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Startup news

  • Meet 22-year-old who landed R1-million in seed funding for KnektMe app

    At just 22-years-old, college dropout Carl Visagie is hoping that his social networking app KnektMe turns big, following R1-million in seed funding the startup received from an Israeli angel investor. The app scans for other KnektMe users in close proximity, using a device's Bluetooth connection. This allows entrepreneurs and investors who attend an event for example to identify those that they might be able to network with before meeting them in person. "It's almost like a cheat sheet," says Visagie. "The idea is to see what they (other investors or entrepreneurs) do before meeting them," he says, adding that users are then able to...

  • Black-owned startup responds on Adapt IT buyback it made at 90% discount

    The founder of black-owned startup Uyandiswa Amanda Dambuza says there is nothing untoward in a deal to buy back JSE-listed Adapt IT's 49% stake in her company at a 90% discount. "I have also read your article, which somehow seeks to tarnish the reputation of our businesses, that I find unfortunate and completely unfounded," Dambuza said in an email to Ventureburn today following the publication by the site of an earlier story on the deal. Read more: Questions raised as Adapt IT sells stake in black startup for ‘90% discount’ She attributed the 90% discount in the buyback deal -- which took effect from 1 July --...

  • Questions raised as Adapt IT sells stake in black startup for ‘90% discount’

    Three years after it bought a 49% stake in black-owned project management consultancy Uyandiswa and built the firm up to an almost R100-million a year company, JSE-listed IT firm Adapt IT has sold its stake back to the black-owned startup -- at a whopping 90% discount. The sale was announced yesterday in a press release from Adapt IT, which said the deal was effective from 1 July 2017. Adapt IT said the buyback concluded a "successful enterprise development programme" during which Adapt IT took Uyandiswa, then a two-person business in 2014, and helped build it into an "80 person-strong firm with a turnover...

  • Standard Bank partners with INV Fintech accelerator, here’s how you can apply

    With the deadline for the next cohort just a week away, global fintech accelerator INV Fintech has announced that Standard Bank has joined its programme as a partner. In a press release on Tuesday (19 September) the accelerator said as part of the partnership, Standard Bank will provide mentorship and assist in conducting market trials. In addition, the bank will also be able to invest and acquire startups in the accelerator. The application deadline for the next cohort is on 28 September. The US-based post-seed stage accelerator was launched in 2015 in a partnership between fintech news service Bank Innovation and financial services company Fiserv. The application deadline...

  • Visa sees major competition as cash, not fintech startups, says digital director

    With cash making up 94% of financial transactions in Africa there is a plenty of opportunity for the fintech sector on the continent -- says John Conlon, digital director at Visa Performance Solutions for Central Europe, Middle East and Africa. “The key message is partnering with fintech (startups). Open platforms and partnerships is the way forward,” said Conlon (pictured above). Speaking to Ventureburn on the sidelines of the Visa Merchant Forum that took place yesterday in Cape Town, Conlon said Visa has created over 100 application programming interfaces (APIs) which fintechs could access. An API is a tool that allows developers to access the IT...

  • Click2Sure launches its global aspirations at InsureTech Connect in Las Vegas

    Cape Town insurtech startup Click2Sure announced yesterday that it has been invited to attend next month's Insure Tech Connect, one of the world’s largest insurtech events. The Las Vegas event -- being held for the second time -- offers unparalleled access to the largest, most comprehensive gathering of tech entrepreneurs, investors and insurance industry incumbents from around the world. The Click2Sure team will be attending the Insure Tech Connect Summit from 2-4 October to demo the Click2Sure platform and launch its global aspirations, the startup said in a press release yesterday. Click2Sure’s CEO, Daniel Guasco (pictured above) said he and his team are honoured...

  • SA drone startup Aerobotics clinches Digital Insurer European 2017 award

    Cape Town-based drone and data analytics startup Aerobotics has clinched The Digital Insurer (TDI) European 2017 Startup Insurtech Award. Aerobotics was yesterday one of four finalists selected to present in a technology showcase that saw the award winners selected through a live vote by conference attendees at an event held in London. The other finalists include Shift Technology which has developed a fraud detection solution that uses artificial intelligence (AI), South African startup Nuva Law which has put together an inter-party negotiation and adjudication platform and CBien a digital inventory management platform for personal belongings. While Aerobotics walked away with the award, another South African startup Nuva Law...

  • Edtech incubator Injini selects 8 startups from across Africa for first cohort

    African incubator Injini -- which claims to be the continent's first ever edtech incubator -- has selected eight startups from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and South Sudan to join its first cohort which will kick off on 9 October in Cape Town. Injini co-founder and CEO Jamie Martin (pictured above) told Ventureburn yesterday said the startups were selected following a pitch event on 8 September. He added that the names of the startups would only be unveiled after the startups have signed contracts on 10 October, at a launch event which will take place at the University of Cape Town. The six-month incubation programme begins on...

  • Here’s how Africa Chivas Regal winner EmptyTrips will disrupt logistics sector

    Barely a year old, Johannesburg based online trip exchange platform EmptyTrips has been having a good year. The startup won the Africa Chivas Regal Venture Pitching Den at the SA Innovation Summit earlier this month and will represent South Africa at the 2018 Startup World Cup in San Francisco next year. EmptyTrips will next take part in the Slush Global Impact Accelerator in Finland between 21 November and 2 December. The startup has also participated in Singularity U Global Impact Challenge where it was one of the top five finalists and in the annual Seedstars competition where it was placed third in the SA leg of the competition. The five-month old company...

  • Microsoft 4Afrika teams up with Tony Elumelu Foundation to help IT firms

    Microsoft, through its 4Afrika Initiative, has collaborated with the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) to provide entrepreneurs in the foundation's entrepreneurship programme with technology-based tools, resources and mentorship. Microsoft said in a press release yesterday that through the support the two organisations will help entrepreneurs to use ICT to modernise their businesses. Microsoft Nigeria general manager Akin Banuso said the company has found that SMEs who adopt modern IT have seen 15% faster revenue growth than those not using IT. Microsoft and the Tony Emumelu Foundation will help entrepreneurs to use ICT to modernise their businesses Microsoft 4Afrika will provide TEF entrepreneurs with: Access to cloud-based software, online support and...