• 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

  • 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...

  • Questions raised over SA startup’s claim algorithm could net investors $20bn

    SA entrepreneur Stephen Larkin claims that investors could be in for "free cash" of US$20-billion if his exploration company, which uses a unique algorithm to pinpoint possible gas deposits, makes a find in Namibia's Kalahari Desert. While he's raised millions of dollars from investors and written off millions more in research costs through a number of state incentives, industry analysts remain cautious. Read more: Will South African trio's algorithm be a boon for oil sector? His UK-registered company Africa New Energies, which is expected to list on the London Stock Exchange next year, has yet to discover a single barrel of oil. Larkin...

  • ‘Computicket’s acquisition of Pretoria startup an opportunity to learn more’

    Computicket's acquisition of local company Entry Ninja is an opportunity to take on new technology and to learn more, says the Pretoria startup's co-founder Frans Jooste. "It's a lot of fun to see your product blowing up," Jooste, 29, told Ventureburn today on Computicket's purchase of the online sporting events portal. "It's like seeing your baby growing up." Computicket on Saturday announced that it has acquired the startup for an undisclosed sum. Neither Jooste or Shoprite Holdings, which owns Computicket, would disclose the amount of the deal. 'It’s a lot of fun to see your product blowing up' Jooste said the startup was...

  • SA downgrade ‘nearly irrelevant’ to startups – Michael Jordaan

    South Africa’s downgrade to junk status earlier this month by two rating agencies may have depressed Michael Jordaan, one of the country's most respected venture capital (VC) investors, but he believes the downgrade is "nearly irrelevant" to startups. "In this tough economic climate it is useful that one of the advantages of startups as opposed to big business is that the macro economics are nearly irrelevant as it is far more important for the startup to first succeed in its narrowly defined micro-market," said Jordaan in an email to Ventureburn. However, in a wide-ranging interview, the former head of First National Bank, now the...

  • 6 artificial intelligence startups in Africa to look out for [Digital All Stars]

    Digital All Stars is a series of articles which aims to celebrate the best of South African digital. The articles, which will appear on Memeburn and Ventureburn, recognise and celebrate South Africa’s best digital entrepreneurs, business people, advertisers, and media professionals among others. In this piece we take a look at some interesting African startups involved in developing artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. DataProphet South African startup DataProphet last year received a significant investment of an undisclosed amount from Yellowwoods Capital Holdings to expand its international offering. As part of the deal, DataProphet will act as the advanced analytics partner for the group. The...

  • Will South African trio’s algorithm be a boon for oil sector?

    Over $300-billion of oil and gas exploration projects have been shelved since the oil price fell from a high of $120 in July 2014 to a low of $25 in early 2015 -- but three South Africans' use of a statistical algorithm promises to cut the cost of finding oil and gas. While unlisted UK company Africa New Energies (ANE) recently became the subject of a bidding war with valuations of hundreds of millions of dollars, analysts remain cautious, with the company yet to discover a single barrel of oil. The company, launched by Stephen Larkin, Brendon Raw and Shakes Motsilili in 2012, uses data collected...

  • We lost R200k to wrong developers, Shark Tank startup tells Fuckup Nights

    They may have secured R400 000 from two investors on SA TV show Shark Tank last year, but Jason Newmark and Chelsea Evans learnt a hard lesson when they recently lost R200 000 on tech developers. Speaking at a Fuckup Nights event held in Cape Town on Wednesday, Newmark and Evans, co-founders of wedding planning site Plan My Wedding, detailed how choosing the wrong website developers also set them back a year. The monthly event, in which entrepreneurs detail their biggest failures, was hosted by co-working space Cape Town Office at the Canterbury Club. "We ended up spending R200k on developers we...

  • ‘I couldn’t sleep for three years,’ Nigerian entrepreneur tells Fuckup Nights event

    Nigerian entrepreneur Dayo Elegbe was feeling good. He’d worked with big names in the UK and his latest idea to give away a car on a Nigerian game show looked like a money spinner. Little did he know that he was one move away from losing thousands of dollars. "I couldn't sleep for three years. I had crazy insomnia," says Elegbe, recalling his biggest failure in business, at a Fuckup Nights event held at the Canterbury Club in Cape Town last night. The monthly event, in which entrepreneurs detail their biggest failures, was hosted by co-working space Cape Town Office. Elegbe, founder...