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Venture capital

  • Report: over $185m invested in Africa’s tech startups in 2015

    Tech startups in Africa raised an estimated total of over US$185-million in 2015, according to a recent report. The report, titled African Tech Startups Funding Report 2015 by startup news site Disrupt Africa, polled hundreds of startups, investors, hubs and other ecosystem players over the course of two months. It found that 125 tech startups secured a total of US$185 785 500 during the course of 2015. To little surprise, South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya made up the bulk of the overall figure. In South Africa, 45 startups raised funding, 36% of the overall total. An estimated 24% of deal value was...

  • VC to pump $10m into South African, African startups [update]

    Update: This article has been updated to include additional commentary from PriceCheck founder and CEO Kevin Tucker. Cape Town-based venture capital firm Silvertree Internet Holdings has announced a US$10-million investment destined for South African and African startups in 2016. The pan-African tech investment firm and incubator seemed to have had good year in 2015, claiming that it recorded 330% growth per annum revenue for its startups. The firm has invested in startups like Faithful to Nature, Click n Compare, WineCo and more recently We Are Monsters and PriceCheck. Silvertree together with entrepreneur Kevin Tucker acquired the popular price-comparison website, PriceCheck, from global media giant Naspers...

  • The year of mobile? 9 of Africa’s most exciting startup investments of 2015

    If you ever doubted the significance of mobile innovations in Africa, then this year's developments are likely change your mind once and for all. Not only has 2015 been a good year for investments in startups across the continent (the most we've seen in South Africa thus far), millions of dollars are flowing towards mobile innovations. From micro-jobbing platforms to peer-to-peer payment solutions, more and more investors are growing confident in the potential of the many interesting mobile solutions Africa has to offer. But apart from smartphone applications, companies like M-Kopa and Off Grid Electric are fast growing in popularity....

  • Kenya’s mobile customer care platform Ongair rakes in funding [updated]

    The Hong Kong-founded venture capital firm and accelerator, Nest, has invested an undisclosed amount into Kenya's mobile customer care platform Ongair. With hundreds of clients around the world, the one-year-old startup is now looking to expand its services into China. Ongair is behind a web-based dashboard that enables businesses to engage with their customers on instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram and WeChat. "Our goal is to help businesses serve customers and we’ll use the additional resources to support growth, expand strategically into Asian markets and deliver great product to delight our customers around the world," says Trevor Kimenye, CEO...

  • 4 tips startups need to keep in mind when raising first round funding

    Being a startup founder can be downright challenging. Whether it is developing a sound business plan, building a team, or acquiring customers, you will be dealing with a sheer number of hurdles. Moreover, if you’re not backed by an elite accelerator, getting your startup off the ground can be an uphill battle. Raising money for your company requires you to think strategically. Failure to take care of this aspect can lead you in the "valley of death" -- a term used in the startup circles representing the failure experienced in acquiring venture capital for a startup. In fact, according to Josh...

  • Grotech: this new fund aims to pump R100m into disruptive SA tech

    The South African tech scene saw some pretty big exits in 2015, including radar startup iKubu's January sale to Garmin and WooThemes' exit to WordPress for an estimated R300-million. And with those exits comes increased investor appetite. The latest player aiming to get its hands on a slice of the tech pie is Grotech, a newly established fund from VC company Grovest, which is looking to raise as much as R100-million to invest an average of R5-million to R10-million in high-impact South African tech startups. Read more: 3 ways investors can navigate Africa’s mobile markets Headquartered in Johannesburg, the fund...

  • Most startup founders fear the tech industry is in a bubble, survey finds

    Over the past two years there's been a lot of talk regarding "unicorns", or startups carrying US$1-billion valuations. While the buzzword still makes for catchy headlines, skeptics fear that there is a bubble developing within the tech industry. This belief has been reiterated in a new report by US-based First Round Capital, which surveyed 500 VC-backed startup founders. The majority (73%) believe that we are, in fact, in a bubble or witnessing over-speculation of the tech industry. Specifically, industries such as wearables and bitcoin are believed to be overhyped, while autonomous vehicles and mobile are underhyped. Prospects for the VC industry overall don't...

  • SA mobile shopping app MySideKick announces R4m staged investment

    South African mobile shopping app startup MySideKick has announced it received R4-million from EM Software & Systems' tech fund and accelerator Alchemy-A in a staged investment, meaning the entire amount is not invested upfront. Based in the Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab, MySidekick seeks to give users easy access to specials, promotions, sales, products and coupons of some of the country’s major retailers based on your location. Founder and CEO of MySidekick, Leonard Brewer, says "We are very pleased with the investment agreement. It has given us additional resources required for growth and expansion." Alchemy-A provides seed funding to startups and invest in...

  • Richard Branson, Al Gore, Steve Case back Kenyan solar startup M-Kopa in $19m round

    The likes of Virgin Group's Sir Richard Branson, former US Vice President Al Gore and AOL founder Steve Case have invested US$19-million in Kenyan pay-as-you-go solar energy startup M-Kopa. London-based Generation Investment Management, which was founded by Al Gore and David Blood, led the round. The deal includes reinvestment by existing shareholders. Already backed by impressive investors such as Safaricom and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, M-Kopa seems right on track to create affordable and sustainable energy solutions for millions of households in East Africa. So far the company has connected over 250 000 homes across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania with...

  • Gust, Africa Business Angel Network partner to support early-stage investment

    One of the world's largest global match-making platforms for high-growth entrepreneurs and early-stage investors, Gust, and the Africa Business Angel Network (ABAN) have partnered to optimise investment activities across Africa. ABAN represents angel investors and investment organisations in the African region. The not-for-profit's goal is to promote investment, providing education and nurturing international relationships, among other things. "Africa is already equipped with the minds and means for a fruitful startup environment, and with the available tools and opportunities cultivated by this partnership, Africa will continue to grow as a leader in global entrepreneurship," said Tomi Davies, who heads ABAN. Read more: What...