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Startup news

  • Kenyan insurtech Bluewave takes top honours at 2018 Seedstars Nairobi

    Nairobi-based insurtech startup Bluewave Insurance Agency has come out tops at Seedstars Nairobi pitch event. At an event held on Friday (21 September), the startup out-pitched six other contestants to win the coveted title of Nairobi's best startup of 2018 and for an opportunity to represent Kenya at Seedstar's Worlds regional and global summits. The insurtech startup was placed first ahead of salesforce automation platform Optimetriks and edtech company Angaza Elimu, which came in second and third, respectively. Bluewave Insurance Agency uses a USSD platform to sign on clients -- which enables the company to serve those with the simplest mobile devices. The startup -- which was founded in 2015 by...

  • Edtech solution Schoolap lands Labes Key Seedstars Kinshasa 2018 win

    Congolese software development startup Labes Key has been selected as the winner of the 2018 edition of the Seedstars Kinshasa pitch competition. The Kinshasa-based startup was crowned the winner of the Seedstars Kinshasa pitch event after its edtech enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution Schoolap was selected ahead of 10 other solutions at an event held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's (DRC) capital last Friday (21 September). The pitching event is only the second such annual pitch that Seedstars has hosted in the DRC. Labes Key's Schoolap platform aims to improve the quality of teaching in the central African country by providing users with access...

  • How Jozi innovator turned loyalty card hobby into startup with over 150 clients

    Not many of us have had the fortune to be able to turn our hobbies into a full-fledged business as Tshepiso Manyoha has had. Manyoha, the founder of Johannesburg based loyalty and rewards startup Loyal1 last week won R500 000 worth of prizes in The Workspace and MiWay Business Insurance Entrepreneur Competition. He founded the company with Tsietsi Molai and Nokuthula Manyoha in 2015. About 150 small businesses currently use his "loyalty-as-a-service" platform. "We have a few large corporates that we are in advanced talks with and one that is already concluded and initiating integration," says Manyoha, who declined to disclose the name of the corporate. Loyal1...

  • Financial inclusion never something you can declare victory over – Tugende CEO

    Over the past decade the progress made within financial inclusion has emerged as one of Africa’s great success stories. According to the World Bank Global Findex survey, released in April, the percentage of Africans with access to banking products in Sub-Saharan Africa increased from 23% in 2011 to 43% in 2017. The increase has largely been driven by the uptake in mobile money products. Findings published in May by the International Finance Corporation show that Africa is home to more digital financial services deployments than any other region in the world -- with almost half of the nearly 700 million individual users worldwide. 'Financial inclusion...

  • MEST launches Nairobi incubator and tech hub, its fourth in Africa

    The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) has launched an incubator in Nairobi, Kenya. The incubator was officially opened at an event last night in the Kenyan capital. It's the organisation's fourth hub in Africa and adds to its network of incubators in Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa. Commenting on the launch of the Nairobi incubator in a statement today (21 September), MEST managing director Aaron Fu said the organisation is "thrilled" to officially establish its presence in East Africa. The Nairobi incubator is MEST's fourth such tech hub in Africa "A truly Pan-African tech hub, we now have a presence across all corners of...

  • Springleap’s Eran Eyal misrepresented me as Shopin adviser – Vinny Lingham [Updated]

    UDPATE: SA entrepreneur Vinny Lingham subsequently told Ventureburn that he received no documentation or information from Shopin's Eran Eyal on his shareholding in Shopin, despite Eyal saying he would send these (see below Editor's note). Silicon Valley based SA entrepreneur Vinny Lingham today said fellow South African Eran Eyal, who faces fraud charges in the US, "fraudulently misrepresented" him by claiming that he was an adviser to his company Shopin. In a presentation last year at the BlockChain Economic Forum in New York -- which was captured on a Youtube video (see here, at 6.49 minutes on the video) -- Eyal refers to a screenshot in which...

  • Share of $750k in grants up for grabs in open challenge on AI and news

    Innovators from across the world can get a share of up to $750 000 in a new open challenge that covers the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) and news. The challenge is run by the Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative --  a philanthropic fund and joint initiative of the MIT Media Lab and the Harvard Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society -- that aims to advance the development of AI and machine learning in the public interest. Through the AI and the News Open Challenge the initiative is seeking solutions to four specific problem areas found at the intersection of AI and news. These problem areas are around governance of...

  • ‘I never saw it coming’ – wiGroup founder on financial mismanagement

    The founder and CEO of SA fintech wiGroup says he never saw any warning signs of the financial mismanagement the firm uncovered just months ago, which appears to have led to the company cutting about 20 jobs. Ducasse told Ventureburn in a call yesterday that he first picked up the issue in July. The restructuring was carried out in the same month. "I didn't spot anything," said Ducasse. "If I spotted anything I would have done something about it," he added. Last week the chief financial officer (CFO) of wiGroup, Morne Patterson, confirmed that he had resigned from the company. It comes as wiGroup revealed...

  • Accenture in hunt for Africa’s top 30 tech startups, here’s how you can apply

    In a newly launched initiative, management consulting and professional services firm Accenture is on the hunt for Africa's top 30 tech startups. In a post on its Facebook page earlier this month, the firm said it is looking for digital pioneers who are solving critical challenges facing the continent with technology. "It’s a search for Africa’s big thinkers and big doers -- visionaries who fearlessly push the boundaries of progress to shift African innovation to the next level," the firm added, urging tech entrepreneurs who are using innovation to change lives in their communities to apply. The 30 selected startups or Tech Firestarters...

  • 11 startups to pitch at second edition of Seedstars Kinshasa

    A total of 11 of the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) best startups are set to pitch at the second edition of Seedstars Kinshasa taking place this Friday (21 September). Seedstars World, one of the largest seed-stage startup competitions for emerging markets, announced the 11 startups in a statement yesterday (17 September). The startups are set to pitch in front of jury panel that will include Seedstars World senior manager Fanny Dauchez, Fsd Africa country representative Henry Plessers, Rawbank head of commercial banking Jean Paul Odent, Elan RDC business development services sector leaf Bas Zuidberg and Deloitte managing partner Bob David Nzoimbengene. Seedstars Kinshasa is...