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Venture capital

  • Are these the 10 biggest disclosed African tech startup deals of 2018? [Updated]

    A whole lot of money. That's what over 60 African tech startups raised this year. While not every startup wanted to disclose how much they raised, those that did made quite a packet -- over $178-million going on data from 48 venture capital disclosed deals (see Editor's note below) reported by Ventureburn in 2018. Of this, almost a third or $52-million is accounted for by one deal in SA fintech JUMO (the startup raised a further $12.5-million, in addition to this, earlier this month - see this story). In addition, SA startups accounted for about half of all funding raised that was disclosed. Ventureburn's...

  • PIC, UIF partner to launch R2bn fund for startup companies in SA

    The SA government on Friday (14 December) launched a R2-billion fund to help small business startups that create jobs and contribute towards the growth and development of the economy. SANews reported on Friday that fund is part of the Project Development Partnership Fund (PDP) -- established through a joint venture between the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), an entity of the Department of Labour. While the fund won't exclusively be aimed at tech startups, but rather at all small business startups in general, the Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant (pictured above) revealed that the fund will invest...

  • Section 12J VC incentive a good start, but government can do more [Opinion]

    The world of startups is a risky choice for an investor. But there is a clever way you can reduce that risk, and that is by investing in a government-sanctioned Section 12J fund. The tech industry often laments that government can do more to support small business. Yes, it can do more, but here is an example where it is making a difference. Section 12J funds have been around for the past 10 years but have only gained traction in the startup world recently. The attractive part about these funds are that they are 100% tax deductible should one hold...

  • Sawari Ventures announces $35m first closing of $70m North Africa fund

    Egyptian venture capital firm Sawari Ventures yesterday (9 December) announced a $35-million first closing of its $70-million Sawari Ventures North Africa Fund I (SVNFI). The Cairo-based VC firm made the announcement on the sidelines of the last day of the Africa 2018 Business Forum in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt. In a statement yesterday (9 December), Sawari Ventures stated that it aims to use the fund to invest in tech and knowledge-driven companies in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. The fund's first closing investors include the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Dutch Good Growth Fund which is managed by impact-focused investment manager Triple Jump, the French Development...

  • Egyptian healthtech Vezeeta does it again with $1-million raise from the IFC [Updated]

    Egyptian healthtech startup Vezeeta has raised a new, $1-million investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of World Bank Group -- less than three months after closing a $12-million Series C funding round led by Saudi-based STV. Vezeeta has developed one of the Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) largest healthcare booking platforms and medical practice management software. Egyptian startup publication Menabytes reported today that the deal is the IFC’s first direct investment in an Egyptian technology company. The publication quoted Vezeeta CEO and co-founder Amir Barsoum (pictured above) saying that the “IFC is a global power that will not only help fuel...

  • Kobo360 lands $6-million equity investment from World Bank’s IFC

    The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has announced a $6-million equity investment in Nigerian tech startup Kobo360. The startup's e-logistics platform helps connect the supply of trucks with the demand for transportation services by cargo owners in Nigeria. Today's announcement follows a $1.2-million seed round led by US venture capital firm Western Technology Investment that the startup announced in June, while earlier this year the startup was accepted into Y-Combinator’s 2018 Summer cohort, and received a $120 000 equity investment from the seed fund. Nigeria logistics startup Kobo360 has landed a $6-million equity investment from the IFC The IFC said in a statement today that the investment was led by...

  • Four Savant backed startups secure TIA seed grants totalling over R2.5m

    Four startups incubated at Cape Town based hardware tech incubator Savant have secured seed grants totalling over R2.5-million from the incubator's seed fund partner -- the government's Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). Savant CEO Nick Allen (pictured above) yesterday (6 December) told Ventureburn that the four -- ATTRI Orthopaedics, Energy Shift, Jonga and Global Energy -- received seed grants worth R580 000, R649 000, R654 000 and 641 000, respectively. He said the first tranche of the funding would be transferred to the startups between either yesterday and today (7 December). Cape Town based ATTRI Orthopaedics develops lightweight, state-of-the-art metallic implants that replace skeletal structures damaged from bone...

  • SA’s Snapt on track for 1000% revenue growth after landing $3m investment

    Two years after raising $1-million in funding, SA tech company Snapt this week landed $3-million from three local investors -- Nedbank, Sanari Capital and Convergence Partners (which took part in the earlier round) -- and is on track to record a 1000% increase in revenue this financial year. The company, which was founded in 2012 by Dave Blakey (pictured above) and Douglas Cherry, did not disclose the size of the equity stake that the investors have taken in the company. Snapt provides applications delivery controller solutions which help websites and apps with load balancing, as well as web acceleration and security which enable business-critical websites to stay online and...

  • What investors should look for in a Section 12J VC company [Opinion]

    In recent years the SA government identified small and medium-sized entities (SMEs) as a major contributor to future economic growth. One of the main challenges to the economic growth of SMEs is access to equity finance. To assist these sectors in terms of equity finance, in 2009, the SA government (through the SA Revenue Services or Sars) implemented a tax incentive for investors in these enterprises through a Venture Capital Company (VCC) regime known as Section 12J. For investors with a higher risk appetite, or who have maxed out their retirement annuity, pension fund and tax free savings account contributions, a Section...

  • Investors put R30m more in SA insurtech Naked after ‘strong first 6 months’

    SA insurtech startup Naked has landed a further R30-million from its investors -- private investment group Yellowwoods and insurance company Hollard -- and plans to grow its team, ramp up customer acquisitions and expand into new short-term insurance product categories. In a press release today, the startup -- which provides artificial intelligence-driven car insurance -- said its investors committed the additional funding after the startup recorded a strong first six months of trading, after launching its first product in April, following about a year and a half in development. Without providing figures, the startup said customer acquisition and retention rates had exceeded the company’s expectations. Investors committed...

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