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Venture capital

  • 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...

  • Microsoft launches angel fund and incubator: Bing Fund

    Could the next Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest emerge from the Bing Fund? Microsoft hopes so. Officially announced late last week, Microsoft's new "angel fund with an incubator program" is "founded by entrepreneurs, sponsored by Bing, and backed by the experience, expertise, and resources of Microsoft." US-based early-stage companies will get an opportunity to work with Microsoft for about four months, and will receive funding through a convertible note (a loan that converts into equity), special access to Microsoft technology, support from Microsoft engineers and marketers, and introductions to investors. Microsoft has official presences in emerging market countries around the world and...

  • FNB Private Clients and AngelHub partnership heats up SA startup scene

    Readers of Ventureburn are probably well aware of AngelHub, the business angel investment group that pools funding, expertise and networks from a range of early stage investors to foster startup growth. AngelHub has recently extended its network by partnering with FNB Private Clients, First National Bank's specialist banking solution that works with wealthy entrepreneurs, business professionals and others to increase their asset values. So basically, FNB Private Clients help make rich people, richer. The...

  • 4 reasons big-time VCs are investing in emerging markets

    With technological advancements in developing nations speeding the growth rate of high impact tech start-ups, many American venture capital firms are now looking further afield to expand their investment portfolios. But what is driving this trend? 1. Lack of local funding There’s certainly no shortage of innovative ideas coming out of emerging market countries. Africa, China, Russia and many others are growing steadily, and are producing an ever-increasing number of tech success stories, many with an extensive global reach. However, the potential for innovation in these countries has been historically hampered by a lack of access to funding, based on an entrenched...

  • Y Combinator: Investors should back the jockey not the horse

    Y Combinator, a leading seed investment incubator, recently announced that it would be accepting startup applications for this years fund from startup founders WITHOUT an idea. Here's how the incubator describes itself on its website: Y Combinator does seed funding for startups. Seed funding is the earliest stage of venture funding. It pays your expenses while you're getting started. Some companies may need no more than seed funding. Others will go through several rounds. There is no right answer. How much funding you need depends on the kind of company you start. It appears that the technology investment market arrived...

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