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Startups

  • HAVAÍC to undertake a R5m capital raise for SA company Digital Cabinet

    Cape Town venture capital (VC) company HAVAÍC today announced it would undertake a R5-million capital raise for local paperless cloud solutions company Digital Cabinet. The raise includes the conversion of the convertible loan, extended in July last year, into equity. In a press release HAVAÍC said the company had mandated the VC to undertake the capital raise, which is based on the company's estimated valuation having doubled in the intervening period. Read more: VC HAVAIC invests in expanding Digital Cabinet cloud solutions Speaking to Ventureburn, HAVAÍC executive director Grant Rock did not want to disclose Digital Cabinet's current valuation. However he was able to say that the VC firm...

  • Meet EMGuidance, the SA finalist for Seedstars World competition

    A Cape Town startup that developed an app to help doctors to source more reliable information on treatment guidelines and medication dosages among other things, has been chosen to represent South Africa at the next Seedstars World competition. EMGuidance was selected last Thursday by Seedstars World from several startups that competed at the South Africa final held in Johannesburg. Read more: EMGuidance is set to represent South Africa at the Seedstars World finals The startup will now compete against more than 75 startups in Switzerland in April next year for the top prize of $500 000 and will also attend an African Seedstars event in Maputo in November. With the app, which EMGuidance launched...

  • South Africa is slipping behind on regulating bitcoin — Vinny Lingham

    Silicon Valley based SA entrepreneur Vinny Lingham says South Africa is falling behind when it comes to regulating bitcoin. “I think we’re definitely behind the times. I mean Japan has just removed taxes on bitcoin yesterday. Singapore’s regulating it more, Australia etc as well. All these countries in the world are being very progressive on cryptocurrencies and whatever else and South Africa hasn’t issued any guidance on it yet,” said Lingham, in a Skype call with Ventureburn yesterday. Lingham is the CEO of Civic which makes use of bitcoin and deploys cryptographic keys to allow for the secure storage of information on mobile phones or...

  • Three days left to apply for SA Innovation Summit’s pitching den, inventor’s garage

    Startups and small businesses with high-growth potential have until midnight on Sunday (9 July) to apply to pitch at the SA Innovation Summit's Pitching Den competition in September. A competition for inventors, also to be run at the summit, also closes this Sunday. In a press release on Monday, summit director Audrey Verhaeghe said the competitions are an important part of the summit, with finalists and winners exposed to a large number of investors. Judges will select 25 finalists by 24 July to take part in the Pitching Den, which is set for 6 and 7 September. The overall winners will be announced at an...

  • Q&A: Cape Town kitesurfer details what it takes to be a digital nomad

    With ever improving technology and a search for a better way to work, many South Africans are turning to the possibility of working remotely, as digital nomads. Cape Town born Justin Nothling, 26, is one such person. A survey last year by employee engagement firm TinyPulse of over 500 US employees who work remotely found they tend to be more satisfied and more productive than office-bound workers. Nothling today runs an online app school cloneable.io, develops apps (such as Zumalator) and is also working on a few projects involving bitcoin. He’s worked remotely for four years now in several countries and is currently in Montenegro, where...

  • SA might be in recession but opportunities are huge – Alphawave chairman

    While South Africa slipped into a recession in the first quarter of this year, Stellenbosch investor and entrepreneur Frans Meyer says the opportunities for innovative companies locally and abroad are "still huge". Meyer is the group executive chairman of local tech company Alphawave. Meyer, together with Gronum Smith started EMSS in 1994. One of their company's now supplies the receivers that are used on South Africa's Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project. In May the parent company EMSS Group changed its name to Alphawave in May. 'The specific opportunities for innovative companies, providing products and services locally, abroad, still huge' Meyer responded to various...

  • Awethu Project app to provide virtual incubation to informal entrepreneurs

    South African business support organisation The Awethu Project has launched an app for entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners, intended as a "business coach in your pocket". Awethu Project CEO Yusuf Randera-Rees said in a press release following the official launch of the app on June 16 that the Awethu Project App enables informal entrepreneurs to start and grow a business, make more money, and improve their lives. “Over the last four years, 100 000 people applied to our incubator. We only had the resources to incubate the top 2 100, and those entrepreneurs have created over 2 500 jobs. Now, it’s...

  • SA fitness app Fitkey heads for 1000 paid subscribers almost two years after launch

    Almost two years after it launched local startup Fitkey has almost a 1000 paid subscribers, with about 3000 users signed up to the browse the site. It all started when Ohio-born Evan Walther, who has a background marketing for tech startups in the US, came on a two-week holiday back in 2014 and fell in love with Cape Town. Walther is due to speak tonight at Startup Grind Pretoria (see details here). With the city being close to nature and with its abundance of good restaurants, it was so much like Cornell University in Ithaca in upstate New York that he decided...

  • Q&A: Focus on creating unicorn for SA is misdirected says Justin Stanford

    Any overt focus by South African ecosystem players on creating the country's first unicorn is a "misdirection of attention" says venture capitalist and founder of 4Di Capital Justin Stanford. With the number of multi-million acquisition deals concluded by South African startups seemingly on the increase of late, Stanford says the country should rather focus on systematically repeatable value creation. 'Focus on headline number of $1-billion valuation is misdirection of attention' It follows the $445-million sale of Kapa Biosystems in 2015 and, more recently, the $123-million GetSmarter deal announced in May. Read more: Are these the 10 all-time biggest exit deals for SA startups? Responding to emailed questions from Ventureburn, Stanford...

  • FSB misses its own crowdfunding deadline

    South Africa’s Financial Services Board (FSB) has missed a June 30 deadline on considering whether to regulate equity crowdfunding or not. A FSB spokesperson in April said the authority had set a date of 30 June by which it planned to rule on whether to craft specific rules or not for equity crowdfunding. It followed the completion of a research report by the FSB on crowdfunding. Read more: South Africa’s FSB to rule on crowdfunding by June 30 However Felicity Mabaso, the FSB's head of department for FAIS Supervision, stressed that the "crowdfunding project" is still a work in progress. "We have scheduled further engagements...