• BURN MEDIA
    • Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

Startups

  • Sweep South concludes Series-A round with Black Coffee for ‘seven-figure’ sum

    One of SA's biggest music icons DJ Black Coffee has invested in domestic hiring platform SweepSouth during its Series-A funding round. "We connected with him (Black Coffee) through one of our investors and he liked the business model, he liked the growth of the company, he liked what we were trying to accomplish in empowering women and empowering domestic (workers)," said Aisha Pandor in an interview with Ventureburn." The Series-A round was led by international retail solutions company Smollan and also include Draper Darker Flow, Identity Development Fund Managers and CRE venture capital. The startup will use current investments to grow throughout SA, continent While Pandor...

  • New Silicon Cape head pledges to make sector’s ‘old boys’ club’ more inclusive

    Silicon Cape's new managing director says she plans to get the Cape's tech scene -- long tagged as an "old boys' club", with moneyed white males dominating the region's startup ecosystem -- to become more inclusive. "Research I've done and the whispering I've heard is it (Cape) may not be inclusive and may be an old boys' club," Ellen Fischat told Ventureburn. "The fact of the matter is 20 years ago there were no black tech operators so what we see at the moment is a consequence of history," says Fischat, who started her new position yesterday (8 May). Fischat, who is from Port Elizabeth, has been involved in...

  • To succeed, help foster tech startups, Brics nations must work from bottom up

    Many have asked if the association between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa has any real significance. Will it benefit the economies of member countries and citizens? The short answer is simply that it's still too early to tell. Brics currently operates at two levels. Viewed from the top down, the work of Brics is carried out at an annual summit attended by heads of state, senior ministers and officials. Decisions that have been made at these summits include a proposal for the construction of an optical fibre submarine telecommunications cable system, linking all Brics countries (agreed in India in 2012) and establishing a...

  • Tackle infrastructure, skills challenges to boost tech sector, say Nigerian experts

    Nigeria must overcome its infrastructure challenges and shortage of skills if it is to help the country's nascent tech scene to grow, say analysts and entrepreneurs. The country boasts such successful tech companies such as fintech company Interswitch, edtech firm Andela and e-commerce site Jumia, which last year raised $326-million in funding. In addition, investments from overseas programmes such as Y Combinator, Village Capital and 500 Startups continue afoot, despite the country having slipped into a recession last year. Nigeria's burgeoning startup scene and its large market and entrepreneurial population with over 180 million people is what lured Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to Lagos's Yaba startup...

  • CCDI to back seven innovative Cape projects in second round of seed fund

    A hydrogen-powered drone that releases lab-bred insects to wipe out pests, a medical device which uses a novel method to treat glaucoma and an innovative method to manufacture oak extract for use in the manufacture of wine and spirits... These are just some of the seven biotech and agricultural projects that will each receive seed funding of up to R500 000 from the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI) in partnership with the Technology Innovation Agency's (TIA) seed fund and the Western Cape government’s Department of Economic Development. CCDI executive director Erica Elk said at the announcement that an investment committee made up of experts from various...

  • Q&A: FSB’s Caroline da Silva clarifies 30 June deadline on crowdfunding

    South Africa's Financial Services Board (FSB) last month revealed to Ventureburn that it had set a date of 30 June by which it plans to rule on whether to craft specific rules or not for equity crowdfunding. Since then the FSB has received a number of calls from interested parties who mistakenly believe the authority is about to release crowdfunding legislation. Read more: South Africa's FSB to rule on crowdfunding by June 30 In a Q&A with Ventureburn, FSB deputy executive officer for financial advisory & intermediary services Caroline da Silva explains what the deadline is all about and details the FSB's current approach...

  • Exclusive: Vinny Lingham to open Civic office in SA following IP rule changes

    Silicon Valley based SA entrepreneur Vinny Lingham says he plans to open an office in Cape Town to hire developers for his new startup Civic, following reforms to South Africa's Intellectual Property (IP) control regulations. "The Reserve Bank by listening to the community and making the changes (to the IP control rules) have opened it up to more foreign investments," Lingham said in a Skype call with Ventureburn from San Francisco on Friday last week. Lingham recently posted a link of Civic's Facebook account saying the startup is looking to hire in South Africa. It follows an announcement by then Minister of...

  • Mimecast founder on how he turned down R30 000 deal only to sell for R20m

    South African Peter Bauer, who just over 18 months ago listed his email management startup Mimecast on the Nasdaq, once turned down a R30 000 offer for his then business in the late 1990s, only to sell it a few months later for R20-million. Mimecast, which Bauer started in 2003 with fellow South African Neil Murray, listed on the Nasdaq in November 2015. The company's stock price has since doubled and trades at about $24 per share, bringing its total market cap to $1.2-billion. In the late 1990s, after selling his stake in a school stationery and goods supplier and after having travelled a...

  • Barclays Rise mentors aim to provide guide in lonely world of entrepreneurship

    Mentors can prove invaluable to entrepreneurs looking to grow their business as they can impart important knowledge and act as an important guide in the lonely world of starting a business. So says Alexandra Fraser, director of Silicon Cape and a Barclay's Rise mentor -- one of a number of Barclay's Rise Techstars mentors who spoke to Ventureburn on the benefits of mentorship, following the announcement earlier this month of the accelerator's next cohort of startups. Read more: Barclays accelerator announces latest participants in African programme Fraser said networks and relationships, much like ones you make with mentors are important, particularly when you're an entrepreneur. "Being an entrepreneur is a...

  • What South Africa can learn from burgeoning tech scene in Poland

    South Africa has been in hot water politically and economically after the country’s credit rating was downgraded to “junk status” earlier this month. Despite this the local currency has shown resilience and economists believe that policy changes should steer the country towards a recovery. According to its central bank governor, the country is still attracting capital flows which should be good news for South Africa’s tech scene. Africa, as a continent, has a growing tech scene with 314 active tech hubs. South Africa leads the continent with 54, according to a recent graphic by GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator. But if there’s a tech scene South...