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Startup news

  • Angolan capital’s traffic proves no headache for delivery startup Tupuca

    Angola's capital Luanda is notorious for some of the worst traffic on the continent. Now four entrepreneurs founders who run a food delivery startup in the city are seeking to capitalise on what is usually a headache for residents there. Since Wilson Ganga, Erickson Mvezi, Patrice Francisco and Sydney Teixeira set up Tupuca in 2015 the startup has scored a collective $200 000 from two investors. In recent months deliveries through the app from restaurants in the city have grown a few times over. "(Traffic is) terrible but that's how it benefits us, because in lunchtime instead of people going into the traffic to...

  • mSurvey raises $3.5m from TLcom Capital-led Series A round, eyes SA market

    Nairobi-based mobile survey platform mSurvey has announced that it raised $3.5-million in Series A round led by venture capital firm TLcom Capital. mSurvey CEO Kenfield Griffith told Ventureburn the round was concluded in Q1 this year. Other investors who participated in the round include Net Promoter Score (NPS) co-founder Richard Owen, Golden Palm, Kapor Capital and Social Capital. mSurvey intends to use the funding to finance expansion into other African countries, and is aiming on launching in South Africa this year Griffith said the company -- which also has offices in San Francisco -- is eyeing expansion into South Africa. This after the company...

  • Getting state support ‘waste of time, energy’ for biotech entrepreneur

    Getting the government to back her biotech startup that produces an essential ingredient for HIV test kits has proved frustrating and often a "waste of time and energy", says SA biotech entrepreneur Jenny Leslie. Leslie claims that her Cape Town-based biotech startup BioTech Africa is the sole manufacturer in Africa that produces recombinant proteins, a key component of diagnostic test kits used to test for HIV and a range of other diseases, including Hepatitis C and the Zika virus. Leslie argues that government support for biotech companies is necessary because of the high barriers to entry associated with the industry. Setting up a simple lab alone can cost more than...

  • Rise Cape Town launches female tech entrepreneur initiative Rise Scalarator

    Absa-owned fintech innovation hub Rise Cape Town has launched a new initiative dubbed Rise Scalarator, which aims to assist five female tech entrepreneurs from the Western Cape scale their startups. The initiative aims to assist black South African tech entrepreneurs who have developed a minimum viable product scale their startups. Applications for the programme close on 9 May. Applications for the Rise Scalarator programme close on 9 May The programme, which was co-created with Cape Town-based accelerator 88 Business Collective, is set to kick off with a 12 week bootcamp in June and will run until November. In a statement, the programme's project manager and 88 Business Collective...

  • Interest in Zimbabwe’s tech startup scene picks up, but startups still struggling

    Today Zimbabwe marks 38 years of independence from British colonial rule. This will be the first Independence Day the country has had under a president other than Robert Mugabe, this after President Emmerson Mnangagwa assumed office last year in November. Five months on, Ventureburn looks at developments in the country's tech startup scene under the new administration and the challenges Zimbabwean tech startups are facing. ICT Innovation Drive launch By far the biggest development to have taken place in the country's tech startup scene since President Mnangagwa's inauguration is his March launch of the ICT Innovation Drive which saw six startups get...

  • Meet the 10 startups, scale-ups selected for Webber Wentzel’s Ignite incubator [Updated]

    South African law firm Webber Wentzel has announced the selection of 10 startups and scale-ups to join its Ignite legal incubation programme. In a statement yesterday, Aalia Manie, project lead and partner at the firm, commented that the legal firm is thrilled at the "exceptional quality" of the applications received and the level of interest shown in the programme. In a subsequent email today, Manie said she could not immediately disclose the number of applications without the permission of her team members. The 10 companies are: The 10 will receive support that includes legal services valued at up to R100 000, focused mentoring and support which will...

  • Seedstars winner AgroCenta secures third of $750 000 funding from US investor

    Fresh off being named 2018 Seedstars Global winner, Ghanaian agritech startup AgroCenta is hoping to raise $750 000 in funding in a new seed round, and has raised about a third of this from a US investor, the startup's co-founder Michael Ocansey said. Ocansey was speaking to Ventureburn last Thursday (12 April) at the Seedstars Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland, where the startup was crowned the 2018 Seedstars Global winner and with it $500 000 in equity investment from Seedstars. He said $230 000 of the round had been committed by the US investor. AgroCenta is an online sales platform started in 2015 by Ocansey and Francis Obirikorang. It...

  • Michael Jordaan backed startup Alto Africa reports 85% growth in 2017

    Cape Town based tech company Alto Africa, which has investment from Michael Jordaan's Montegray Capital, saw 85% growth in revenue in 2017, following a 50% growth in revenue in 2016. The company has developed Cloudbox -- what it calls an "all-in-one" IT cloud solution in a box for SMEs. The solution incorporates email, email backups, file sharing, computer backups, antivirus and communication into one simple package to take the complexity out of IT. Trent says everything is taken care of under one roof by one vendor on a per-user, per-month basis for a flat monthly fee. He says the company has signed up 170 SMEs so far -- most of...

  • Is this platform API the game changer that will disrupt SA’s insurance industry?

    A Cape Town-based fintech startup has launched an insurtech platform API that will enable developers to speed up development, prototyping and launching of digital insurance products in the country -- at no cost. Insurance is a complex space, one requires a slew of initial expertise and resources, says Louw Hopley, the CEO and co-founder of Root, the startup behind the developer-focused insurance platform. "Upfront costs and capital requirement involved in securing an insurance license are massive, often leaving insurtechs in the mercy of incumbents," adds Hopley. The platform API -- Root Insurance -- aims to disrupt this. Hopley says it will make the development...

  • Zim crypto exchange Golix launches and activates country’s first Bitcoin ATM

    Zimbabwean cryptocurrencies exchange Golix has launched and activated the country's first ever Bitcoin ATM which will allow customers to buy and sell Bitcoin. Golix announced the launch last week in a blog post on its website. The Bitcoin ATM will be located in the exchange's offices in Harare. In a recent email to Ventureburn, Golix communications director Nhlalwenhle Ngwenya said over 10 000 customers who are faced with a "slow and cumbersome" banking process for settling international payments had over the past six months "religiously" used the cryptocurrency exchange. Customers using Golix's Bitcoin ATM will be limited to a $5000 transaction limit Ngwenya, who...

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