• 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!

Venture capital

  • SA’s Snapt on track for 1000% revenue growth after landing $3m investment

    Two years after raising $1-million in funding, SA tech company Snapt this week landed $3-million from three local investors -- Nedbank, Sanari Capital and Convergence Partners (which took part in the earlier round) -- and is on track to record a 1000% increase in revenue this financial year. The company, which was founded in 2012 by Dave Blakey (pictured above) and Douglas Cherry, did not disclose the size of the equity stake that the investors have taken in the company. Snapt provides applications delivery controller solutions which help websites and apps with load balancing, as well as web acceleration and security which enable business-critical websites to stay online and...

  • What investors should look for in a Section 12J VC company [Opinion]

    In recent years the SA government identified small and medium-sized entities (SMEs) as a major contributor to future economic growth. One of the main challenges to the economic growth of SMEs is access to equity finance. To assist these sectors in terms of equity finance, in 2009, the SA government (through the SA Revenue Services or Sars) implemented a tax incentive for investors in these enterprises through a Venture Capital Company (VCC) regime known as Section 12J. For investors with a higher risk appetite, or who have maxed out their retirement annuity, pension fund and tax free savings account contributions, a Section...

  • Investors put R30m more in SA insurtech Naked after ‘strong first 6 months’

    SA insurtech startup Naked has landed a further R30-million from its investors -- private investment group Yellowwoods and insurance company Hollard -- and plans to grow its team, ramp up customer acquisitions and expand into new short-term insurance product categories. In a press release today, the startup -- which provides artificial intelligence-driven car insurance -- said its investors committed the additional funding after the startup recorded a strong first six months of trading, after launching its first product in April, following about a year and a half in development. Without providing figures, the startup said customer acquisition and retention rates had exceeded the company’s expectations. Investors committed...

  • Egyptian ride-hailing app Halan raises ‘multi-million’ dollar Series-A round

    Egyptian startup Halan -- Egypt and Sudan’s first motorcycle and tuktuk ride-hailing app -- has announced that it landed an undisclosed Series A funding round from round co-led by Singapore’s Battery Road Digital Holdings and Egypt’s Algebra Ventures. The funding round, which was closed earlier this year (it is not clear why it was then only announced by the startup and funders now), also includes existing shareholders and individual investors. While Algebra Ventures public relations officer Noor Salama would not reveal the amount the company raised in funding, a report in March by Egyptian business publication Enterprise had it that the startup aimed to raise $2-million in...

  • Why Shuttleworth investment failed – eight years on Red Five Labs man speaks

    It was touted at its time as ground breaking technology, one that would enable mobile apps to run on all smartphones regardless of a handset's operating system. So much so that SA entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth (who in 1999 sold internet security company Thawte for $575-million to Verisign) and the Department of Science and Technology's Innovation Fund jointly invested R4.5-million in the startup, according to a report at the time. A year after the investment in 2007, the startup -- Red Five Labs -- became one of the first investments that Shuttleworth's HBD Venture Capital exited from, when it was acquired by SA company Fed Group for an undisclosed amount. In 2007 Red Five Labs became one of...

  • It’s official: Cape Town healthtech startup is SA SME Fund’s first investment

    Ventureburn can today confirm that a venture capital deal concluded by Cape Town based KNF Ventures earlier this month in SA healthtech firm 5nines Technologies has made history -- as the first investment that the R1.4-billion SA SME Fund has effectively become involved in. The much awaited SA SME Fund, which is capitalised by 48 JSE-listed companies, was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa over two years ago when he was then deputy president. Knife Capital partner Keet van Zyl, whose VC oversees the R100-million KNF Ventures fund, confirmed on Monday that the SA SME Fund had concluded an investment of R20-million in KNF on 23 October and that the 5nines...

  • Despite global outlook African startup investors can get high returns [Opinion]

    The global investor outlook is shifting quickly downward, with many macro approaches underperforming due to risks from trade wars, political uncertainty and inflation. Yet one investment thesis remains relatively intact -- technology is empowering smaller businesses to get started with minimal capital and innovate rapidly to outperform their larger competitors. These startups are not significantly influenced by macro-economic factors and are nimble enough to navigate with or around them. In this context, it was exciting to attend online startup funding platform VC4A and the African Business Angels Network's (ABAN) African Early Stage Investor Summit held earlier this month in Cape Town. Read more: Africa no Silicon Valley and other key...

  • With 32 investments, Lagos Angel Network is tops in Africa finds report

    The Lagos Angel Network (LAN) is Africa's most active angel group by number of investments with about $1.5-million currently invested across 32 investments, according to a report by the African Business Angel Network (ABAN). The report, titled Angel Investing In Africa in Africa, State of Play: Finding Product / Market Fit (a presentation is available here) was presented by ABAN president Tomi Davies at last week's Africa Early Stage Investor Summit in Cape Town. A copy of the full report will be release early next year. The study, which was carried out in partnership with infoDev and The World Bank Group between September last year and...

  • Egypt’s Swvl closes BECO Capital led Series-B round in the ‘tens of millions’

    Cairo-based transportation startup Swvl has raised an undisclosed amount in a Series-B funding round led by Dubai-based venture capital (VC) firm BECO Capital. The startup -- which was founded last year by Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh -- allows users who enter its app to book fixed rate affordable rides on its network of vans and buses that service more than 200 routes in Cairo and Alexandria. Yesterday (22 November), Forbes reported that the funding round -- which was "exceptionally oversubscribed" -- was "in the tens of millions". A number of other investors also participated in the round. They were -- Africa-focused VC...

  • How introduction from VC helped Zelda Learning land R500k in angel funding

    An introduction from SA venture capitalist Andrea Bohmert has helped the founders of Cape Town edtech startup Zelda Learning secure the startup's first angel round of R500 000 from three local angel investors, the company announced this week. The startup, which runs a bursary management platform that helps organisations find and filter talented youth and fund their university studies, was founded in 2017 by three former UCT students -- Carla Wilby, Jasanth Moodley and Dominic Schorr (pictured above, from left to right). The latest funding round follows a R500 000 seed investment that the startup received in May, after joining the first cohort...