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Startup news

  • Pearson looking to fund, incubate Africa’s top edtech startups

    Pearson, in collaboration with US accelerator Village Capital, has announced its Edupreneurs programme which seeks to support entrepreneurs across Africa trying to solve pressing education issues. The programme will host 15 chosen edtech startups in South Africa after which two winners will be given up to US$75 000 in seed funding. Although the programme will be operating in South Africa, applications are open to all entrepreneurs across the continent who want to make a positive impact on the future of learning. Startups will complete tailored modules in business and education topics, and receive mentoring advice from other entrepreneurs, investors and...

  • Video on demand startup iROKOtv expands to East Africa

    Online television startup iROKOtv will be opening up its doors to Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in the following week. The move comes as part of the company's transition to focus more on the local African audiences as opposed to its diaspora. Originally based in London, UK and Lagos, Nigeria, founder of iROKOtv Jason Njoku explains the massive market potential in East Africa, pointing out that the active payment penetration as well as the internet data are significantly cheaper than in other markets. "Payment isn’t an issue in East Africa. Data is significantly cheaper. For Internet TV, these are...

  • Global startup Easy Taxi bags $40-million in funding

    Transport app, Easy Taxi, has secured US$40-million led by the Russian Phenomen Ventures and German Tengelmann Ventures. Backed by Rocket Internet, the startup operates in Latin America, Africa, Middle East and Asia and is often dubbed the world’s farthest-reaching taxi app. Dennis Wang, co-CEO at Easy Taxi says the new round of Series D funding will be used to help scale operations in existing markets. He explains: “We are very proud to have secured this new round of funding, which will allow us to continue our growth trajectory in existing markets, advance our technology, scale our operations and improve our...

  • SA entrepreneur’s football fan startup scores a cool US$2.4m in funding

    You don't really have to know all that much about football to know that it's seriously big business. Some of the figures nonetheless remain mind boggling. Manchester United and Real Madrid each sell around 1.4-million replica jerseys a year, netting them hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. Add in stuff like season ticket sales, match day programmes and paid appearances and you can see why anyone able to tap into the sport's rabid fandom stands to win big. Enter Fanmode. The app, built by South African-born entrepreneur Nevan Murugan aims to make the world a stadium for sports fans...

  • PayFast’s 30k merchants can now accept bitcoin as online payment

    Starting today, one of South Africa's most popular online payment service, PayFast, is enabling sellers using its services to easily start accepting bitcoin payments from local and international buyers. This news comes after PayFast entered into an partnership with South Africa’s biggest bitcoin exchange, BitX, which will allow buyers to make bitcoin payments to PayFast's 30 000 merchant clients. Customers shopping online now have the option to either pay using Mastercard, Visa, Instant EFT, or bitcoin. Moreover, the system is unique in that it tries to shake off one of bitcoin's biggest disadvantages as a payment method -- volatility. Customers can...

  • Seed Engine announces entrepreneurial competition in honour of Mandela Day

    In celebration of Mandela Day on 18 July, Seed Engine is offering one hopeful South African entrepreneur a free ten-week course through their business startup competition. The startup accelerator will grant early stage entrepreneurial hopefuls the chance to "build successful businesses" with free training via the company's academy -- a prize valued at R16 000. The South African entrepreneur with the best business plan will also have access to training classes in an accelerator-style model, which aim to develop leadership and business decision skills. Jeff Miller, Seed Engine's Chairman, says that he wants his company to follow in the stead of...

  • SAB invites 67 entrepreneurs to pitch for 67 seconds this Mandela Day

    South African Breweries (SAB) is celebrating Nelson Mandela Day in the spirit of entrepreneurship on 18 July. At The Lean Jump event, 67 startups from Gauteng, South Africa are encouraged to present their business ideas in just over a minute each, in order to partake in SAB KickStart development programme and standing a chance of winning a share of R300 000 investment. Entrepreneurs with successful pitches on Mandela Day will be provided with six months of virtual business mentorship as well as grant funding to invest in growing their business idea or business operations currently not older than 6 months. The...

  • 8 Cape Town finalists named for Get in the Ring global startup competition

    In South Africa, the Capetonian finalists for the international startup competition Get in the Ring have been announced and will be pitching 22 July. The competition aims to source impressive early-stage companies from around the globe. Over 2 000 startups from 50 countries are filtered via regional finals and pitted up against each other in order to stand a chance of winning €1 000 000 (R15 000 000) in investments. Here are the Cape Town finalists: Daptio The edtech startup is building a mobile first Adaptive learning assessment platform that creates a knowledge profile as a learner works through a course...

  • Broadband startup WhiteSpaces wants to bridge Nigeria’s digital divide

    The Nigerian based startup, WhiteSpaces, wants to offer an affordable, reliable broadband solution to the country's millions of unserved citizens. With a focus on low-end users and rural areas using TV WhiteSpaces technology, it's recently announced its beta launch with 250 clients chosen out of a crop of 25 000. The technology, which relies on frequency bands usually set aside for television transmissions, has been popularly piloted by Microsoft 4Afrika and Google with support from Facebook and local tertiary institutions in Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya. As further explained by WhiteSpaces, the tech solution lies in filling the unused...

  • Khusela wins Seedstars Cape Town with this savvy fire-detection device

    In the past few weeks, the global Seedstars World competition has been making its rounds across Africa in an effort to find the most impressive startups from emerging markets to compete with each other in Geneva, Switzerland. The regional trip recently rounded off in Cape Town, with Khusela being awarded first prize for having developed a low-cost, innovative fire-detection device. Mainly designed with condensed housing such as shanty towns in mind, Khusela has created a proactive early-warning system. Khusela means "protect" in Xhosa and revolves around the idea that traditional smoke detectors are too expensive and don't meet the...