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Venture capital

  • SEC ban puts brakes on equity crowdfunding in Nigeria – report

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria's ban on equity crowdfunding "is seriously slowing down" the introduction of crowdfunding in the country, says a new report. The Crowdfunding Potential for Nigeria report released last month by the Crowdfunding Hub, says crowdfunding has significant potential in the country, but that the SEC's ban issued in August last year has stifled the setting up of crowdfunding platforms. The SEC believes that crowdfunding cannot be effective in Nigeria for now because of a lack of rules. Donation and reward-based crowdfunding are however excluded from the SEC’s regulatory remit. This is despite a fast-evolving banking system which...

  • ‘Fintech startups in Middle East, North Africa raised $100m last decade’

    Fintech startups in the Middle East and North Africa have raised $100-million over the last decade, yet 28% fail in their initial years, says a new report by business support organisation Wamda and online payment gateway Payfort. Released last month the report, titled State of Fintech: Unbundling the financial service sector in MENA, estimates that about $50-million in investments are expected to go to fintech startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region this year. The region was home to 105 fintech startups by the end of 2015 (see featured image), with half of these having been launched since...

  • South Africa’s FSB to rule on crowdfunding by June 30

    South Africa's Financial Services Board (FSB) has set a date of 30 June by which it plans to rule on whether to craft specific rules or not for equity crowdfunding, an FSB spokesman said this week. This follows the completion of a research report by the FSB on crowdfunding. FSB internal communications coordinator Thandolwethu Masango told Ventureburn however that the report on the FSB’s research would not be made public. “The research was meant to assist the FSB to get insight into how other jurisdictions are supervising crowdfunding activities and which piece of legislation would be applicable in governing the said activities in...

  • IDC approves R17m deal to fund SA’s first 3D metal printer

    The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has concluded an agreement with an SA startup that plans to launch the country's first production-based 3D metal printer by June. The investment of R17-million in Metal Heart, approved last month, is the 11th deal concluded by the IDC's new industries unit, since the unit's launch in 2015. Six of the deals have been in new companies. "They moved quickly," says Gert Lombard, who says he and business partner Kim Gray initially met with the unit in November last year. The deal was approved two weeks ago. The investment is in the form of a term loan and a...

  • Exclusive: ‘Government won’t match private sector in R1.5bn SME fund’

    The SA government has no immediate plans to match the R1.5-billion that 48 large companies have committed to the SA SME Fund, National Treasury Director-General Lungisa Fuzile told Ventureburn today. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa pledged during the launch of the fund in May last year that the government would match any contribution made by the private sector. However Fuzile, who sits on the fund's board, said the government will instead look to improve coordination between the state and private sector, while stepping up its existing funding and business support to small businesses. "It is not clear from a fiscal point of view...

  • Finfind initiative to link SA lenders with entrepreneurs seeking finance

    SA banks and lenders may soon be able to use a finance-matching platform to source entrepreneurs looking for finance, if a new initiative piloted by SA fintech startup finfind proves successful. Launched in October 2015, finfind is piloting a number of new initiatives which will help entrepreneurs to get better access to finance in South Africa. Speaking to Ventureburn today, finfind CEO Darlene Menzies says these include an initiative which will allow banks and other lenders to source fundable entrepreneurs from the platform. Currently entrepreneurs that access the site can complete a questionnaire and be told whether they qualify for funding or...

  • Geeks on a Plane dinner details SA startup ecosystem

    The Geeks on a Plane (GOAP) dinner hosted by Wesgro and Silicon Cape provided many insights into the investment landscape in SA and Africa. The dinner also consisted of a panel discussion with Zoona's CFO, Keith Davis and investors Monica Brand Engel of Quona Capital and co-founder and CEO of Rippleworks, Dough Galen. Speaking at the dinner, was co-founder of Silicon Cape and 4Di Capital, Justin Stanford who spoke on his experience in Silicon Valley and his reason for starting Silicon Cape. He explained to the GOAP cohort and other attendees that his main takeaway from his time in the Valley was...

  • ‘Shortage of VC funding, not of black entrepreneurs’

    The US has no shortage of black entrepreneurs. The shortage rather is one of funding for black entrepreneurs, says Monique Woodard of 500 Startups. Woodard, speaking at Startup Grind Cape Town last week Friday as part of a fireside chat, made the statement in response to a question from an audience member who asked why there was a shortage of black entrepreneurs. "So, I don't think there's... comparatively, in the space... there's not a huge shortage of black entrepreneurs. There's a shortage of black entrepreneurs getting VC funding," Woodard told the audience. The 500 Startups representative and Black Founders co-founder expanded on the topic. Monique Woodard of 500 Startups says...

  • HAVAIC to advise Healthcent before investment round

    South African VC HAVAIC has announced it will advise Healthcent before its first capital raising initiative. Healthcent's app, Signapps, is a secure communication solution for the medical industry. It aims to allow the sharing of patient data via mobile phones while complying with patient confidentiality legislation. "Signapps has been trialled in South Africa’s public healthcare system and private sector health providers are now seeking to learn more about the product," says commercialisation director, Andrew Davies, in a press release. "Whilst the two sectors have different dynamics, both are responding favourably to the enhanced communication potential inherent in the product." According to the product and technology director, Michael...

  • Algebra: VC tech fund in Egypt hits $40m mark

    A new tech VC fund by Algebra Ventures has completed a US$40-million first closing. Algebra claims that it's the largest tech VC fund in Egypt. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the fund will invest in up 25 tech startups or "tech-enabled" startups. Focus areas include "technology IP, fintech, industry platforms, e-commerce and consumer internet", Algebra explained. As for funding amounts, Algebra confirmed that investments would mostly be in the range of US$500 000 to US$4-million. The fund is expected to achieve a final closing of US$50-million. Algebra Ventures is aiming for a rather lofty final goal, but it's only got US$10-million to...

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