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  • Q&A: Craig Hudson on Xero’s break into the SA market

    Ventureburn recently spoke to Xero's regional director EMEA, Craig Hudson, about the cloud-based accounting software helping thousands of SMEs around the world.   Xero, founded in 2006 in New Zealand, rapidly grew from a small startup to being recognised by Forbes as the number one innovative growth company for 2015. Breaking into the SA market, Xero shared their plans and strategy to support the SA small enterprise economy Ventureburn: What are your responsibilities within Xero? Craig Hudson: I’m responsible for everything to do with Xero’s growth strategy and get great support from the global business and our (team) GM out of the UK. VB: What was the inspiration...

  • Company Office

    Securing the right investor for every stage of your business

    So you’ve nailed down the big idea, you’ve got the inspiration, and you’ve laid out a savvy business plan - now all you need is the right investor (or investors) to get your startup off the ground. For many new entrepreneurs, this is the hardest part (so far)…it usually requires pitching your idea (and essentially, pitching yourself), to family and friends, and as the business grows, to angel/seed investors and venture capitalists. It requires asking people to place their money and trust in you and your ability to make something out of nothing. For even the most self-assured among...

  • Hyperion Development receives R3.2m in funding from Facebook

    Online course platform Hyperion Development has secured US$230 000 (R3.27-million) in funding from Facebook. The amount was rewarded as a result of the startup winning the Internet.org Innovation Challenge in the Education division. "The award will allow us to scale our offerings more rapidly and internationally, accelerating the growth of what is already a profitable and socially impactful business. We’re excited to work with Facebook and Internet.org to make software development education and careers open to all," says the founder and director of Hyperion Development, Riaz Moola, in a press release to Ventureburn. The startup focuses on offering part-time, online courses for a range of programming skills, such as website development and...

  • Kosmos Innovation Center awards two startups US$50 000 in seed funding

    The Kosmos Innovation Center in Ghana has awarded two winning teams US$50 000 in seed funding at their pitching competition last week. Kosmos Energy launched the Kosmos Innovation Center seven months ago, with the aim of driving inclusive economic growth through entrepreneurship.The initiative also hopes to provide the private sector with commercial solutions to various issues. The pitching competition brought together representatives from the agricultural industry, local technology specialists, young entrepreneurs and students as well as many senior business mentors. "Through these series of innovation-focused events and competitions, we challenged young entrepreneurs to build the foundation of commercially-viable agritech products solutions to address challenges...

  • Tritech Media invests 20% holding in GoMetro

    Media technology company, Tritech Media, has announced today the investment of a 20% holding of smart mobility company, GoMetro. The remaining shares of GoMetro are currently held by its founders, a VC firm, 4Decades Capital which represents the former CEO of Rand Merchant Bank, Mike Pfaff; chief investment officer Derek Prout-Jones. AngelHub Ventures, representing former FNB CEO, Michael Jordaan also retain remaining shares. GoMetro's propriety mobility platform aims to simplify transport operations especially within and around congested areas, such as Sandton. "This is such a great strategic acquisition for our group," said CEO and founder of Tritech Media, William Kirsh in a...

  • Startup which helps owners find lost pets going global by 2017

    When Ivan Loh's two Labrador retrievers ran away from home two years ago, he "couldn't eat and sleep." While he found his dogs after two weeks, Ivan wanted to prevent a repeat of this "traumatic" episode. He started developing a NFC (Near-field communication) and QR code-enabled pet badge that was launched in March this year. By scanning a QR code shown on the badge, one can obtain the owner's contact details, the pet's allergies and medication needs. Alternatively, the badge shows an alphanumeric code that can be entered on Pet Widget's website. Next steps in expansion With about 1,000 badges sold in Singapore,...

  • Swimming in the Shark Tank: an interview with Marnus Broodryk

    Entrepreneurial series Shark Tank SA is made up of an incredibly successful panel of entrepreneurs. Ventureburn sat down with one of the judges, Marnus Broodryk to discuss his journey with the show as well as his take on entrepreneurship today. This self-made millionaire embarked on a journey much like any other entrepreneur. He worked hard, sacrificing most of his childhood to put himself through school. Today, he's been responsible for many successful ventures and has consulted with companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange as well as the New York Stock Exchange. Presently, he sits on a panel of judges known...

  • AlphaCode pitching event sees top startups awarded R1-million in funding

    In an initiative brought on by AlphaCode and Merrill Lynch SA, five black-owned fintech startups have each received R1-million in funding. On 10 October, 11 contestants pitched their ideas and innovations. With only one minute to answer questions from judges, the startups needed to make an impression. The panel of judges consisted of senior investment executive at Rand Merchant Investments, Dominique Collett; CEO of Merrill Lynch SA, Richard Gush; CEO of Royal Bafokeng Holdings, Albertina Kekana and principle partner at Identity Partners, Sonja Sebotsa. The startups awarded R1-million each as a part of Merill Lynch's B-BBEE spend are: E-factor - an online marketplace founded by Tito...

  • Here are the 9 startups pitching at Seedstars World in Senegal

    From social media to music, nine startups have been chosen to participate in the Seedstars World pitching event on 14 October in Dakar, Senegal. The startups will be competing to represent the country at the Seedstars World finals in Switzerland in 2017. There, they will stand a chance of winning up to US$1-million in equity investment. "Seedstars World is an amazing opportunity for the best entrepreneurs of emerging countries to be identified. The selected startups, 'those that will shape our future' will benefit from access to a great network and community, media exposure and overall the opportunity to connect with leading investors,"...

  • HouseME looks to change the rental market in SA with app

    Real estate startup, HouseME wants to change the way property rentals are handled for landlords and prospective tenants in SA. The company has launched an app which it hopes will solve gaps in the rental process. "The market is locked by a process where landlords advertise their properties for a set rental, and often accept the first tenants to put a deposit down," says the CEO and co-founder of HouseME, Ben Shaw, in a press release to Ventureburn. Prospective tenants will be able to bid on an open property instead of the landlord setting a price. "It's clear that both landlords and tenants will benefit from a...

  • SweepSouth expands into KwaZulu-Natal, hits Durban first

    On-demand cleaning service, SweepSouth has expanded into Durban. The startup previously launched in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Pretoria. "Expanding to Durban has been on the books from the get-go, and we've been working hard behind the scenes to interview and register a top quality team of local cleaners – or, as we call them, SweepStars," says SweetSouth CEO Aisha Pandor in a press release to Ventureburn. Customers are charged R38 per hour via a cashless system with cleaners taking between 70% and 80% of the total fee. "By tapping into new markets and empowering cleaners to take on multiple or supplementary jobs, we...