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Venture capital

  • Knife Capital Grindstone programme will take you out of your comfort-zone

    Cape Town based fund manager Knife Capital's new accelerator programme Grindstone, aimed at post-revenue startups, will help managers cultivate a growth strategy to scale their business and ultimately attract further investment, by taking CEOs out of their comfort zone. Grindstone describes itself as a part-business accelerator, part-investor and part-advisor . It is the first programme of its kind in South Africa by focusing on post-revenue startups rather than pre-revenue, but what really sets it apart is its idea to focus a CEO's attention to areas outside of their core expertise, giving them access to new management skills and support structures....

  • Every VC company is a media company

    The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and Cambridge Associates recently released a study showing that VC funds returned an average of 7.4% annually over a 10 year period. For early stage funding it was just 6.4%. This compares to 8.5% for the S&P 500. The VCs of Silicon Valley have an unshakeable belief in their investment skills, despite the study's Big Data showing they can't outperform a grandmother investing in an S&P Index fund. It's easy to see how "smart money" VCs end up with dumb money returns, when they herd into the same types of me-too startups and ruin the...

  • Why South Africa needs patient ‘co-opetition’ between venture investors

    A couple of weeks ago Ventureburn asked Marc Herson of mobile social network 2go, what the South African startup tech ecosystem needed, especially its Venture Capital ecosystem. This ecosystem is quite young but it's a very active one and people are getting excited about Africa. In last few months we have explored a lot on South Africa's tech ecosystem as well some funding dilemmas that the country's startups face. Herson, a former VC partner at Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa, gave us the following response about what South Africa needs to have a healthy tech ecosystem. -- Editor ...

  • SumUp secures funding to take mobile payments to South America

    Mobile point-of-sale company, SumUp, recently raised a rumoured 'double-digit million Euro' round in Series B funding from Groupon and American Express. Today it announced further Series B funding with investment from BBVA Ventures. The investment from BBVA Ventures, which is the corporate venture arm of multinational banking group BBVA, will help SumUp cement its position in Spain and Portugal, as well as expand into South America in the near future, reports The Next Web. The investment amount is undisclosed, but it is known that BBVA Ventures has US$100 million at its disposal to back financial service startups worldwide. SumUp co-founder...

  • Silvertree Capital has ecommerce sweet tooth, sub-Saharan African focus

    Africa's tech investment landscape has gained a new fund which looks set to boost the emerging sector. The recently launched Silvertree Capital is a South African-based business incubator specifically targeting startups that cater to the South African and Sub-Saharan African markets. The fund was founded by ex-Zando boss Manuel Koser whose controversial exit from the ecommerce company made news. Not surprisingly, Silvertree has made a number of investments in the ecommerce space -- a sector that is currently booming in Africa. Other focus industries for the company include "online/mobile, B2C ecommerce and B2B2C sales." The company says that it will offer...

  • Business Partners puts aside R1bn for SA’s tech, energy, agro-processing SMEs

    Business Partners, the specialist funding and mentorship company, says that it will make R1-billion available for its 2013-14 financial year to spend on business infrastructure, advice and after-care service for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The company's venture fund which stood at R400 million when it launched last year, will become a major focus. Business Partners hope to attract entrepreneurs with businesses, concepts, products or services with high-growth potential, especially in the in...

  • Jobs portal SEEK pumps $20-million into Private Property’s classifieds empire

    Australian jobs portal SEEK has invested US$25-million (R205.53-million) in One Africa Media (OAM), previously named Private Property Holdings. The deal will help the South African-based classifieds company expand its operations in Africa. A significant portion of the group is owned by Tiger Global Management, the New York-based venture capital fund that already partners with SEEK in other ventures across Asia and Latin America. OAM is best known for its Private Property real...

  • Crowdfunding platform Thundafund rolls in over SA startup landscape

    South Africa's crowdfunding space expanded earlier this month with the launch of Thundafund, the Cape Town-based crowd-powered startup funder. While crowdfunding in Africa has yet to reach the heights of similar initiatives in the US and UK, Thundafund founder, Patrick Schofield is bullish on the model's future on his home continent. "Crowdfunding is going to fundamentally change the way we start many new enterprises in South Africa. Crowdfunding allows the many to vote with their wallets to decide what is made in our world. Thundafund will be driving this movement in creative and innovative development in South Africa and Africa." On...

  • OnFarm Systems gains funding from Invested Development

    Invested Development recently invested in OnFarm Systems, an agriculture technology startup that aims to combine software and hardware to provide a platform of information to better management and decision-making. Invested Development is an early stage investment fund manager that focuses on reducing poverty by providing risk capital investments in early stage startups and support "radically affordable and innovative solutions to poverty in alternative energy, mobile technology, and agricultural technology." Californian based OnFarm joins software and hardware to provide a better management and decision-making platform for farmers. Using anything from soil moisture sensors to weather stations, OnFarm combines these multiple data sources...

  • Fab receives $150 million in Series D funding, led by China giant Tencent

    Fab, the gay social network turned ecommerce-design service with 14-million registered members, is now worth over US$1-billion after it received US$150 million in Series D funding. One of the investors involved in the round was none other than Tencent, China's largest listed Internet company whose services include social networks, ecommerce and web portals. Fab's impressive valuation has almost doubled since its last round of funding a year ago, but the company remains unprofitable, according to The Wall Street Journal. This indicates that Tencent's interest in the American startup could be just as much about directly selling Fab products through its...

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