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Venture capital

  • SweepSouth wins best small business category at Savca Industry Awards

    On demand cleaning service SweepSouth has won the Best Small Company category at the inaugural Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Savca) Industry Awards, which took place at a gala event held in Johannesburg last Thursday (8 November). Internet service provider Vumatel won the award for best medium-sized company, while outsourcing company Tsebo Solutions Group took top honours for the best large company category. In all, nine companies were shortlisted across three categories for the awards, which aim to recognise portfolio companies that have thrived from private equity and venture capital investment in the region. Aisha Pandor, co-founder and CEO of SweepSouth commented in a statement that it was an honour...

  • When it comes to impact investing, integrity is a two-way street [Opinion]

    After six months of cultivating Engineers Without Borders's (EWB) East Africa venture portfolio, and engaging with upwards of 100 social entrepreneurs in Uganda and Kenya, I have come to realise that investors can do better to nurture emerging innovators, to strengthen their capabilities and reduce their risk profile. EWB is one of the handful of organisations proactively enabling early-stage social businesses in sub-Saharan Africa that have the potential to meaningfully improve the lives of vulnerable populations. As an early-stage impact investor, we have learned that the process to qualify a social enterprise for funding is often lopsided. Investors want to make smart...

  • Silvertree move to take majority stakes in startups nets mixed view from founders [Updated]

    SA investment company Silvertree Internet Holdings is buying up companies left, right and centre -- ahead of a planned listing in 2023 -- relegating many of the founders to mere operators of the businesses they once founded. Not all are happy about it. It comes as in July, Business Day reported that Silvertree, expects to grow annual revenues to more than $300-million by 2023 (up from $40-million at present) and will then consider going public. Its portfolio includes 12 firms in which it has invested in since 2013. They include among others Pricecheck.co.za, CompareGuru.co.za, Ucook.co.za and CarZar.co.za. Last year CompareGuru co-founder Ryan Marx (pictured above) sold his...

  • Ghana’s CowTribe nets $300k from US foundation – it’s biggest investment yet

    Ghanaian agritech startup CowTribe has secured a $300 000 investment from the US-based Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation. The startup made the announcement earlier today in a post on Twitter. In a subsequent phone call with Ventureburn, CowTribe co-founder and CEO Awin Peter (pictured above, second from right) said the investment was in the form of a convertible note. The deal was concluded a week ago. He added that the investment was the "biggest" the startup had secured since he founded the Tamale-based startup in 2015 with COO Alima Bawah (pictured above, second from left). In addition to the funding, the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation will also assist the...

  • Knife Capital invests in healthtech 5nines Technologies’ PharmaScout solution

    SA venture capital (VC) fund Knife Capital announced today that it has made an undisclosed investment in Cape Town based healthtech firm 5nines Technologies to help grow its pharmaceutical temperature monitoring solution PharmaScout. Knife Capital said in a statement today that while the three-year old healthtech company has been angel-funded to date (from Hlanganani Capital director Rowan Smith), the Series A funding round will help accelerate the product's rollout to pharmacies, medical practitioners and pharmaceutical warehouses. The funding will also help cover new product development for the international market. The VC said PharmaScout has already gained "significant traction" with blue-chip customers such as Clicks and Alpha Pharm, while...

  • Romeo Kumalo, Gil Oved to release details on $200m tech fund in Q1 of 2019

    Startups and investors can expect more details of a planned $200-million tech investment fund headed by former Vodacom executive Romeo Kumalo in the first quarter of 2019, says investor and entrepreneur Gil Oved. It follows a report yesterday by Bloomberg that Kumalo's new tech-focused SA investment firm LLH Capital -- in which Oved serves as COO -- aims to raise as much as $200-million in an initial public offering (IPO) next year. The report said LLH Capital, aims to invest in internet-related businesses and industries such as drones and car tracking and aims to list in both Johannesburg and Mauritius. It said LLH plans to raise a...

  • Kalon, Smollan up stake in SnapnSave to over 50% with new R7m funding tranche

    Venture capital company Kalon Venture Partners and retail solutions company the Smollan Group SA have increased their stake in SA shopping community SnapnSave to over 50% with a new funding round totaling R7-million. The current tranche forms part of a R14-million round in funding committed by the two investors in August last year. SnapnSave’s app facilitates discounts for shoppers on their favourite products, wherever they shop, just by snapping a photo of their till slip. Three months ago the startup helped shoppers to redeem its one million till slip. SnapnSave CEO Mark Bradshaw confirmed to Ventureburn today that the deal was closed last Wednesday (31 October). The latest round follows...

  • Nigerian startup Edves secures $120k funding from Chinook Capital, CcHub fund

    Lagos-based edtech startup Edves has announced that it has secured a $120 000 seed round from two Nigerian investors: Chinook Capital and Co-creation Hub's (CcHub) innovation fund Growth Capital. The startup, which was founded in 2016 by CEO Dimeji Falana (pictured above) and COO Dare Adebayo, announced the investment in a post on Twitter last Friday (2 November). The startup has developed school management software that is helping over 340 schools deal with admissions, payments, report cards, elearning and parent-teacher communication, among other things. Edves was founded in 2016 by CEO Dimeji Falana and COO Dare Adebayo Earlier this year, Edves won the Transforming Education Prize at the...

  • Kenya’s Novastar Ventures to open Lagos office after raising $75.5m for new fund [Updated]

    Nairobi-based venture fund Novastar Ventures has made the first close of its Novastar II fund with commitments of $72.5-million. The firm now plans to open an office in Lagos, Nigeria as it expands into West Africa. In a statement on Tuesday (30 October), Novastar Ventures said commitments had come from AXA Investment Managers, the CDC Group, the European Investment Bank, Dutch Good Growth Fund and the Dutch Development Bank FMO. The fund aims to reach $120-million. Novastar Ventures invests in early and growth stage enterprises and the Novastar II fund will target East and West African businesses with a positive social impact for low-income households. Novastar Ventures' Novastar II fund has...

  • GTR Ventures announces investment in Africa-focused deals platform Orbitt

    International investment platform GTR Ventures has announced an undisclosed investment in Africa-focused digital deal-sourcing platform Orbitt. In a statement on its website on Tuesday (30 October), GTR Ventures -- which has offices in Singapore, London and Hong Kong -- said the deal with the London-based startup marks its "first Africa-focused investment". As part of the deal, the venture builder said it will work with Orbitt to strengthen the deal-sourcing platform's trade finance capabilities. It will also help Orbitt to grow its relationships with traditional and digital trade finance players. Orbitt claims it has facilitated over $100-million of equity, debt and trade finance transactions to date Commenting in the same...

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