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Venture capital

  • Lessons from Southeast Asia: trials and tribulations of a young VC

    James Chan is chief hustler at Silicon Straits, and concurrently principal at Neoteny Labs. He is currently kicking the cans around on a couple of fronts, some of which you might hear about soon. It’s not easy to be a young venture capitalist (VC) in Southeast Asia. I know it because I’ve been one for the past three years at Neoteny Labs. Fred Wilson, who is managing partner at Union Square Ventures and an...

  • HealthQ: groundbreaking African startup launches, attracts funding, blows minds

    When we broke the story about HealthQ's open source metabolic chamber -- the first of its kind in the world -- we came away solemnly impressed by what a group of entrepreneurs from Stellenbosch, South Africa, managed to pull off on a limited budget. After its official unveiling today, we are now privy to HealthQ's impressive investor roster and how the metabolic chamber fits into HealthQ's plans. We knew that WooThemes co-founder Adii Pienaar was an investor, and that venture capital fund 4Di Capital was involved. Shortly after wealthy mining family, the Oppenheimers, invested in 4Di Capital’s venture fund for...

  • Are the consumer web and enterprise splitting the VC herd?

    Dave McClure, the highly successful Silicon Valley Angel/Micro VC investor, published a passionate post about the prosperous future for the consumer web, and criticised other investors for moving away from the sector. McClure writes: Recent articles by the WSJ, Fred Wilson, & others are noting a shift in investor interest to enterprise and away from consumer. If true, this is a huge error... at least for entrepreneurs, angels, and smaller funds. There is no better time than the present to build cheap & scalable software-based businesses that make money. He points out that the business opportunities are far from over because of...

  • SA’s Innovation agency approves R100m for venture capital fund

    Tech is the future and fostering innovation is in vogue. South Africa's Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) is in agreement. According to a Business Day report, the agency is dedicated to helping grow innovation in the country has approved a R100-million venture capital fund to help VCs help fund startups. According to the report, the agency -- which received an allocation of R433-million in this financial year -- has been under some strain questioning if this was part of its mandate. TIA was established in 2008 as an effort to bridge the innovation gad between ideas and executed products. The...

  • Pop quiz: which US university has the best funded alumni?

    If you could choose to study anywhere in the US, which university would be the best fit for your entrepreneurial spirit? A recently published report that reveals which universities graduate the most entrepreneurs and how much funding their alumni get from investors and VC companies, has been condensed into a colourful infographic. It shows how alumni from six major US universities have raised US$12.6 billion in financing across 559 deals. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Stanford University...

  • Enterprise social media startup WyseTalk secures $1M funding round

    Social media for enterprise startup, WyseTalk, has secured first phase funding in excess of $1 million from an investment consortium comprising high nett worth individuals from South Africa, Europe and the United Kingdom. WyseTalk was developed by Alacrity Technologies and launched in October 2011. The transaction, facilitated by local venture capital firm Clifftop Colony, sees a shift in shareholding as Alacrity Technologies divests to focus on its core financial services and retail business. WyseTalk will now be supported by a group of investors with global tech interests. Speaking on behalf of investors, Sean Emery, Chief Investment Officer at Titan...

  • Oppenheimer family invests in 4Di Capital to back SA tech entrepreneurs

    Amid increased calls by the private and public sectors for greater support of South Africa’s growing pool of entrepreneurial talent, local VC company, 4Di Capital, announced that E. Oppenheimer & Son has joined 4Di Capital Fund 1 as the fund’s newest investor. E. Oppenheimer & Son International is the investment holding company of the Oppenheimer Family interests, founders of the global mining company Anglo American, and managing shareholders of De Beers, the world’s...

  • 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...

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