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Venture capital

  • $100m fund launches to catalyse African entrepreneurship, job creation

    A fund worth a whopping US$100-million has recently been announced to support nearly 1 000 entrepreneurs in Africa. The second of its kind within the last year or so, the so-called GroFin Small and Growing Businesses (SGB) Fund seeks to catalyse sustainable job creation by supporting small and growing businesses across the continent. As revealed in a media release this week, the fund plans to support 9 800 under-served entrepreneurs who, in turn, can help create 47 000 sustainable jobs across Africa over the next 10 years. Specific countries of focus include Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, South Africa and...

  • Aurik Investment Holdings boasts job creation under tough economic climate

    Price Waterhouse Cooper recently revealed that one of the biggest challenges for emerging companies in South Africa is having access to market. It seems, however, that a local firm is determined to help them overcome this hurdle. Gauteng, South Africa-based Aurik Investment Holdings supports some 27 startups and early-stage businesses, which have collectively created 63 jobs since 2013. Within the last year, these companies furthermore reported an increase in average annual turn-over by 52%. Aurik Investment Holdings comprises of Aurik Enterprise & Supplier Development and Aurik Business Accelerator, which work with entrepreneurs and corporate companies to build successful entrepreneurial businesses and...

  • 4 tips on getting the right angel investor for your startup

    The spotlight is usually on the most active VCs leading massive rounds across the board. But what about those relatively unsung heroes that fill the pre-Series A funding gap where others are too cautious? We had a chat with Michael Blakey, a Singapore-based angel investor of 16 years, to learn more about the do’s and don'ts of fundraising and leg work startups should do before asking for money. After plowing away at the UK market for 13 years in London, Blakey turned his gaze to Asia and began investing in startups in Singapore. Reason for choosing Singapore is simple: As he...

  • 8 steps to consider before investing in a web-based startup

    Web-based startups can offer phenomenal returns on investment without the need for a large staff or expansive physical infrastructures to make them happen. A few years ago, a friend told me he’d found a website that generated US$50 000 in annual revenue. He claimed no more than 10 hours of work a week were needed to operate it; he landed the site for a steal. He was excited for its potential -- and excited he’d made a solid investment. Envious, I followed his acquisition with particular scrutiny. Sure enough, it looked like a great investment — for two months....

  • Capria launches global business accelerator for impact VCs

    US-based venture capital firm Capria has launched a global accelerator programme for impact VCs. Yes, that's a VC-cum-accelerator for VCs. Claiming to be the first of its kind, the initiative aims to support and help catalyse new fund managers backing startups primarily in markets including South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America. Founded by Will Poole and Dave Richards Unitus Seed Fund, which focuses on India, the pair has a track-record of 15 years in supporting startups, which have collectively raised over US$1.2-billion within the last 15 years. "Current trends indicate that over the next decade that there will be hundreds of...

  • We Are Monsters web agency to join Silvertree’s high-growth portfolio

    South African web and mobile development agency We Are Monsters will enter a partnership with Silvertree Internet Holdings, a pan-African tech investment firm which recently boasted investments totalling R20-million made within the first seven months of 2015. Based in Cape Town, Silvertree incubates and invests into ventures, and focuses on execution of simple, proven business models. We Are Monsters will secure growth capital and join Silvertree's portfolio that includes notable ecommerce sites Faithful to Nature, Click n Compare and WineCo. In a press release, the firm noted that its portfolio has enjoyed month-on-month revenue growth of over 10%, and as much as...

  • Major South African VCs to officially launch web-based due diligence tool

    Major South African venture capitalists from Knife Capital are gearing up to launch a startup called YueDiligence, which aims to assist entrepreneurs and investors with due diligence. By relying on a web-based questionnaire, GAP analysis and a range of other tools, YueDiligence intends to help stakeholders make better early-stage investment decisions. The YueDiligence team is made up of Keet van Zyl, Andrea Bohmert and Eben Van Heerden from the renowned VC firm, Knife Capital. Not only did the firm see through the exit of iKubu to Garmin early this year, it also reported a 61% increase in revenue for the companies participating...

  • Lessons learned from Angel Investor Bootcamp in South Africa

    On 27 August the third session in a series of Angel Investor Bootcamps leading up to the ABAN Investor Summit at DEMO Africa was hosted in Cape Town. The Bootcamps are organised by the African Business Angel Network (ABAN) in partnership with VC4Africa, Intercontinental Trust and the LIONS Africa Partnership. The Cape Town edition was hosted together with the Silicon Cape Initiative. Alexandra Fraser, past-chairperson of Silicon Cape, welcomed an audience of angels, entrepreneurs and potential investors who were there to learn more, share experiences and to network with each other. “Angel investing is never just about the money” said Fraser. “It’s about bringing...

  • Is state VC funding becoming the name of the game?

    The Indian government this week launched a much awaited venture capital (VC) fund. Dubbed the India Aspiration Fund, the 20 billion rupee fund (US$306-million) will operate as a fund-of-funds administered by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi). Life Insurance, India's biggest insurance company, will be a co-investor in the fund, which will then invest in private sector VC funds. Sidbi will put in one rupee for every two rupees that each respective VC fund plan to invest. Israeli model Like this, India hopes to imitate the success of Israel’s Yozma programme, in which the state invested in VC funds before...

  • 3 African countries that show investment promise as global tech hubs

    Over the past decade, countries such as South Africa, Kenya, and Seychelles have emerged as Africa’s tech hubs. Kenya is increasingly touted as the Silicon Savannah, owing its position to technologies like M-Pesa and Ushahidi being exported worldwide. Chances are that Kenya and South Africa will hold onto their leads in the African tech industry in the near future. However, with the growing focus on mainstreaming information and communications technology, Africa is creating new tech hubs that are worthy of consideration by investors. Rwanda Rwanda recently ranked fourth in networked readiness in Africa, behind only Mauritius, South Africa, and Morocco — all considered more developed economies. This ranking is of little surprise; Rwanda has an ambitious blueprint for developing ICT. The...