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  • German accelerator F-Lane opens call for third cohort, deadline in two weeks

    Berlin-based accelerator F-LANE -- which focuses on tech-startups that empower or are run by women -- has opened calls for applications to its third cohort. The accelerator's main backer, the Vodafone Institute, stated in a press release that applications to the F-LANE's third cohort -- set to kick off next year in March -- will close on 20 December. F-LANE's seven-week long programme aims to promote participation by women in technological development. The accelerator, which is run in partnership with Impact Hub Berlin and the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie, will select five startups from around the world that have innovative solutions to social problems. The selected startups...

  • Company Office

    AlphaCode head calls on SA to become a fintech centre of excellence

    Dominique Collet, senior investment executive at Rand Merchant Investment Holdings and head of AlphaCode has called on the South African fintech scene to become "a centre of excellence". "Now that the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has established a fintech programme to track and analyse developments, South Africa has all that is required to become a fintech centre of excellence," says Collett (pictured above). She believes the country has "an advanced banking and financial services system with a sound regulatory regime". "We have extremely competent regulators, top entrepreneurial talent and innovative businesses that are attracting considerable local and global investments. The missing puzzle piece...

  • Travelstart acquires majority stake in accommodation site SafariNow.com

    SA travel booking company Travelstart today announced that it has bought a majority stake in Cape Town-based SafariNow.com -- South Africa's largest accommodation booking website. Travelstart founder and CEO Stephan Ekbergh was not immediately available for comment, but in announcement by Travelstart in a press release earlier today the company said it would not disclose terms of the acquisition. It follows the news in February last year that the company had secured $40-million from Amadeus Capital Partners and MTN. Read more: Travel booking site Travelstart lands $40m, asserts investor confidence SafariNow.com, which was founded in 1999 (the same year as Travelstart -- before the firm later moved from Sweden to South Africa), lists accommodation over...

  • SA born Clickatell honoured at 2017 Messaging and SMS World conference

    South African born Clickatell has been recognised as the best SMS / A2P (application to person) messaging provider in Africa at the 2017 Messaging and SMS World conference, held last month. The news was revealed today in a press release from Clickatell. The winners of the prize were selected by a team of independent judges from the detailed information submitted by dozens of entrants, along with testimonials from their customers. The company, which created the first Global SMS Messaging Gateway and is now one of the largest global mobile text messaging enablers, is today headquartered in Silicon Valley. It was founded in 2000 by South Africans Pieter de...

  • Co-working space Craft + Graft to link San Francisco, Cape Town creatives

    Cape Town is set to get a new co-working site, with the expected opening tomorrow of Craft + Graft, which claims to be the city's first co-working space with a twin site in San Francisco. The new co-working space, which will be based in Dunkley Square in Gardens, Cape Town, is set to officially open tomorrow evening, during the city's monthly First Thursday event during an art exhibition to showcase its community programme. Located at 2 Gordon Square, Craft + Graft offers 51 desks in a newly remodeled building, at a cost of R2100 per seat per month, with uncapped internet, shared kitchen, shower, and coffee service. Craft +...

  • SA entrepreneur Vinny Lingham joins US cryptofund Multicoin Capital as partner

    South African entrepreneur Vinny Lingham has joined US cryptofund Multicoin Capital as a general partner. The fund, which invests in blockchain tokens, made the announcement yesterday. The company said the announcement closely follows the official launch of a planned $100-million fund, and the addition of Brian Smith as Chief Financial Officer in September. "Vinny Lingham is a South African entrepreneur and the co-founder and CEO of Civic, a global decentralised identity platform that leverages blockchain technology and recently completed a $33-million token sale. "Lingham is also the co-founder of Silicon Cape, an NGO based in South Africa, and is a prominent investor. He is...

  • Here are the 40 Gazelles that aim to take a leap in Seda programme’s 2nd cohort

    A company that sources high quality foam and rubber component, a charcoal and briquettes manufacturer, a farming co-operative and a corporate shuttle service -- these are just four of the 40 participants in the second cohort of the South African government's National Gazelles programme. The programme, which is run by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), aims is to grow the value of each of the 40 participating small businesses by 20% over the next three years. The names were announced by Small business development Minister Lindiwe Zulu on Friday (1 December) -- about five months after the second cohort kicked off in June. It...

  • Being chosen by UK accelerator ‘validates product-market fit’ – GoMetro founder

    Coming hot off the heels of revealing that his startup aims to launch a new service that will compete with Uber and Taxify, GoMetro's founder Justin Coetzee says being accepted into the UK's Intelligent Mobility (IM) Accelerator, validates his startup's "product-market fit". The SA smart mobility startup was last month chosen as one of is one of six startups from across the UK (the SA startup has an office there) for the IM Accelerator based in Milton Keynes. The IM Accelerator -- a partnership in the UK between Transport Systems Catapult and Wayra UK -- aims boost high-growth startups in the mobility sector. During the 12-month accelerator programme GoMetro will be...

  • Q&A: So you want to run an ICO? Just make sure you have a cool R1m at hand

    Okay, so you want to raise millions of dollars through an initial coin offering (ICO)? It seems easy enough, with literally thousands of ICOs being run each month. Not quite, says Llew Morkel. His startup Prosperiprop may have raised "over $200 000" in an ICO which closed last week (30 November), but it didn't come easy. "An ICO can set you back R1-million before you have sold a single token. And there is no guarantee of success," says Morkel. In a wide ranging Q&A with Ventureburn, Morkel outlines what South African entrepreneurs specifically (but not exclusively) should know about in preparing to run an...

  • Exclusive: Startupbootcamp Cape Town, EasyEquities to crowdfund first cohort

    Startupbootcamp Cape Town has partnered with investment platform EasyEquities to crowdfund the 10 startups that last week graduated from the initiative's inaugural programme. The announcement was made last week Thursday (30 November) by Startupbootcamp Cape Town managing director Zachariah George at the accelerator's Demo Day held at Ratanga Junction Conference Centre in Cape Town. "This has never been done before, on the African continent or at Startupbootcamp anywhere in the world," said George. Potential investors can view more at http://crowdfunding.easyequities.co.za/. The page lists 15 December as the date the investment round will open, however when contacted Purple Group  vice-president for business development Almero Oosthuizen told...

  • Angel investor Patrick de Zeeuw on picking investors and keeping them happy

    Things are going great and some investors have expressed interest in your startup. But how do you as a founder know if an investor is the perfect fit for your business? The first thing to do is to carry out a due diligence exercise on any prospective investor, says Startupbootcamp co-founder, serial entrepreneur and angel investor Patrick de Zeeuw. Ventureburn caught up with De Zeeuw -- the former CEO of Dutch media giant Endemol -- at the Startupbootcamp Cape Town demo day which was held last week at on Thursday (30 November) in the city. He's founded online media and gaming company 3Circles Media and...

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