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Venture capital

  • SA mobile shopping app MySideKick announces R4m staged investment

    South African mobile shopping app startup MySideKick has announced it received R4-million from EM Software & Systems' tech fund and accelerator Alchemy-A in a staged investment, meaning the entire amount is not invested upfront. Based in the Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab, MySidekick seeks to give users easy access to specials, promotions, sales, products and coupons of some of the country’s major retailers based on your location. Founder and CEO of MySidekick, Leonard Brewer, says "We are very pleased with the investment agreement. It has given us additional resources required for growth and expansion." Alchemy-A provides seed funding to startups and invest in...

  • Richard Branson, Al Gore, Steve Case back Kenyan solar startup M-Kopa in $19m round

    The likes of Virgin Group's Sir Richard Branson, former US Vice President Al Gore and AOL founder Steve Case have invested US$19-million in Kenyan pay-as-you-go solar energy startup M-Kopa. London-based Generation Investment Management, which was founded by Al Gore and David Blood, led the round. The deal includes reinvestment by existing shareholders. Already backed by impressive investors such as Safaricom and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, M-Kopa seems right on track to create affordable and sustainable energy solutions for millions of households in East Africa. So far the company has connected over 250 000 homes across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania with...

  • Gust, Africa Business Angel Network partner to support early-stage investment

    One of the world's largest global match-making platforms for high-growth entrepreneurs and early-stage investors, Gust, and the Africa Business Angel Network (ABAN) have partnered to optimise investment activities across Africa. ABAN represents angel investors and investment organisations in the African region. The not-for-profit's goal is to promote investment, providing education and nurturing international relationships, among other things. "Africa is already equipped with the minds and means for a fruitful startup environment, and with the available tools and opportunities cultivated by this partnership, Africa will continue to grow as a leader in global entrepreneurship," said Tomi Davies, who heads ABAN. Read more: What...

  • Everything you need to know about the West African startup landscape [2015/2016 Update]

    Update: Are you a venture capitalist or an angel investor looking to invest in a company? Are you an entrepreneur looking for capital or other opportunities? Are you an aspiring startup owner looking for assistance? Well, you have come to the right place. Ventureburn presents an updated guide to West Africa’s startup scene. This article is the most comprehensive guide for anyone who wants to get involved with, or have a better understanding of, the region's fast-growing startup space. It's the second of our inaugural series, with others focussing on South Africa and East Africa. With some insight from our friends...

  • 3 ways investors can navigate Africa’s mobile markets

    As investment opportunities go, Africa’s mobile market is about to have its day in the sun.Two-thirds of the sub-Saharan population own mobile devices, and 86 percent of Kenyan households use mobile financial products. The number of smartphones in the African market is expected to grow from 67 million in 2013 to 360 million by 2025, unleashing new possibilities in data and information access for consumers while easing reach to potential markets by entrepreneurs. This uptick in mobile usage is redefining Africa’s socio-economic landscape. With applications and platforms including money transfer, search engines, news aggregators and more, this technology is not...

  • SAVCA CEO: we need to be ‘realistic’ about SA’s growing VC sector [Q&A]

    Venture capital is on the rise in South Africa. According to a recent survey by Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA) this year's total assets under management represents nearly R2-billion (R1.87-billion), with the total value of deals struck valued at R865-million. While these figures are likely to put a smile on stakeholders' faces, there's a lot yet to be done to fast-track this sector and ultimately become globally competitive and uplift socio-economic conditions. Some obstacles in the ecosystem continue to persist, including the inability to establish constructive dialogue between entrepreneurs and fund managers, implement forward-thinking government policy...

  • Ghana’s online real estate portal meQasa strikes $500k deal

    Ghanian online real estate platform meQasa has just secured a US$500 000 investment from global investment firm Frontier Digital Ventures, highlighting the increase in venture capital interest in West Africa. An alumni of the renowned entrepreneurial training programme by the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), meQasa is said to have elevated the real estate industry in Ghana. The startup sees itself as having an advantage by providing a free service that helps brokers, landlords and other real estate industry professionals to conduct business efficiently online, while simplifying the search experience for prospective tenants and buyers. It currently hosts over 5 000 listings...

  • What we learned from building a pan-African network of angels

    Innovative early stage ventures that have the potential to yield high social impact, but require less than US$1-million in capital, are the most difficult segment of the small business pipeline to reach. Often times they have a minimal track record and lack the collateral needed to secure capital from a local bank. Moreover, local banks and traditional financiers too often do not appreciate the dynamics of the entrepreneur’s specific business and therefore cannot add necessary value beyond capital. It is exactly through direct equity participation that entrepreneurs learn from angel investors, often experienced entrepreneurs themselves with domain specific expertise. In...

  • Survey: South Africa’s Venture Capital industry is now worth a massive R2bn

    The South African venture capital (VC) industry now represents almost R2-billion in assets under management, a survey released by Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA) found. If you've been following Ventureburn, you would have seen a lot of exciting investments this year, from Silvertree Capital investing over R20-million in the first half of 2015 to radar startup iKubu exiting to Garmin in January and many more. To comprehend what these deals really mean to the local ecosystem, however, requires quantitive research that can shed light on the true value and state of South Africa's VC environment. Read more:...

  • Africa is the new frontier of impact investing

    In the endless search for global development opportunities, the supply is limited for the first time in history. Africa is truly the last frontier. In fact, 44 percent of its population in 2006 was 15 or younger -- and members of the millennial generation synonymous with innovation -- making Sub-Saharan Africa the youngest region in the world. And this youth population is eager for opportunities -- but without sufficient food or access to education, they can’t seize them. Instead, civil unrest only proliferates, furthering economic turmoil, the cycle of poverty, and the divide between countries with and without Internet access. As a...