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Venture capital

  • SA startup Pineapple secures R5.2m to take on short-term insurance market

    SA insurtech startup Pineapple has secured R5.2-million in seed funding from Lireas Holdings, the strategic investment arm of Hannover-Re Group Africa, in return for a 25% stake in the business. The startup, which is based in Johannesburg, made the announcement yesterday to Ventureburn. The funding will help the company to bring their innovative insurance offering to market by funding marketing, development and staff costs. Pineapple co-founder and former actuarial science graduate Matthew Elan Smith, 24 (pictured above right, with co-founders developer Ndabenhle Junior Ngulube, 26 and accountant Marnus van Heerden, 26) said he and his fellow co-founders are in the process of signing...

  • SA eating out app Feastfox nets $175 000 from Silicon Valley investors

    Cape Town eating-out app Feastfox today announced that it had successfully closed an angel fundraising round, raising $175,000 (R2.3 million) primarily from Silicon Valley-based angels and venture-capital (VC) firms. A mobile startup out of Stanford University -- with a presence in Silicon Valley, Cape Town and Budapest -- Feastfox claims to allow diners to “book now, eat now”. The funding is from angels and VCs including Co-Creation Capital, Dorm Room Fund and top angel investors such as Larry Kubal, founder and managing partner of Labrador Ventures, a seed stage-focused Silicon Valley venture fund with more than $200-million under management. Feastfox co-founder, Cape Town local, Stuart Murless (pictured above)...

  • You don’t need to be super wealthy high net individual to be an angel investor

    The outlook for the South African economy may be grim. The Reserve Bank forecasts that the economy will grow at just 0.5% this year. Yet the one thing that looks hot right now is the tech startup sector. While the number of investors taking advantage of a new tax incentive has picked up of late, a whole list of SA startups have recently been acquired by foreign companies, bringing healthy returns to investors. Read more: Investors clamouring for 12J VC incentive following tax hike – fund managers Read more: Are these the 10 all-time biggest exit deals for SA startups? And you don't...

  • VC companies don’t necessarily have to set up a fund to invest – here’s why

    Engaging with investors is often like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. This is the feedback we got from entrepreneurs in the early days of setting up venture capital company HAVAÍC. Often entrepreneurs were told by an investor that they loved their business, but that the investment didn’t fit their investment or fund criteria. The entrepreneurs were seeking to access to funds from investors who demonstrate flexibility in terms of investment criteria and approach to evaluating businesses. Based on these learnings we formed a view that a venture capital (VC) firm which really wanted to make a difference in...

  • 4Di Capital funding was ‘less than R10m’ confirms SA IoT startup Sensor Networks

    Cape based Internet of Things (IoT) platform Sensor Networks has secured funding from South African venture capital (VC) fund 4Di Capital. Sensor Networks founder Mark Allewell (pictured above with his team, fourth from left) announced the deal yesterday. It's the second investment 4Di Capital has this week made public. Read more: SA drone startup Aerobotics secures R8m in funding from 4Di, Savannah Fund  While Allewell declined to say how much funding his two-year old startup has tapped, when pushed by Ventureburn to reveal more details he confirmed that it was "less than R10-million", which included a minority stake in the company by 4Di...

  • More than 30 sign-ups to Uprise.Africa SA’s first equity crowdfunding site

    Over 30 investees and investors have signed up to Uprise.Africa, South Africa’s first equity crowdfunding platform, since its landing page went live on Friday, the platform’s founder Patrick Schofield said today. A soft launch for the platform took place at a panel discussion held by Moneyweb. Schofield, who is also the founder of donations based crowdfunding site ThundaFund.com, told Ventureburn today that the platform is looking to go live in October with six deals. However, he added that this was dependent on the Financial Services Board (FSB) approving the platform’s current structure. The idea is that deals on the platform would first be approved...

  • Grotech rebranding as Kalon Venture Partners to avoid marketplace confusion

    South African Section 12J venture capital (VC) company Grotech has rebranded as Kalon Venture Partners. Kalon CEO Clive Butkow said the rebranding was to avoid being seen as associated with another Section 12J VC company, Grovest. "The confusion in the marketplace was that we were an offshoot of Grovest and that's where the initial idea for a rebrand came from," explained Butkow. This, he added, was partly driven by Malcom Segal being chairman of both companies. In addition Butkow is a non-executive director of Grovest. He said Segal will continue to chair Kalon. Another factor driving the rebrand was that when the company was...

  • SA’s first equity crowdfunding platform to launch later this month

    South Africa's first equity crowdfunding platform will be unveiled by ThundaFund founder Patrick Schofield in a soft launch later this month, Schofield confirmed today. Schofield did not want to comment on the launch of the platform, which is expected to take place in Johannesburg, saying only "at this stage, no comment, treading lightly right now :-)" in an email to Ventureburn. However a source said the soft launch is aimed at creating awareness on the platform to those in the media and to startups in search of equity finance. The platform is expected to initially list six startups or projects, the source said. South Africa's first equity...

  • Kenyan startup M-Shule gets investment from Engineers Without Borders

    Canadian seed-stage investor Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB) yesterday announced a cash investment worth $40 000 in Kenyan edtech startup M-Shule. M-Shule is an SMS and web-based learning management platform which makes use of artificial intelligence to design tailored learning experiences. It was designed to handle 144 million primary school students across Sub-Saharan Africa and was launched in January in Nairobi, Kenya by Claire Mongeau. In an email interview with Ventureburn, Mongeau said although they currently operate in Kenya, they intended to expand into East Africa by 2019 and throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia in subsequent years. "We are excited and thrilled to work...

  • SA might be in recession but opportunities are huge – Alphawave chairman

    While South Africa slipped into a recession in the first quarter of this year, Stellenbosch investor and entrepreneur Frans Meyer says the opportunities for innovative companies locally and abroad are "still huge". Meyer is the group executive chairman of local tech company Alphawave. Meyer, together with Gronum Smith started EMSS in 1994. One of their company's now supplies the receivers that are used on South Africa's Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project. In May the parent company EMSS Group changed its name to Alphawave in May. 'The specific opportunities for innovative companies, providing products and services locally, abroad, still huge' Meyer responded to various...