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Startups

  • Machine learning is fast becoming business imperative for marketing

    Imagine a world ruled by robots, where artificial intelligence (AI) is used to wield commercial influence and drive our daily decisions. Imagine if your every move was predictable, your behaviours easily anticipated, your world reduced to a set of probabilities. This might sound like the stuff of science fiction, but this isn’t a dreamed up dystopian reality -- in fact, it’s the world we’re living in today. But machine learning isn’t the stuff of nightmares conjured up in futuristic Hollywood thrillers -- in fact, it’s something with which most of us are very familiar, thanks to its prolific use in...

  • Online betting may be on rise in Nigeria but startups still put off by challenges

    The English Premier League enjoys a religious following in Nigeria, likewise the Spanish La Liga. But for some fans, watching the game is not enough -- they must also put money on it. This has given rise to a burgeoning betting sector in the West African country. From just one betting company 10 years ago the betting sector in Nigeria has grown to over 20, according to one online list. One of these is NairaSpin an online betting platform, founded by Balogun Danjuma. Recently several industry players were shocked when Danjuma announced on Facebook that he would be shutting down his startup 9jabookings.com and...

  • How AI is enabling accountants to move from record keepers to strategic advisors

    Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have been two major buzzwords of late. Progress in this field of technology will undoubtedly alter the world as we know it in decades to come. In this the field of accounting is no different. Very real progress in the field of cloud accounting is already enabling business owners to do more, faster -- enabling incredible jumps in growth and profitability potential. Cloud accounting refers to using cloud-based software to run the accounting function of a business. This new approach is fast replacing the old desktop versions of accounting software. And for good reason! Here below...

  • Q&A: Report details fintech’s explosion across African continent

    Africa has seen a boom in fintech in the last two years, with 301 startups now active in the sector on the continent, a report released earlier this month by Disrupt Africa reveals. Ventureburn asked Disrupt Africa co-founder Tom Jackson and co-author (along with Gabriella Mulligan) of Finnovating for Africa: Exploring the African Fintech Ecosystem Report 2017 to share some of his thoughts on where fintech is going in Africa. Ventureburn: What are some of the most surprising things you have uncovered in fintech in Africa in the last two and half years? Tom Jackson: There are plenty of things that obviously don’t surprise us, such as the fact...

  • Y Combinator school helped grow movie service 20% a week – Vibescout

    Attending Y Combinator's online Startup School has helped South African startup Vibescout to grow its movie aggregator 20% week-on-week, up 8 000 users since it's launch on the 19th of May. Jonathan Myburgh, co-founder of the South African events aggregator platform, announced on Monday that the startup had graduated from the 10-week programme, which commenced on 5 April. Myburgh was one of 2 820 applicants (of which 16 were from South Africa) who graduated from the programme. Over 13 000 entrepreneurs applied to be part of the programme. Key at the school are weekly Key Performance Indicator (KPI) meetings. One of the main projects to show a positive KPI...

  • Market your business the Yoco way: inspiration for African entrepreneurs

    If you want to scale your business across Africa and beyond, one thing that you will need to get right is your digital marketing strategy. With a lousy strategy scaling your business will be though. But when it comes down to actually crafting your digital marketing strategy you'll realise that it can be a complex and difficult task. That’s why it can be helpful to get some inspiration from other companies that do their digital marketing really, really well. One such company is South African fintech startup Yoco. Besides revolutionising the fintech space, the company is also teaching African businesses a thing...

  • Time to reimagine education system to tackle SA’s Industry 4.0 challenges

    Unemployment in SA is at a 14-year high with youth unemployment (15-34 years) reaching 38.6% in the first quarter of this year. Most concerning is that unemployment among the youth is disproportionately high even among those with tertiary education. Coupled with this South Africa is one of the few countries in the world in a technical recession. In addition we are seeing a skills shortage in critical areas of the economy, particularly for those positions which support new growth areas of the economy, such as technology and innovation. South Africa currently spends a higher proportion of its budget on education than the US,...

  • Drive Revenue gets multi-million rand funding injection from HAVAÍC

    Cape Town tech startup Drive Revenue has landed an undisclosed amount from HAVAÍC, the venture capital (VC) fund announced yesterday. HAVAÍC executive director Grant Rock said in a press release that the funding will be used to help Drive Revenue to roll out its cloud-enabled financial management system for legal practices. Speaking to Ventureburn, Rock said he could not disclose the amount in funding invested in Drive Revenue, saying only that it was "several million" rands and that it was made available from individual investors offshore. Rock said the idea is to help Drive Revenue to secure a round of equity investment later this year. 'We have resellers coming...

  • Cape Town startup WhereIsMyTransport in $1.5m in funding round

    Public transport data and technology startup WhereIsMyTransport has received a collective investment of £1.2-million ($1.5-million) from the Global Innovation Fund (GIF), Goodwell Investments and Bombardier. The investment has been secured as the Cape Town and London based company completes the digital mapping of informally run public transport in South Africa’s major metropolitan areas, the company said in a press release on Monday. In recognition of these achievements, WhereIsMyTransport earlier this month received the International Transport Forum “Promising Transport Innovation Award” and a place in the prestigious NewCities “Global Urban Innovators” initiative. 'We are delighted to welcome Global Innovation Fund, Goodwell Investments, Bombardier to...

  • SA angel investment sector has to grow, black or white, says Simodisa head

    South Africa needs more angel investors who can help startups and small businesses to grow. Yet there are still too few black Africans involved in angel investing. In a bid to create more debate around the issue Ventureburn asked Simodisa managing director Matsi Modise what the country can do to address this. Ventureburn: When you hear stories of angel investors you see mainly white faces, and perhaps just a smattering of Indian angels - most of them being male. Where are the black angel investors then? Matsi Modise: The angel investment space in South Africa is still in its infancy and is...