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Venture capital

  • Weetracker African VC report raises questions on definition of tech startups

    Did the first half of 2018 really see African startups net over $168-million in 118 disclosed deals, as a new report claims? The African startups and VC ecosystem report released this week by tech blog Weetracker includes a $47-million deal involving a 14-year-old Kenyan telecommunications company, Cellulant. In addition, the report counts data from several other deals to companies which one could hardly consider to be startups -- such as nine-year old mobile insights firm Terragon Group, eight-year old software company Africa's Talking and seven-year solar power company M-Kopa. Or can one? 'Mentality of innovating on existing ideas' WeeTracker Media founder and CEO Rishabh Lawania maintains these deals and others, should be included in calculating deal flow to African...

  • Y Combinator opens applications for Winter 2019 funding cycle

    Looking for up to $120k in investment? US seed accelerator Y Combinator (YC) has opened applications for its winter 2019 funding cycle. Interested startups have until 2 October to apply. The accelerator, which invests $120 000 in return for seven percent equity in selected startups, made the announcement on Monday last week. On its website the accelerator notes that sometime between late October and early December, it will invite the best startups to meet with its representatives in Mountain View (Silicon Valley), California where it will then select the companies it will invest in. Y Combinator invests $120 000 in return for seven percent equity The founding teams...

  • Kenyan supply platform Twiga Foods set to secure up to $7m from IFC, TLCom

    Kenyan mobile-based B2B distribution platform Twiga Foods is set to secure up to $7-million from the World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation (IFC) and venture capital firm TLCom Capital Partners. Kenyan newspaper Business Daily yesterday (1 July) reported that the IFC is set to invest $3-million, while TLCom will invest up to $4-million. Twiga Foods' platform connects vendors with producers of bananas, tomatoes, onions and potatoes. Twiga Foods B2B distribution platform connects farmers with urban retailers and vendors In a summary of investment information posted last month on IFC's website, the corporation disclosed that "in its capacity as implementing entity of the Private Sector Window of the Global Agriculture and Food...

  • Five SA angel investors you want to meet

    If you're a startup and you need money the chances are you are going to look to friends and relatives for help. Or you could try an angel investor. Angel investors often choose to operate in the shadows, as a silent investor -- which means it is difficult to measure exactly how many such investors South Africa has. A 2017 VC survey (opens as PDF) by the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Savca) revealed that angel investors invested R89-million in deals in 2015 and 2016. Between 2014 and 2016 angel investors disclosed 112 deals to the value of R122-million. The value of deals...

  • Nigerian logistics startup Kobo360 closes $1.2m seed round

    Nigerian logistics startup Kobo360 has raised $1.2-million in a seed round led by US venture capital firm Western Technology Investment. The startup, which was founded in 2016 by CEO Obi Ozor (pictured above, left) and CTO Ife Oyedele II, provides companies looking to move cargo with access to a pool of over 5 400 trucks through its online platform. Kobo360 is reported to be looking into expanding into Ivory Coast, Ghana, Senegal and Togo TechCrunch reported yesterday that Nigerian investment firm Verod Capital Management also participated in the round. The capital will be used to facilitate quick payment of drivers on Kobo360's platform. In addition, Kobo360 is said to be looking...

  • VC4A in search for eight high-growth startups to showcase at investor summit

    Venture Capital For Africa (VC4A) is calling on disruptive African scale-ups that are looking to raise Series A funding of between $250 000 and $5-million to apply for its VC4A Venture Showcase - Series A. Interested startups have until 20 August to apply. VC4A will showcase the top eight startups at the Africa Early Stage Investor Summit which will take place on 11 and 12 November in Cape Town. VC4A will through the VC4A Venture Showcase -Series A platform select eight startups to pitch at the Africa Early Stage Investor Summit The eight selected startups will each be offered an all-expenses-paid trip to...

  • Startups, looking for money? Don’t try Michael Jordaan he’s now fully invested

    If you're looking for funding from venture capitalist and former FNB head Michael Jordaan you are probably too late. Last month in a blog post of no more than 10 words Jordaan announced that his venture capital firm Montegray Capital is now full invested. "We’re now fully invested – no more applications please." Jordaan told Ventureburn in an email today that the funds are all from the Jordaan family. "For understandable reasons we are not disclosing the amounts but in most cases these were small investments appropriate for businesses with an operating track record of two years or less," he said. Michael Jordaan says...

  • Advice from four SA tech entrepreneurs behind biggest deals of 2018 so far [Digital All Stars]

    We're nearly six months into 2018 and already South Africa has seen some big deals and acquisitions in the tech sector. It's not just Uber Eats' acquisition of orderTalk -- a tech company that was founded in South Africa, before being relocated to the US (see this story and this one) -- that is getting startups and entrepreneurs to pop corks off champagne bottles. There are a whole number of other deals to celebrate too -- like the investment that Cape Town based mobile software firm wiGroup secured from the Richard Branson's Virgin Group earlier this year -- or an investment worth tens of millions of rands in SA...

  • Ahead of new deal Clifftop Colony head speaks on portfolio’s performance [Q&A]

    Clifftop Ventures, the venture investment arm of financial firm Clifftop Colony, is expected to announce its fourth deal, an official at the company confirmed today. Clifftop Colony corporate financial analyst Christoff Fernhout said the term sheets for the deal had been finalised and that the company is expected to make an announcement of the deal next week. In March Clifftop Colony CEO Oliver Drews said the investment company had earmarked a fourth investment, "like Wyzetalk a seed investment", and had spent the last "six months or so" getting to know the founders team and refine the business model together with them. Read more: With Zuma gone, investor interest has picked up...

  • SA crowdfunding site The People’s Fund in first payout of R43k to 42 investors

    Ten months after launching, Johannesburg based crowdfunding platform The People’s Fund has made its first payout of R43 800 to 42 investors who earlier this year invested a total of R219 000 in a Bloemfontein based internet company, MySurfer. The People's Fund is an initiative of three companies -- entrepreneurship networking organisation the Hookup Dinner, BrownSense which runs a monthly market in Midrand for black businesses and digital marketing company Payback. Speaking to Ventureburn yesterday, platform's co-founder Luyanda Jafta said it is the first of eight expected payments to MySurfer investors who invested in the campaign which ran from November last year to February. MySurfer provides...

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