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Startups

  • Cherry-picking black industrialists not sustainable charges entrepreneur activist

    The government won’t drive radical economic transformation by simply selecting a few black entrepreneurs and backing these with support and finance, entrepreneur activist Vuyisa Qabaka said yesterday. “You’re not going to drive radical economic transformation by creating this cherry-picked, fancy, apply here,” said Qabaka, who runs business consultancy Entrepreneur Traction. He was speaking at Silicon Cape event Tech eKasi at Workshop 17. “A black industrialist is not created through an application form. It’s created through blood, sweat and tears, taking risk, and finding investors and building up. So first of all our politicians need to get their minds straight about that,” he...

  • Naspers invests $80m in Indian startup

    Internet and media group Naspers announced this week that it had invested $80-million in online food ordering and delivery platform Swiggy in its Series-E funding round. During the five rounds of funding, Swiggy has all together raised $155.5m. Swiggy launched in 2014 in Bengaluru, India. Today the platform covers eight cities, namely: Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata. The platform has over 1,000 employees across all functions such as sales, marketing, technology and customer service with 13,000 delivery executives. Speaking to Ventureburn, Swiggy's marketing vice-president Srivats TS said the funds would help the startup to double its technology headcount and increase...

  • Retired Lions rugby player’s app aims to tackle ‘administrative nightmare’

    Former Lions rugby player Dylan des Fountain is looking to solve the “administrative nightmare” that many firms face collecting and reconciling staff expense claims through a new app his tech startup is developing. For the past 12 months Des Fountain, who retired from professional rugby three years ago following several injuries, has been involved in developing the app through his startup Slipztream. “I’ve always been the type of person who is looking for solutions to any problems whatever they may be, that’s actually how Slipzstream came along,” he told Ventureburn in an exclusive interview. He credits his wife Joy, who is...

  • Applications now open to South Africa’s first media accelerator Jamlab

    Wits University today opened applications for a new six-month innovation support programme aimed at existing or new South African journalism and media teams. In a press release to Ventureburn, Wits said the Journalism and Media Accelerator (Jamlab) will be home to innovators who want to develop new forms of journalism and reach new, younger, audiences. Jamlab is an initiative of Wits Journalism and the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering in partnership with Ryerson University, Toronto and Journalists for Human Rights. The initiative will provide participating teams with the tools, facilities, contacts and the support necessary to realise their ideas and ambitions, combining professional...

  • Former ‘beach bum’ aims to turn fog into water to address Cape crisis

    From the outset it sounds like a crazy idea. To turn fog into water. But this is exactly what high-school dropout Grant Vanderwagen from Cape Town plans to do. The 25-year-old business consultant's idea to develop fog farms to help the city to battle its water crisis has already been featured on a number of online publications (such as 9lives.co.za, htxt and even on a site for a water network based in Germany). His H20 Catchers solution consists of metal frames covered with fine netting to gather condensation. He claims each fog farm can produce up to 10 000 litres at...

  • Vusi Thembekwayo extends deadline for #Top40 entrepreneurship programme

    Venture capitalist Vusi Thembekwayo has extended his #Top40 mentorship programme to mentor black entrepreneurs, after his investment company MyGrowthFund received an "overwhelming" response from entrepreneurs. In a press release to Ventureburn, MyGrowthFund announced the new due date as 7 June at 12pm. The competition, which opened for applications on 15 May and was to close on 31 May, has to date received 1,100 applications. The programme is open to black entrepreneurs with companies that generate at least R1 million in annual revenue and are looking to grow. The 40 selected participants are expected to announced at the end of June. They will then undergo an 18 month mentorship programme...

  • SA Startup AIR makes it as finalist in Citibank Tech for Integrity Challenge

    Always In-touch Real-time (AIR) founder Prashant Paima is waiting eagerly to hear whether his online security service startup has been chosen as the winner of this year's Citi Tech for Integrity Challenge (T4I) after taking part in a pitching event in Abu Dhabi earlier this month. The Johannesburg-based startup is competing against 102 other startups from around the world who are pitching in events in six different cities (see the list here). The challenge kicked off in Abu Dhabi on 14 and 15 May and ends with Hyderabad, India on 12 and 13 June. The overall winner will be announced next month, following the conclusion of the...

  • Unpacking South Africa’s tech startup and scaleup investor landscape

    Getting access to the right seed and growth finance is critical to the success of most emerging technology companies. But finding the right investor can be a daunting task for any founding team. You have to deal with different mandates, big egos, various terms and long lock-in periods just to start discussions and there are many boxes to tick. In working on over R300-million worth of seed and growth finance deals for our clients (see the infographic below), our team has seen it all. Without significant direction, founders can spend months worth of crucial time and energy in pursuit of an investor instead...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [29/05/2017]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or catch up on some of your skills? Well, you've come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we've rounded them up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list,...

  • Q&A: Taxify reveals plans to take on Uber in Nigeria by being more ‘driver friendly’

    The ride-hailing sector may remain attractive in Lagos, with 15 ride-hailing apps competing for a portion of Nigeria's biggest city's vast taxi market, but until now only Uber seems to have achieved some success. Estonian ride-hailing app Taxify, which arrived in the city in November, aims to change this. Uchenna Chukwuebuka Okafor, Taxify’s Operation Manager in Lagos told Ventureburn how the app has its eye focused on being a more driver-friendly app. Ventureburn: What is different about Taxify in comparison to similar services? Uchenna Chukwuebuka Okafor: We treat driver-partners better so that they can offer high quality service to customers. Our commission (that the company...