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Venture capital

  • Ctrl CEO says Santam investment will give the insurtech two to three years runway

    SA short term insurer Santam's investment in Cape Town based digital insurance broker Ctrl -- announced late last month -- will give the insurtech enough runway for the next two to three years says Ctrl CEO Pieter Venter. The announcement of the deal was first reported in a story on SA tech news site TechFinancials on 31 January. In a phone call with Ventureburn today (14 February), Venter (pictured above, far left) declined to disclose how much the financial services giant had invested in the startup. He however said the multi-year funding deal will see Santam acquire a "minority stake" in the...

  • Four Sars Section 12J venture capital funds that invest in SA tech startups

    South Africa's venture capital (VC) tax incentive allows investors that invest in accredited VC companies that then invest in small businesses, to make a tax deduction of 100% in the year that the investment was made. To date the SA Revenue Service (Sars) has approved over 120 such funds (find the list here). But very few invest in tech startups. While Sanari Capital and its Section 12J fund last year invested in two tech startups -- Internet of Things (IoT) platform Sensor Networks and Snapt, which provides applications delivery controller solutions (see here and here) -- there are really just four funds...

  • Section 12J funds that invest in property are a tax dodge says Vinny Lingham

    Silicon Valley based SA entrepreneur Vinny Lingham says too many funds approved under South Africa’s Section 12J venture capital (VC) tax incentive are using “financial re-engineering” such as investing in property, to allow the rich to “dodge” paying tax. The incentive, which came into effect in 2009, entitles investors that invest in accredited VC companies that then invest in small businesses, to make a tax deduction of 100% in the year that the investment was made. To date the SA Revenue Service (Sars) has approved over 120 such funds. Lingham, who it was revealed earlier this month is involved in a...

  • SA startup RapidDeploy raises $12m from Samsung Next, GreatPoint Ventures

    SA tech startup RapidDeploy announced yesterday that it has raised $12-million in a Series-A round from US venture capital fund GreatPoint Ventures and innovation fund Samsung Next. The startup did not reveal the stake that the two have taken in the company. The funding will help the startup -- which just relocated its head office to the US -- to accelerate the development and deployment of its cloud aided platform. The startup's cloud-based software enables public safety officials to reduce emergency response times and improve situational awareness. The platform is already deployed in over 35 agencies around the world and has to...

  • Ingressive Capital launches new call for African tech startups to tap $5m fund

    Ingressive Capita, a $5-million venture fund focused on early-stage African startups, is looking to invest tickets sizes of up to $100 000 in tech startups from Sub-Saharan Africa, with a possibility of $250 000 in follow-on investments. In a call for applications on its LinkedIn page on Monday (11 February), the firm stated that it is currently investing ticket sizes of between $50 000 and $100 000 in African tech-enabled startups. In the same post, Ingressive Capital founder and partner Maya Horgan Famodu (pictured above) acknowledged how difficult fundraising is for founders. Ingressive Capital will invest between $50 000 and $100 000...

  • SA financial sector authority drafts another paper on equity crowdfunding

    While some may be wondering when South Africa will get its own regulations governing equity crowdfunding, the authority that oversees financial regulations in South Africa appears to be in no rush to draft rules -- having recently completed yet another internal paper on crowdfunding. The latest -- a position paper on crowdfunding regulations -- follows the drafting of a research paper by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) on equity crowdfunding regulations that the body (when it was still known as the FSB) completed in 2017. The lack of regulation has been cited by some in the sector as the reason...

  • Why we invested in soda drink startup Pura, explains Knife Capital

    It's not just tech that SA venture capital (VC) firm Knife Capital invests in. Today the VC -- which has invested in a number of SA tech deals in recent years -- announced that it had invested in SA beverage startup Pura. Knife Capital did not disclose the amount it had invested in the company, which has developed a low-sugar soda beverage. Knife Capital partner Andrea Bohmert said only that the investment was a "Series-A funding round" in return for a significant minority stake. The VC company invests via a consortium of funding partnerships, including a SA Revenue Service (Sars) Section 12J VC Company...

  • Everything you need to know about SA’s tech startup ecosystem [updated 2019]

    Update: Are you a venture capitalist or an angel investor looking to invest in a company? Are you an entrepreneur looking for capital or other opportunities? Are you an aspiring startup owner looking for assistance? Well, you have come to the right place. Ventureburn presents the 2019 updated guide* to South Africa’s startup scene. This article is the most comprehensive guide for anyone who wants to get involved with, or have a better understanding of, the country’s fast-growing startup space. It is a part of a series of articles we will pilot, which will also include the West African and East...

  • SA SME Fund commits R110m to hardware tech incubator Savant

    The R1.4-billion SA SME Fund has committed R110-million to Cape Town based hardware tech incubator Savant, with 50% of this amount earmarked for black African owned firms, the fund's CEO Ketso Gordhan revealed today. The idea is that R100-million of the R110-million from SA SME Fund, will be committed towards the first close of a R100-million Savant venture fund that will invest in hardware tech businesses with products that are ready for market, Savant CEO Nick Allen (pictured above, left signing the deal with Gordhan yesterday - 7 February) told Ventureburn today. The fund, which is capitalised by 48 JSE-listed firms, was launched in 2016...

  • Zimbabwe’s Strive Masiyiwa announces $100m Masiyiwa Rural Challenge Fund

    Econet Wireless founder Strive Masiyiwa will launch a $100-million revolving fund for young Zimbabwean rural entrepreneurs and rural-focused ventures. Masiyiwa (pictured above) made the announcement in a post on his Facebook page on Wednesday (6 February). The fund will be set up by the Zimbabwean founder of the telecommunications group and his wife Tsitsi Masiyiwa. In the post, he outlined that the fund will be set up over five years to "re-imagine rural in Zimbabwe". The fund, which will be capitalised by the couple's own money, will make disbursements to recipients via loans from Econet Group's Steward Bank. "The money will support projects...

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