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Venture capital

  • Over a year on, when will big companies’ SA SME Fund get going? [Opinion]

    South Africa's private sector loves to lament how poor the government's support has been for small business -- but it seems, business owners shouldn't expect much either from big companies. The idea to get big companies to fund small businesses emerged in 2015 following discussions that President Jacob Zuma held with large listed companies through the CEO Initiative (with Zuma pictured above at one such meeting with CEOs). Yet over 15 months since the CEO Initiative, led by Discovery CEO Adrian Gore and former Bidvest chair Brian Joffe, announced the establishment of a R1.5-billion fund of funds to support high-growth small businesses, not a single investment has...

  • Here are the SA tech startup acquisitions that were concluded in 2017

    This year saw one of the biggest acquisition deals for a South African tech startup -- when US listed company 2U bought Getsmarter for $123-million. At least three other SA tech startups were acquired in 2017. Ventureburn takes a look at the four that the publication covered in 2017. The four include only acquisitions of South African tech startups that Ventureburn reported on in 2017 and that were concluded for a stake of 51% or more . For example last month mortgage finance provider SA Home Loans announced that it had acquired a 49% stake in online real estate agency PropertyFox). The four include only...

  • Clifftop Ventures grants new equity draw down facility of R4m to iono.fm

    Clifftop Ventures, the venture investment arm of financial firm Clifftop Colony, has increased its Equity Capital Drawdown Facility (ECDF) facility for online audio services company iono.fm to R4-million, after the tech firm was able to fully utilise an earlier R2.5-million facility. The announcement was made in a press release yesterday by Clifftop Colony and comes after the utilisation by iono.fm of a R.2.5-million ECDF facility, announced in November 2016 by the financial firm. Read more: Iono.fm receives R2.5m funding from Angel investment round The funding will help iono.fm, which was founded in 2009 by Ryan Dingley, to solidify the business next year and to expand...

  • Cape Town startup Digemy inks deal with pharma company after R2m funding

    Cape Town Startup Digemy has signed an international pharmaceutical company as a client for their white label training app, the startup's co-founder and CEO Kobus Louw said today. The agreement, which Louw said was concluded earlier this month, follows R2-million in funding the startup received in February from Greenwold Capital (which ordinarily invests in real estate) in return for a 25% stake in the company. The startup is based in the city's Durbanville suburb and was launched in November last year by Louw (pictured above, left) -- a former credit risk specialist -- and tech entrepreneur Carl Wallace (pictured above, right). Wallace runs two tech companies at present --...

  • P2P storage-space platform Sxuirrel secures R2.4m in seed funding

    SA startup Sxuirrel has secured R2.4-million in seed funding from an undisclosed investor. The startup -- which is based at Stellenbosch incubator Launchlab where founders Michael John Dipppenaar, Henri Bam and Michael Louis developed a peer-to-peer storage and space solution -- made the announcement yesterday. Dippenaar, who is also CEO, revealed that the deal -- which was signed two weeks ago -- had been over three months in the making, after the startup was approached by the investor that took an interest in the "disruptive effects" of the platform, which the three launched last year. Dippenaar declined to name the investor. The deal will see the...

  • I believe South Africa will sort itself out, says UK angel invested in country

    While many other investors may have been frightened off by South Africa's unstable economic and political environment, UK angel investor Kevin Gaskell says he believes in the country. "I like South Africa. And I believe South Africa will sort itself out," says Gaskell. "I have faith in the long-term." While he admits that he hasn't realised any returns yet on the three South African tech firms he has invested in since 2012, he reckons the country is a good investment bet. "I'd say keep looking at South Africa because it's a thriving centre for technology, there are some good companies around. But you've just got to be...

  • Travelstart acquires majority stake in accommodation site SafariNow.com

    SA travel booking company Travelstart today announced that it has bought a majority stake in Cape Town-based SafariNow.com -- South Africa's largest accommodation booking website. Travelstart founder and CEO Stephan Ekbergh was not immediately available for comment, but in announcement by Travelstart in a press release earlier today the company said it would not disclose terms of the acquisition. It follows the news in February last year that the company had secured $40-million from Amadeus Capital Partners and MTN. Read more: Travel booking site Travelstart lands $40m, asserts investor confidence SafariNow.com, which was founded in 1999 (the same year as Travelstart -- before the firm later moved from Sweden to South Africa), lists accommodation over...

  • Joburg wedding gift service Wrapistry in R4m deal [Updated]

    Online gift registry startup Wrapistry has signed a deal to secure a R4-million investment from Section 12J venture capital fund Anuva Investments and Genesis Capital. The Johannesburg-based startup's online shop and wedding registry service allows couples to source various gifts -- including both products and experiences such as travel trips. Speaking to Ventureburn last week, Wrapistry CEO Jed Shein, 28, said R2.25-million would be invested upfront by each investor, in return for a 10% stake in the company for each investor. The remainder would be invested upon the achievement by the startup of certain targets in return for a further five-percent stake each. So far the three-year old company has assisted...

  • HAVAÍC announces R4.5m investment in Cape healthtech startup Recomed

    South African venture capital (VC) firm HAVAÍC announced today that it has led a fully subscribed equity raise of R4.5-million in Cape Town healthtech startup RecoMed. The investment was secured by HAVAÍC, the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa's Enterprise and Supplier Development (ASISA ESD) Fund, and Growth Grid Venture Capital Partners. It comes after Recomed founder Sheraan Amod (pictured above) last week revealed that his startup, which he founded in 2013, had been in talks with a funder for a second-round of funding. Read more: SA medical bookings platform Recomed set to announce new funding round The startup recently began white labelling its platform – which allows...

  • SA Home Loans acquires 49% stake in PropertyFox

    Mortgage finance provider SA Home Loans today announced that it has acquired a 49% stake in online real estate agency PropertyFox. PropertyFox co-founder Crispin Inglis (pictured, right) would not disclose financial figures behind the deal but did reveal to Ventureburn in a phone call that the money will drive expansion and strengthen its presence in South Africa through further tech development and marketing. Inglis said the deal has been in the making for a year after the startup approached SA Home Loans. The deal will see two members from SA Home Loans sit on PropertyFox's board. The founders will still retain a controlling stake in...