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Venture capital

  • Is Silvertree’s co-entrepreneur model the answer to Silicon Valley?

    What is a co-entrepreneur? A glorified manager or a true entrepreneur? For Silvertree Internet Holdings managing director and co-founder Manuel Koser a co-entrepreneur is any entrepreneur whose business the holding company buys out and then asks to stay on. Koser argued in an article on Ventureburn last month that the Silicon Valley model -- of investing round after round of funds through often minority stakes in a startup before exiting for tens of millions of dollars -- does not work in Africa. The alternative, he believes, is a holding company that buys up significant (usually majority) stakes in startups and turns their founders into what he terms...

  • Investec out to fund fintech startups through global investment platform

    SA bank and asset management group Investec currently looking to invest in three or four early-stage SA fintech startups, Investec Emerging Companies spokesperson Akash Maharaj has confirmed. Earlier this month, the bank invested an undisclosed amount in Retail Engage's Bonsella loyalty and rewards programme. Responding yesterday (30 July) to an email from Ventureburn, Maharaj (pictured above) would not disclose the details of the equity investment deal. He however stated that this was the first deal for the Investec Emerging Companies mandate -- which forms part of Investec Private Capital and was launched in July last year -- and aims to invest in "innovative, early-stage companies with high growth potential". 'Investec Emerging Companies...

  • Cape Town carpooling platform Jumpin Rides raises R1.8-million

    Cape Town based carpooling platform Jumpin Rides has raised R1.8-million from undisclosed local and international angel investors. The investment deal had however been concluded already in May -- the startup's co-founder Pauline du Paty (pictured above) revealed in an email to Ventureburn yesterday (26 July). Jumpin Rides claims it currently has more than 10 000 users on its platform. "Our objective is to bring the startup to the next level by investing these funds into integrating new functionalities, launching mobile apps, marketing, and starting to look at other African markets," said Paty. She added that her vision is to expand the startup's service to the rest...

  • Kenyan B2B ecommerce platform Sokowatch raises $2m in seed funding

    Nairobi based B2B ecommerce platform Sokowatch has reportedly raised $2-million in a seed round led by Africa-focused early stage venture firm 4Dx Ventures. The investment was first reported by US tech publication TechCrunch yesterday (26 July). Four other venture capital firms: Lynett Capital, Golden Palm Investments, Outlierz Ventures and Village Global were reportedly involved in the round. We are pleased to announce our investment in @Sokowatch. Through #Sokowatch, we establish a platform for multinational companies to partner with informal retailers and satisfy the demands of the African consumer. We wish the #Sokowatch team success. https://t.co/ncYn8OWlRc — Golden Palm VC (@GoldenPalmVC) July 26, 2018 Sokowatch -- which was founded in 2013 by CEO Daniel Yu and COO Josh Middleman -- enables...

  • Kenyan fintech Tulaa closes $627k seed round led by AHL Ventures Partners

    Nairobi-based fintech platform Tulaa has closed a $627 000 seed round led by Canadian impact investor AHL Venture Partners. Tulaa, which was founded by CEO Hillary Miller-Wise in July last year, provides smallholder farmers in Kenya with access to inputs, credit and markets. The startup announced the investment yesterday in a statement on LinkedIn. The seed funding will be used to bankroll Tulaa's expansion in Kenya. In addition the capital will also finance the further development of the startup's tech platform which leverages mobile technology and artificial intelligence to enable farmers to purchase inputs on credit and to market their crops efficiently at harvest time. Tulaa provides small holder...

  • Silicon Valley VC model doesn’t work in Africa, argues Silvertree Holdings man

    The Silicon Valley venture capital (VC) model doesn’t work in Africa and other emerging markets, argues Manuel Koser, the managing director and co-founder of Silvertree Internet Holdings. The funder likes to refer to itself as a "investment growth partner" holding stakes for a longer period in those it invests in than your traditional seven to eight years that most VC funds do. The fund counts Pricecheck.co.za, CompareGuru.co.za, Petheaven.co.za, Faithful-to-nature.co.za, Cybercellar.com, aumax.co, Ucook.co.za and CarZar.co.za among its investments. Koser's latest remarks -- made in an emailed article to Ventureburn -- follow those made in November last year by co-founder Paul Cook. Cook at the time charged...

  • SA fintech JUMO secures first two commitments in new funding round

    SA fintech JUMO has secured equity funding from French development agency Proparco and Finnish development finance company Finnfund -- the first commitments to a new funding round, the startup's founder Andrew Watkins-Ball revealed yesterday. The startup’s platform helps facilitates digital financial services such as credit and savings in emerging markets. The Finnish development took part in a $24-million debt facility last year (see this earlier story). In a call from London yesterday, Watkins-Ball told Ventureburn that the commitments from Proparco and Finnfund were secured six weeks ago. He declined to reveal the value of the funding, but said each of the organisations have taken a single-digit equity in return for the funding. He said...

  • SA startup Aerobotics secures funding round from Nedbank VC fund [Updated]

    Local corporate and investment bank Nedbank has invested an undisclosed amount in Cape Town based aerial data-analytics startup Aerobotics. The bank was the lead investor in a Series-A round in which several other investors also took part, including a number from Silicon Valley. Among those that took part in the round (see below note at the foot of the story for the remaining list of investors) were online investment marketplace AgFunder and Silicon Valley investor Joe Caruso. Cape Town based venture capital 4Di Capital, which together with the Savannah Fund last year provided seed funding of R8-million to the startup, also took part in the round. Earlier today online business publication Moneyweb...

  • Here’s how startups that assist African women can tap $250k in funding

    Think you startup has the potential to "dramatically improve" the lives of women and girls in Africa? Then you could stand a chance to tap $250 000 in funding from US-impact investor Gray Matters Capital's GMC coLABS early-stage investment portfolio. The portfolio -- which invests up to $250 000 per company in revenue share investments -- issued a statement on Wednesday (11 July) that it is looking to fund six new enterprises every six months. GMC coLABS has two upcoming investment cycles that African social entrepreneurs can apply to. The deadlines for these are 15 September and 15 December. Earlier this week, Gray...

  • DEMO Ventures reveals five countries its new $100m fund for startups will target

    Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. These are the five countries that a new $100-million fund -- to be launched in October by DEMO Ventures -- will focus on, revealed the fund's incoming CEO Tania Ngima yesterday. DEMO Ventures is the investment arm of DEMO Africa, an initiative which runs pitching competitions and aims to serve as a launchpad for innovative African tech. In an email yesterday (11 July) Ngima (pictured above) told Ventureburn that the fund -- which was registered in Kenya in November last year -- will invest in early-stage tech startups across various verticals. These include consumer web and mobile, renewable energy, and...