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Startups

  • Bloemfontein startup secures $2m funding from Canadian investment bank

    Bloemfontein-based startup Xineoh is making waves internationally thanks to its unique algorithm, which has already generated in excess of $30-million in revenue for clients across the globe, attracting the interest of investors, with $2-million received in backing to date in 2017. The startup has developed a series of algorithms that help connect the right buyer to the right producer -- in a similar way to how Amazon.com and Netflix taps into user behaviour to predict potential purchasing behaviour and serve users bespoke information likely to incite conversion. Xineoh CEO and founder Vian Chinner told Ventureburn that King and Bay West, a investment...

  • Consumer lending has dropped to ‘almost zero’ under new regulations – Rainfin CEO

    Consumer lending on marketplace lending platform RainFin has ground to a halt since the new National Credit Regulations threshold came into effect on 11 November, the company’s chief executive Sean Emery said yesterday. "Our consumer lending has dropped almost to zero," Emery said, adding that before the new threshold came into place consumer lending made up half of the platform's focus. Under the new threshold, lenders who lend even one cent to consumers have be registered with the National Credit Regulator to do so. Emery said most consumers are reluctant to go through the process of getting registered with the National Credit Regulator. Under...

  • AIF reveals names of 10 shortlisted for $100,000 Innovation Prize for Africa

    The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) has announced the top 10 nominees for next month's 2017 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA), which will take place in Accra, Ghana. The AIF on Thursday announced the names of innovators from nine African countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Kenya, Liberia, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe. They include innovative solutions addressing challenges in agriculture value chain, health care, energy, communications, service industries as well as surveillance using drone technology. Now celebrating its sixth year under the theme “African Innovation: Investing in Prosperity”, the IPA -- which will be awarded on 18 July  -- offers...

  • ‘SA must forget being unicorn factory, focus on tech that solves challenges’

    South Africa is never going to be "a unicorn factory" so startups should focus rather on using technology to help the country solve its many challenge, says Giraffe co-founder Anish Shivdasani. He was speaking at the launch of a new report at the Gordon Institute of Business (GIBS) last night. "The reason most unicorns are from the USA is because their economy is 60 times the size of ours," said Shivdasani, whose startup came out tops at the 2016 Seedstars Competition. 'Reason most unicorns are from US is because their economy is 60 times the size of ours' The event -- to launch Jason Levin's Unicorns, Gazelles & Leapfrogs:...

  • Will SA startup Moonrock energise local portable power sector?

    Taking on a saturated market isn't always the smartest move when it comes to starting a business. However Cape Town startup Moonrock, is doing just that. Founded by Marcel Hattingh, Josh Swart, Nathan Swart and Ian de Jong in 2016, the startup retails single-use emergency powerbanks through merchants who sell them to customers wanting to recharge their cellphones in a hurry. The powerbanks are offered through merchants who can only make use of them once before having to return them to Moonrock to be charged. Hattingh came up with the idea after getting tired of relying on plugging his devices directly into the wall. "He (Marcel) decided...

  • Start-Up Nations SA helping spread best practices in SA, claims co-ordinator

    Three years after the launch of Start-Up Nations South Africa by the Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu in November 2014, Ventureburn has questioned what the role of the initiative -- which works mostly behind the scenes -- really is. The initiative is a partnership between the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), The Innovation Hub and the Wits Business School. Ventureburn spoke to IDC support specialist Mmodi Rambau-Nesengani, who has been tasked with co-ordinating the initiative. She says her desk is at work trying to connect local organisations with best practice programmes from other countries, while having initiated a local initiative that aims to foster...

  • How Pretoria guy made a million at 22 but still stays with parents

    A millionaire at 22. That's the story of Pretoria property entrepreneur Albert van Wyk, who last month launched a book detailing how he made his first million. But like all stories there's more to it than meets the eye. In his self-published book, A Millionaire at 22, Van Wyk -- who is now 24, still lives with his parents and uses a second-hand cellphone -- describes how as a 19-year-old fresh out of school he used the money he would've received from a bursary as a down payment to acquire property. A little help from dad Writes van Wyk: "After a long debate I made...

  • Orange launches African-focused investment programme

    Telecoms company Orange has announced the launch of a new programme dedicated to helping African entrepreneurs achieve their goals. The Orange Digital Ventures Africa programme will serve as Orange's investment vehicle and is committing €50-million to invest in startups which will account for half of the direct investments made by the flagship programme. The other half will be devoted to "indirect investments through specialised funding". A team will be set up in Dakar in September for the Ventures programme to be able to assist applicants. Pierre Louette, deputy CEO of Orange and Chairman of Orange Digital Ventures commented on the new initiative in a press...

  • Nokia opens global challenge for innovative IoT startups

    Nokia in partnership with private venture firm Nokia Growth Partners has announced the launch of the Nokia Open Innovation Challenge. The challenge will focus on startups addressing internet-of-things (IoT) solutions for smart cities, mobility as well as safety and security. Submissions for the global competition opened 8 June and close on 20 September. Once selected, startups will attend a two-day "concept development workshop" with industry experts in Helsinki, Finland in November. The final competition will take place immediately after the workshops where startups will compete for access to Nokia's global market, investment opportunities, as well as co-innovation and joint business opportunities. "Co-innovating in an...

  • Lagos startups have 10 days left to secure spot at angel investing event

    Lagos startups seeking funding have just over 10 days left to apply to be part of the latest round of the Lagos StartUp DealDay. Interested startups must apply by 23 June, following an announcement posted last week on VC4Africa's website. Those that are selected will be able to pitch to various angel investors at the event, which is held three times a year by the Lagos Angel Network (LAN). VC4Africa said Lagos StartUp DealDay raised over 100 million naira ($310,000) from LAN members and the early stage investment community for Lagos startups during 2016. LAN partners for the DealDay are VC4A, the Africa Business Angel Network (ABAN), Lagos tech hubs,...