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Venture capital

  • Y Combinator increases deal size to $150k, adds investment contract types

    US seed accelerator Y Combinator (YC) has increased its standard deal size of the investments it makes, from $120 000 to $150 000, while keeping its equity stake in such deals unchanged at seven percent. The announcement was made in a blog post last Friday (28 September) by Y Combinator partner and CEO Michael Seibel and Y Combinator general counsel Jason Kwon. In the post, the accelerator explained that new deals -- which start with the Winter 2019 batch, applications for which close today at 8pm Pacific Time in the US (tomorrow 5am Central African Time) -- will be made on a post-money...

  • L’Oréal makes undisclosed investment into Partech Africa fund

    French cosmetics giant L’Oréal has made an undisclosed investment into Paris-based global venture capital firm Partech's Africa fund. In a statement last Friday (21 September), L’Oréal executive vice-president for Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa Alexandre Popoff said the company, in collaboration with Partech's Africa Fund, wants to back "talented entrepreneurs" who invent new technological uses in all areas distribution and consumption. "L’Oréal is very happy to contribute to the development of young companies in Africa and to seize what is starting," said Popoff. L’Oréal did not disclose the size of its investment into the $122-million Partech Africa fund which Partech launched with commitments of $70-million in January L’Oréal...

  • Prodigy Finance raises over R14bn in new debt financing round

    UK-based fintech Prodigy Finance -- founded by SA entrepreneur Cameron Stevens -- announced today that it has raised R14.39-billion in the last 12 months in debt financing. The company lends to students globally via an Irish Stock Exchange listed bond. In a statement today, the company -- started by Stevens (pictured above) in 2007 -- said the financing primarily consists of R12.95-billion in institutional debt facilities from American, European and Asian lenders. These include Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, M&G Investments and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. Other investors include schools, family offices and high-net-worth individuals participating in Prodigy Finance’s international bond programme distributed by Credit Suisse. The company...

  • Egyptian healthtech Vezeeta raises $12m in Series-C round led by Riyadh VC STV

    Egyptian healthtech startup Vezeeta has closed a $12-million Series C funding round led by Riyadh-based venture capital fund Saudi Technology Ventures (STV). At least three of Vezeeta's existing investors -- BECO Capital, Vostok New Ventures and Silicon Badia participated in the round. The startup's initial backers were also joined by Crescent Enterprises’ CE-Ventures. Operating from its headquarters in Cairo, Vezeeta has developed one of the Middle East and North Africa's (MENA) largest healthcare booking platforms and medical practice management software. It is the second such African platform that has announced funding in the past week. Last Wednesday Morocco's DabaDoc revealed it had received an undisclosed amount from...

  • Tunisian robotics startup Enova Robotics raises $1.6-million from Capsa Capital

    Tunisian robotics startup Enova Robotics has raised $1.6-million from Tunis-based investment firm Capsa Capital. In a phone call with Ventureburn today (18 September) Enova Robotics founder Anis Sahbani (pictured above) said he will use the investment to improve the startup's "innovation process", to fund research and design and to open a European branch in France. Enova Robotics designs and manufactures four different types of mobile robots with applications across education, security (see video below), healthcare and marketing. Sahbani, said since he launched the startup in 2014, Enova Robotics has built and sold between 50 and 60 robots. Enova Robotics was founded in 2014...

  • SA fintech JUMO closes $52m round led by Goldman Sachs

    SA fintech JUMO today announced the close of an equity funding round of $52-million led by Goldman Sachs. Also participating in the round were Proparco, the private sector financing arm of the French Development Agency (AFD), Finnfund, Vostok Emerging Finance, Gemcorp Capital, and LeapFrog Investments. It comes as in July JUMO founder Andrew Watkins-Ball (pictured above) revealed that the startup had the secured first commitments in the round -- from French development agency Proparco and Finnish development finance company Finnfund (see this story). Those commitments were secured in early June. The startup’s platform helps facilitates digital financial services such as credit and savings in emerging markets. The Finnish development took part in...

  • Moroccan healthtech DabaDoc secures undisclosed investment from top insurer

    Moroccan healtech DabaDoc -- allows users to locate and make appointments with doctors online -- has secured an undisclosed investment from the startup's first institutional shareholder Axa Insurance Morocco. The investment deal, which was signed last Wednesday (12 September), is set to enhance DabaDoc's footprint in its current markets in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. In addition the startup will use the capital to further develop its offering. Since its launch in 2014, the startup claims over 2-million appointments have been booked through the service. In addition, DabaDoc's platform also helps medical professionals manage their practice, communicate with their patients, store records securely and optimise...

  • Why I invest in teams over single founders – venture capitalist [Q&A]

    You have a great idea, now you want to get funding for your startup. Do VCs prefer investing in teams or in single founder companies? For venture capitalist and co-founder of Knife Capital Keet van Zyl the choice when it comes to investing in a startup often comes down to a startup with a team as opposed to single-founder company. Over the 12 years of Knife Capital's history -- all the deals that the VC has concluded have had co-founders. Do VCs prefer to invest in a team or in a single founder, to take your idea to market? "The fact that there is more...

  • Investec, Crossfin concludes Series-A round with SA chatbot service Atura

    Atura, an automated chatbot for asset management companies, has landed an undisclosed Series-A investment from Blue Garnet Ventures, an investment company that counts Investec and local investment fund Crossfin among others as investors. Crossfin has the majority share in Blue Garnet. The deal was confirmed earlier this week by Atura CEO Paul Cartmel. Atura is a separate company owned by Cape Town software firm New Media Labs (NML), which was founded in 2007. Cartmel told Ventureburn in an email yesterday that the deal was signed last Friday (7 September). While he declined to disclose the amount invested, he said Blue Garnet Ventures' will take a 10% stake in Atura in a Series-A round. "I would prefer not...

  • Southern African VC sector invested over R1bn in 2017 reveals Savca report [Updated]

    Southern African venture capital (VC) funds invested over R1-billion in startups and early-stage companies last year. This, while the number of reported South African VC deals rose from 114 deals in 2016 to 159 last year -- the latest Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association's (Savca) Venture Capital Industry Survey has revealed. The report which was released yesterday (12 September) at the SA Innovation Summit in Cape Town, was carried out in collaboration with research partner Venture Solutions. The survey features data gathered from 57 fund managers as well as other industry investors. The Savca Venture Capital Industry Survey shows that the average deal...

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