs of the community. They need to be able to create jobs, have suitable opportunities for women as well as support underprivileged regions. Participating entrepreneurs would also have to go the extra mile, showing how their business improves access to public services as well as the delivery of said services. The final selection of entrepreneurs will in the form of a competition with the winners being chosen by an expert panel...

  • Meet the entrepreneur who just snared $350m to slaughter Uber

    "The idea was not just to build a big business, but start one that would have a big impact," explains Mudassir Sheikha, co-founder of ride-hailing startup Careem. "We wanted to improve the lives of thousands of people and change society for the better." And it seems like Mudassir’s on track to succeed on both fronts. Careem’s now the newest ride-hailing unicorn – it announced today that it’s pocketed a substantial US$350 million from a slew of investors including Rakuten and Saudi Telecom. The funding round is the single largest investment in any startup from Dubai. And there still might be more...

  • Bottles pops cork after R500 000 Shark Tank investment

    On-demand alcohol delivery app, Bottles has successfully pitched their business on Shark Tank SA and walked away with an investment of R500 000. Their investment comes at a 10% stake in their business after the co-founder of The Creative Council, Gil Oved found Bottles model to be a profitable investment. The alcohol delivery app allows users to choose from their favourite beers, spirits and wines to be delivered to their door within 60-minutes. "Attending Shark Tank SA has been an incredible experience for us, we prepared for days on end, watching every past episode of the show available online to make sure we...

  • Paystack closes $1.3-million seed investment

    Nigerian fintech startup Paystack, backed by Y-Combinator, has closed on US$1.3-million in Seed Funding. "Having painstakingly identified the many barriers that merchants on the continent have when it comes to online payments, we have built and refined a product for Africa that we hope will act as a catalyst for the continent's online economy, be it on-demand services, ecommerce, travel & hospitality, financial services or entertainment," said CEO of Paystack, Shola Akinlade in a press release to Ventureburn. Paystack aims to utilise their new-found investment to scale themselves successfully The seed investment comes from various investors, some of which include: Tencent Comcast Ventures Singularity investments ...

  • Q&A: Ventureburn chats to ex-Groupon SA CEO about new startup

    In a move that may appear baffling at first, the ex-CEO of Groupon SA, Wayne Gosling, has created a similar business after the former closed its doors in SA. Named Hyperli, the startup launched earlier this month with backing from Gosling's own fund, Team Africa Ventures. At present, Hyperli offers similar offers to the likes of Daddy's Deals, such as food & drink, health & fitness, as well as entertainment. Ventureburn had a chance to catch up with Gosling to ask why the company was launched, how it will differentiate itself from Groupon, and what the marketing strategy is. Ventureburn: After the closure of Groupon...

  • All sunshine for Mobisol after €14m in investments

    Solar power company, Mobisol has acquired large investments from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), as well as from the Dutch development bank. The IFC has invested €5.42-million in equity while the AEF and MASSIF Dutch government fund has invested €9.2-million. "Our partnership with IFC and FMO, alongside Investec Asset Management marks an important milestone in the growth history of Mobisol. We are excited by the value such a reputable list of global investors stand to bring to Mobisol. We can now concentrate on scaling and even better serving our customers," said founder and CEO of Mobisol, Thomas Gottschalk in a press release. According to...

  • Startup with an education focus? This contest might be for you

    The Jacobs Foundation's TRECC initiative, in partnership with Seedstars World, has launched a new competition to find innovative startups with education-focused ideas and services. The competition is focused on ideas and services for rural areas. Startups participating in the competition, called the TRECC Rural Distribution Contest, could win a prize of US$1000. "Rural distribution challenges often limit access to quality education for the communities that need it most, further exacerbating social inequalities," said the company in a press release to Ventureburn. "We want to better understand how education systems -- as well as education entrepreneurs -- can leverage existing distribution networks or create socially responsible...

  • Amavulandlela Fund launched for disabled entrepreneurs

    A new fund, dubbed the Amavulandlela Fund, has recently been announced, focusing on supporting entrepreneurs with disabilities. The Amavulandlela Fund will be made up of a R24-million loan funding component as well as a R6-million business support grant.  Aside from individual disabled entrepreneurs, the fund will also be made available to companies and cooperatives of which 26% of people with physical disabilities have a stake in the company. People with physical disabilities will also need to have managerial positions and adequately display that they are active and are recognised in their positions. The funding scheme, announced by Minister of Small Business Development (SBD) Lindiwe Zulu,...

  • Innoventures ends year on $1.6m high note

    SME developer and accelerator Innoventures has announced the launch of their US$1.6-million fund, named Innoventures Fund 1. Innoventures' CEO Hesham Wahby made the announcement alongside the launch of their workspace in Alexandria, dubbed IdeaSpace-Borg. The startup accelerator, in partnership with VC4A, has also awarded top startups during their Reactor competition where three startups from Africa won prizes up to €10 000. "The winning startups have our commitment towards providing them with investments either by networking with investors or directly from us," said acceleration programme manager at Innoventures, Nourhan Ghanem in a press release. Zerowaste Technologies, the winner of Innoventures Reactor, is an eco-friendly...

  • Cognition.online launches tutor booking, paying platform for students

    Edutech startup Cognition.online, which facilitates the booking and paying of tutor services in SA, has gone live. Cognition.online was also announced as the winner of the Samsung Launching People - Mixed Talents competition. "It allows parents and students to find tutors in their area by subject specialisation, book lesson times and pay easily. Tutors can accept bookings via the app and receive their payment from Cognition.Online. Parents and tutors are free to negotiate fees and both tutors and pupils can be rated by the system," says the director of brand and marketing & communications at Samsung South Africa, Michelle Potgieter, in a press release...