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Startup news

  • Jozi Angels made 15 investments worth R6m in last 3 years – Abu Cassim

    Over the past three years, angel investor network Jozi Angels has made 15 investments totaling over R6-million says its founder and director Abu Cassim, who believes angel investing is picking up in South Africa. The Johannesburg-based network of 18 angel investors was informally started around 2015 and incorporated in 2017. "We’re coming off a low base," said Cassim (pictured above) in an email, adding that angel investing is still "a relatively new concept" in South Africa, with not many people familiar with what’s required or involved. "But activity is picking up with respect to both interest and number of deals," he added. Jozi...

  • Could this asset management startup be SA’s next ‘quant’ powerhouse?

    A Financial Times article published on Tuesday (20 March) describes interest in quantitative investing (quant investing) -- the use of powerful computers and artificial intelligence (AI) to search markets and big data sets for patterns that can be used by trading algorithms -- as one of the biggest trends in the money management industry. The article states that last year Larry Fink, the CEO of US asset manager BlackRock fired seven under-performing fund managers and moved the money they were managing to a "computer-powered" investment division called Systematic Active Equities (SAE). This division now reportedly outperforms the other more conventional stock...

  • DataProphet secures ‘multi-million dollar’ funding from Knife Capital

    Cape Town-based machine learning startup DataProphet has secured a "multi-million dollar" funding round from venture capital firm Knife Capital. Speaking with Ventureburn, DataProphet co-founder and MD Frans Cronje (pictured above) said the startup had been in discussion with Knife Capital about the deal since the second half of last year. He would not disclose the exact amount of the deal. DataProphet employs machine learning to aid companies in developing products and solutions, with a particular focus on the manufacturing sector. Prior to this deal, the startup, which was founded in 2014 by Cronje and Daniel Schwartzkopff, had previously raised funding from private investment...

  • Startup scene ‘absolutely exploded’ after Silicon Cape launch – Justin Stanford

    Silicon Cape must continue to help trying to promote and grow Cape Town's tech startup community and to represent the idea of startups in South Africa and the community, and act in its best interests in whatever way it can, says venture capitalist Justin Stanford. Stanford (pictured above) founded Silicon Cape in 2009 together with tech entrepreneur Vinny Lingham to represent the city's growing tech startup scene. He claims after the two launched the organisation the city's tech scene "absolutely exploded" This week the organisation's chairperson Sumarie Roodt told Ventureburn that the organisation will be carrying out a review of its strategy. It follows the...

  • BitPesa launches in Ghana, extending presence in West Africa

    Nairobi-based digital payments startup BitPesa has launched in Ghana, enabling Ghanaians to settle global payments in their local currency, the Cedi. In a press release, the fintech company stated that its services will allow Ghanaians to make Ghanaian cedi payments that will settle in more than 10 currencies including Nigerian nairas, South Africa rands and Ugandan shillings. In the same statement, BitPesa CEO Elizabeth Rossiello (pictured above) said the company is "constantly looking for ways to promote intra-African trade". BitPesa will enable Ghanaians to make global payments using the Ghanaian Cedi "Ghanaians should be allowed to make global payments using their own currency and we are excited to facilitate...

  • Silicon Cape to engage local tech community to help forge new strategy

    What does Silicon Cape really do? What should it be doing and who should it be serving? These are some of the key questions that the tech ecosystem organisation will be asking stakeholders in the community in coming weeks, as it sets out to realign its strategy. The organisation was founded in 2009, by tech entrepreneur Vinny Lingham and Justin Stanford as a platform with which to connect various stakeholders in Cape Town's tech ecosystem -- including entrepreneurs, universities, accelerators and incubators and government. Silicon Cape chairperson Sumarie Roodt told Ventureburn yesterday in a call that between now and the end of next month (April) the...

  • Merck launches Satellite Programme for African startups in pharma, life sciences

    German pharmaceutical, life sciences and performance materials company The Merck Group has kicked of its African Satellite Programme in Nairobi, Kenya. In a statement on the company's accelerator (released via Twitter last week Friday), the company announced that applications for its Nairobi pitch events are now open and will close on 5 May. Applications opened on 15 March. The African Satellite Programme is aimed at early-stage startups in East, West and Southern Africa that develop innovative solutions in healthcare, life sciences, performance materials and agritech. The programme will provide selected African startups with an opportunity to collaborate with the German company and offer prizes of $3000 in...

  • Google is backing it, but how does SA startup swiftVEE’s platform really work?

    Being selected by Google as one of 12 startups for the tech giant's first Launchpad Africa Accelerator has been "mind blowing", says Cape Town’s Russel Luck. Despite this, Luck won't say too much about how his online platform works. Luck is the co-founder of swiftVEE, an online platform that connects livestock agencies to a network of buyers and sellers. A technology lawyer by day, Luck says the idea for the platform came about when farmer and student Andrew Meyer approached him for help with an idea a few years back. Luck believed the idea had merit and in November 2016 together with...

  • LaunchLab launches seventh edition of The Ideas Programme

    Stellenbosch-based business incubator LaunchLab has launched the 2018 edition of The Ideas Programme. LaunchLab announced the latest edition in a tweet today. The initiative -- the incubator's longest running support programme and now in its seventh year -- aims to assist early-stage startups looking to validate their concepts or improve their technology offering to the market. LaunchLab achieves this by providing participating startups with access to its client network of corporates, who in turn, assist with idea validation. The programme is aimed at startups that either do not have a prototype or, for that have not yet seen significant sales. Launchlab's Ideas Programme helps early-stage startups validate their...

  • Google’s Launchpad Accelerator Africa announces first cohort of 12 startups

    Google earlier today announced 12 startups that will participate in the first Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa class at an event in Lagos, Nigeria. The Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme is aimed at early-stage African startups and will operate out of Lagos, Nigeria. In a statement, Google Nigeria country director Juliet Ehimuan said when the initial Launchpad Accelerator Africa announcement was made last year, the company also extended its Digital Skills for Africa initiative to train 10 million Africans over five years. The 12 startups in Google's first Launchpad Accelerator Africa class are from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and South Africa "The scholarships announced today form part...

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