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Venture capital

  • 8 questions you should ask yourself before pitching your startup

    So you've had the next big idea, or your startup's been going along quietly for a little while. Now you're ready to take it out into the big bad world. If you find yourself asking "Umm...what next?" you're not alone. If you're in an emerging market like South Africa, knowing what to do next is getting easier, but it's still not as easy as it might be in a more traditional market. Sure there are a growing number of angel investors, venture capitalists, incubators and accelerators, but if you want to get their interest you really have to stand...

  • SA gets R400m VC fund for startups and SMEs

    This is big news anyone involved in the running of a startup. Business Partners, a specialist risk finance company, has launched a R400-million fund for small and medium-sized businesses in South Africa. A portion of that will be aimed tech startups, with the fund concentrating on providing first-round finance deals up to R10-million. The main criteria for investment, the company says, will be the potential for growth and its viability as a business. “Small businesses, particularly those in the concept or start-up phase, struggle to find funding as financiers are reluctant to enter this high-risk arena,” Business Partners...

  • Innovative new funding platform Corculture.com launches in SA

    A while ago, we wrote about the partnership between FNB Private Clients and AngelHub, which gives startups access to a pool of high-income investors. In the same way, a new online investment platform, Corculutre.com gives both established and early stage businesses the opportunity to virtually pitch their businesses to a group of 30 private equity and VC funders with funds available to the tune of ZAR250 million. To ensure a better chance of fostering successful relationships between entrepreneurs and investors, the platform's team carefully assesses deals before listing them on Corculture.com -- things like product or service demand and an...

  • Prepaid voucher business-in-a-box Nomanini raises series-A funding

    Nomanini, the company behind the little orange device that empowers individuals to earn an income while selling prepaid vouchers, recently raised US$600 000 in series-A funding from Netherlands based eVentures Africa Fund (eVA Fund) as well as Esther Dyson -- the angel investor who sits on the board of companies such as 23andMe, Evernote and Meetup. Nomanini -- “anytime” in Zulu -- plans to scale up operations in South Africa and begin further pilots across Africa. CEO Vahid Monadjem estimates that his business will have facilitated over one-million transactions in South Africa’s informal economy by March next year. The company distributes...

  • 75% of US startups fail says new study

    A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reveals that the number of startups that fail to return their investors' capital, might be significantly higher than generally reported. The article cites a study by Shikhar Ghosh, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School that estimates that three out of four venture-backed startups go bust. That's in stark contrast to estimates given by the National Venture Capital Association in the US, who puts the failure between 25% to 30%. According to the article, venture capitalists generally agree that "of 10 startups, only three or four fail completely. Another three or...

  • Beauty subscription startup rubybox receives funding from HPV Africa

    Rubybox, the innovative, try-before-you-buy beauty subscription startup, announced that it has received funding from venture capitalist Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa, for an undisclosed sum. As part of the investment, rubybox is acquiring GlamBox SA, its major current competitor in the local beauty box market, making rubybox the dominant player in South Africa. “We are thrilled about the investment as we’re certain it, together with our 360 degree approach that pairs trial and education which leads to re-purchase, will help us grow rubybox to be the leading content-driven eCommerce beauty site in South Africa,” says Sylvia Gruber, rubybox co-founder and CEO. Ventureburn...

  • Angel group invests in African low-cost housing solution

    This is interesting. South African angel investment group AngelHub's is taking a swing at the low-cost housing market by providing funding for Namibian-developed technology, the Kavango Block Brick. The technology looks to address the lack of affordable housing on the continent, which is a major obstacle to development on the continent. In South Africa alone, the housing backlog is 2.6-million houses. Many of these customers fall into the so-called gap...

  • Google nestles in with Kenya’s 88mph, SA expansion planned

    Looks like Google's African startup footprint is about grow a little more. Kenyan startup accelerator 88mph has signed a partnership with the tech giant in a bid to ramp up its African expansion. The company says it hopes the partnership will "fill the gaps of the nascent startup ecosystem" on the continent. According to The Next Web, the new partnership will allow 88mph to provide a number of extra services, including legal and IP advice, mentoring, and technical workshops. The first stop in Accelerator's expansion will see it heading to Cape Town later this year. Google already has a...

  • South African VC Knife Capital receives international recognition

    To the people living on the African continent, the brilliant innovation emerging from the continent's unsung entrepreneurs is axiomatic. The rest of the world however remains largely unaware of its rise as a tech powerhouse. To those paying attention however, it's clear. In its Fortnightly Thoughts research report American investment banking and securities company Goldman Sachs asks: “Is now the time for multi-nationals to be investing in Africa?” The answer: In short, our conclusion is yes. Africa’s exceptionally robust growth over the last decade is probably understated (informal parts of economies are very big), but not being able to measure this growth...

  • Law firm offers 6 tips for courting investors

    Law firm Dommisse Attorneys is a small team of attorneys with a big interest in startups. Speaking to BizCommunity, the firm's founder and senior partner Adrian Dommisse asserts the firm's interest in guiding startups through the legal aspects of securing funding -- both local and international -- as well as lending a hand in acquisitions. Dommisse says that whether you’re seeking venture capital from an international fund or courting potential shareholders, your startup will benefit from laying a basic legal groundwork early on. Complication and clutter can alarm investors, keep things simple. The less complex your capital structure and...