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  • Paygo raises US $1.43-million in Series Seed funding

    Kenyan clean-energy provider, Paygo has raised US$1.43-million in Series Seed debt and equity funding. The clean energy provider uses an innovative solution that allows households to cook using clean burning liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in small amounts. The company's investors consist of Novastar ventures, Energy Access Ventures (EAV), Village Capital and the Global Innovation Fund. It also includes Global Partnerships/Eleos Social Venture Fund. "A billion households are forced to cook with dirty fuels every day, which is not only a serious development challenge but also a significant market opportunity. This financing will allow us to invest deeply in our technology, build...

  • Company Office

    New integrated payment, POS solution allows retailers to transact in 2 seconds

    The South African financial technology company that brought card-payment systems to smaller businesses as far back as 2008 has just announced a new integrated payment solution that will benefit franchise store owners, larger independent retailers and franchise owners. Sureswipe is SA’s first independent payment service provider to offer a fully integrated payment solution with acquiring services. Paul Kent, managing director of Sureswipe, says: “Our new Integrated Payments product has been developed for higher volume businesses that use a Point-of-Sale system. It reduces manual hours spent on reconciliations, makes customer payments quicker and safer, and cuts both costs and complexity. We have brought functionality...

  • SAB’s Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Awards now open

    The South African Breweries (SAB) Foundation is calling on social entrepreneurs who are involved in assisting disadvantaged South Africans, to apply for its Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Awards. The awards are split into two categories: Social Innovation Awards -- Aimed at social entrepreneurs, institutions as well as social enterprises that already have prototypes or an early-stage business tackling social issues Disability Empowerment Awards -- Seeks to award entrepreneurs and enterprises which have developed innovative solutions which improve access to the economy for disabled people. The application process opens early next month and can be completed by visiting the SAB Foundation website. "We define social innovation...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [24/04/2017]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or catch up on some of your skills? Well, you've come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we've rounded up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or...

  • World Bank launches accelerator programme for African digital startups

    The World Bank has announced the launch of XL Africa, an acceleration programme aimed at supporting 20 top digital startups from Sub-Saharan Africa. XL Africa will run over five months and startups will be put through a tailored curriculum, while receiving mentorship and the chance to attract early-stage capital of between US$250,000 and US$1.5-million. "Digital startups are important drivers of innovation in Africa," said Makhtar Diop, the vice-president for the Africa Region at the World Bank, in a press release. "To scale and spread new technologies and services beyond borders, they need an integrated ecosystem that provides access to regional markets and global finance. "Pan-African initiatives...

  • ‘Computicket’s acquisition of Pretoria startup an opportunity to learn more’

    Computicket's acquisition of local company Entry Ninja is an opportunity to take on new technology and to learn more, says the Pretoria startup's co-founder Frans Jooste. "It's a lot of fun to see your product blowing up," Jooste, 29, told Ventureburn today on Computicket's purchase of the online sporting events portal. "It's like seeing your baby growing up." Computicket on Saturday announced that it has acquired the startup for an undisclosed sum. Neither Jooste or Shoprite Holdings, which owns Computicket, would disclose the amount of the deal. 'It’s a lot of fun to see your product blowing up' Jooste said the startup was...

  • SA downgrade ‘nearly irrelevant’ to startups – Michael Jordaan

    South Africa’s downgrade to junk status earlier this month by two rating agencies may have depressed Michael Jordaan, one of the country's most respected venture capital (VC) investors, but he believes the downgrade is "nearly irrelevant" to startups. "In this tough economic climate it is useful that one of the advantages of startups as opposed to big business is that the macro economics are nearly irrelevant as it is far more important for the startup to first succeed in its narrowly defined micro-market," said Jordaan in an email to Ventureburn. However, in a wide-ranging interview, the former head of First National Bank, now the...

  • 6 artificial intelligence startups in Africa to look out for [Digital All Stars]

    Digital All Stars is a series of articles which aims to celebrate the best of South African digital. The articles, which will appear on Memeburn and Ventureburn, recognise and celebrate South Africa’s best digital entrepreneurs, business people, advertisers, and media professionals among others. In this piece we take a look at some interesting African startups involved in developing artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. DataProphet South African startup DataProphet last year received a significant investment of an undisclosed amount from Yellowwoods Capital Holdings to expand its international offering. As part of the deal, DataProphet will act as the advanced analytics partner for the group. The...

  • Will South African trio’s algorithm be a boon for oil sector?

    Over $300-billion of oil and gas exploration projects have been shelved since the oil price fell from a high of $120 in July 2014 to a low of $25 in early 2015 -- but three South Africans' use of a statistical algorithm promises to cut the cost of finding oil and gas. While unlisted UK company Africa New Energies (ANE) recently became the subject of a bidding war with valuations of hundreds of millions of dollars, analysts remain cautious, with the company yet to discover a single barrel of oil. The company, launched by Stephen Larkin, Brendon Raw and Shakes Motsilili in 2012, uses data collected...

  • Startupbootcamp launches its first African-based programme

    Global accelerator Startupbootcamp has announced the launch of its first African-based programme in Cape Town with the aim of accelerating 10 startups from September. The announcement was made yesterday. The three-month bootcamp, backed by BNP Paribas, the RCS Group and PwC, is open to startups that focus on a number of sectors. These include: blockchain, connected devices, payment solutions, asset management, ecommerce, alternative financing, identity management, data and behavioural analytics, digital connectivity, enabling technologies and integrated supply chains. Ten successful applicants selected for the programme will each be awarded EUR€15,000. Selected participants will also receive free office space, convertible notes, access to...

  • We lost R200k to wrong developers, Shark Tank startup tells Fuckup Nights

    They may have secured R400 000 from two investors on SA TV show Shark Tank last year, but Jason Newmark and Chelsea Evans learnt a hard lesson when they recently lost R200 000 on tech developers. Speaking at a Fuckup Nights event held in Cape Town on Wednesday, Newmark and Evans, co-founders of wedding planning site Plan My Wedding, detailed how choosing the wrong website developers also set them back a year. The monthly event, in which entrepreneurs detail their biggest failures, was hosted by co-working space Cape Town Office at the Canterbury Club. "We ended up spending R200k on developers we...