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Startup news

  • New Simodisa web portal Venture Central aims to unify entrepreneurship ecosystem

    A new portal for South African entrepreneurs -- Venture Central -- aims to unify the South African entrepreneurship ecosystem, says SA entrepreneurship advocacy body Simodisa. The site -- which contains various resources such as events and online tools for entrepreneurs -- is an initiative of Simodisa. The organisation's managing director Matsi Modise (pictured above) said the portal has been live for "about a week and a half". While she said the site initially went live on 5 September, it was subsequently taken down to amend some challenges. Modise said the site's security was also beefed up after it was hacked during this time (which is why...

  • Stellenbosch startup MySidekick launches new app for shoppers following pivot

    Stellenbosch based tech startup MySidekick has launched a new app that serves up specials from various brands that shoppers are able to get from their nearby mall. The app -- which follows the startup's unsuccessful first MySidekick app which failed to take off after it was launched in 2014 -- has been available on the Google Play store since November 1. MySidekick co-founder Leonard Brewer said the app has been downloaded over one thousand times since then, which he reckoned is a good number given the limited advertising the startup has run on the new app. It follows a pilot the company did...

  • Medical advice platform Yapili to represent Botswana at Seedstars Summit

    Yapili, a peer-to-peer (P2P) platform that connects users to doctors for medical advice, has been selected as best startup at Seedstars Gaborone and will represent Botswana at next year's Seedstars Summit. The announcement was made at a Seedstars pitching event in Gaborone held last Friday (3 November). Yapili is currently running a pilot project in nine countries across Africa, namely: Botswana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Yapili currently operates in nine countries across Africa In a press release, Seedstars announced student platform Studentpark and ecommerce consultancy Indie Studios Africa as the second and third place winners respectively. The jury panel at the pitching event...

  • Partner with corporates to access EU trade bloc, ambassador advises startups

    Looking to scale-up in France or the EU, but worried about market access? Then you might want to consider partnering with a French corporate. That's the top tip French Ambassador to South Africa Christophe Farnaud told Ventureburn yesterday on the sidelines of the AfricArena tech conference yesterday. “If you get a partnership with Air France, Saint-Gobain or Leroy Merlin, any of the big French names then automatically you can get access to the market, it will make it easier,” said Farnaud (pictured above). Partnering with French corporates could help startups easily access French and EU markets He said in a bit to secure such partnerships, startups...

  • UK startup shines at 2017 AppsAfrica Innovation Awards with two prizes

    UK-based startup what3words that operates in Africa and has developed a unique geocoding address has clinched two awards at the 2017 AppsAfrica Innovation Awards held in Cape Town. The four-year old startup was one of nine winners announced last night at an awards ceremony held at the Shimmy Beach Club at the V&A Waterfront in the city. Now in its third year the awards aim to celebrate innovation in mobile and tech on the continent. The startup has developed a system that divides the world into 3m-by-3m grids, with each block assigned with a unique address of three words. The company took home the awards for best enterprise solution and as well...

  • Startups aim to secure $1.5m as World Bank’s XL Africa kicks off in Cape Town

    Twenty promising African tech startups today began an 11-day residency in Cape Town at the World Bank's XL Africa accelerator. The programme  runs until 17 November and startups have a chance of securing up to $1.5-million. The accelerator was launched in April by the World Bank Group’s infoDev program. While in the programme, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to learn from their mentors and peers, increase their regional visibility, and get access to potential corporate partners and investors. XL Africa will help the startups attract early stage capital between $250 000 and $1.5 million In a press release today the World Bank said the residency will conclude with the...

  • SA logistics startup Pargo selected to join Alibaba, Unctad training initiative

    South African logistics startup Pargo has been selected as the first South African delegate to join an Alibaba and UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) hosted initiative the eFounders Initiative Entrepreneurship Training Programme, in the city of Hangzhou, China. The announcement was made today in a press release by Pargo. The programme -- which takes place from this Friday (10 November) and runs until 24 November)  includes a two-week course at the Alibaba Business School and will take the 25 high-potential entrepreneurs from across Africa to learn from e-commerce giants Alibaba, Taobao.com and Tmall.com. Pargo co-founder and director Lars Veul said it is "a privilege"...

  • French Ambassador hints at more AfricArena conferences for continent

    Couldn't make it to the AfricArena tech conference? The French Ambassador to South Africa Christophe Farnaud today hinted that there will be more AfricArena Conferences to come. Farnaud (pictured above) was speaking on the sidelines of the two-day AfricArena Conference which kicked off today at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town. The conference is set to showcase African startups and connect them to international investors. Over 400 delegates -- 30 of them international investors -- from 27 countries are expected to attend the conference. The organisers said about 80 startups will be at the conference with around 50 expected to pitch on...

  • New R10m funded insuretech ‘startup’ Indie is Sanlam-owned company

    South African insurtech startup Indie hopes to takes on traditional insurers in the youth market and is being bank-rolled by insurance giant Sanlam. This, despite claims from its founder that it's "a genuine garage-built startup". Indie launched its first offering -- a life-insurance offering -- in late July. Since it was founded 18 months ago the company has grown from a three-person team to 30 people, with plans to expand to India and at least one other African country by next year. In a phone call with Ventureburn, the startup's CEO and founder Peter Castleden said his company is "absolutely a genuine garage-built startup". However the former Sanlam employee...

  • Village Capital, PayPal launch African fintech investment readiness programme

    Global venture capital (VC) firm Village Capital has collaborated with US payment platform PayPal to launch a three-month investment readiness programme, Village Capital Fintech Africa 2018. The investment readiness programme will culminate in two early-stage African startups walking away with $50 000 in investment funding. Applications to the programme opened last week and will close on 24 November. Application is open to early-stage fintech entrepreneurs from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. Between 10 and 12 startups will be selected to join the Village Capital Fintech Africa 2018 programme Village Capital marketing manager Ben Wrobel stated in an email to Ventureburn that the VC...