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  • Here’s all you need to know about Oui Capital’s $10m fund

    Are you a pre-Series A tech company valued at or below $5-million that has a scalable solution with potential to impact Africa's people? Then you might be the kind of startup that US-based venture capital (VC) firm Oui Capital is looking to invest in. The $10-million fund, which was established in 2017 by managing partner Olu Oyinsan (pictured above ) -- former vice president at Ingressive Capital -- and venture partner Swiss engineer Francesco Andreoli, will back startups that are first movers geographically or in the product or service they sell. Oyinsan told Ventureburn in an email yesterday (10 January) that...

  • Company Office

    Beyond Innovation – it’s Innovation velocity that really matters…

    '5 Ways to Drive Innovation'…'The World's Most Innovative Leaders'….'The Latest Innovations in Fintech'…sound familiar? In mainstream media, and in the corporate lexicon, the word innovation has become ubiquitous – particularly when discussing entrepreneurship, technology, leadership, and how all three combine. As a result, it has all but lost its meaning. Among startups, for example, product differentiators are often peddled as 'innovations' – when in fact they are simply, product differentiators. Journalists often trumpet the release of a high profile company's latest 'innovation', when in fact it is simply the release of a new product (and should be reported as such!). Why is...

  • More private equity firms to participate in later stage million-dollar VC deals

    This year, we are likely to see more private equity firms participate in later stage million-dollar VC deals, so believes the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (Avca) director and head of research Enitan Obasanjo-Adeleye. Obasanjo-Adeleye made the prediction in an interview with Ventureburn late last year, in a response to a question on what trends we are likely to see in the African venture capital (VC) industry in 2019. Obasanjo-Adeleye said last year she noted what she described as an "interesting trend" in the increasing number and rising participation of private equity firms in later stage transactions in...

  • How Daniel Gross’s Pioneer Tournament proves that talent is everywhere [Q&A]

    For former Apple director Daniel Gross -- who runs US accelerator Y-Combinator's AI-track and recently launched a global talent search fund -- talent is everywhere. No where is this more so than in Africa, he says. However, a lack of opportunities means many of us never get to pursue those passions or indeed, turn them into lucrative businesses. Gross (pictured above) co-founded Cue, an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven powered search engine which was acquired by Apple in 2013 in a deal that US-tech publication TechCrunch reported to be worth over $40-million. Prior to that, at only 18 he became the youngest person at...

  • AI-driven blockchain conference set to take place next month in Cape Town

    A Singapore-based platform for data-driven knowledge dissemination and exchange, Pronoia, has announced that it will next month host what it claims to be Africa's first artificial intelligence (AI)-driven blockchain conference in Cape Town. The conference -- titled the Blockchain & Investment Roadshow -- will take place on 14 and 15 February. The location of the event is yet to be confirmed. In a statement yesterday (8 January), Pronoia said Global Gaming Africa CEO John Kamara, fintech hub Lattice 80 founder and Marvelstone chairman Joe Seunghyun Cho, Consensys South Africa lead Monica Singer and Limitless Crypto Investments managing partner Matthew Jordan will be...

  • Unicef Innovation Fund launches call for data science, AI solutions

    Are you running a data science or artificial intelligence (AI) startup and are looking for funding? Unicef, through its Innovation Fund, is looking to make up to $90 000 in zero-equity investments in data science, machine learning and AI solutions that have the potential to benefit humanity. Tech startups with AI or data solutions stand to benefit from between $50 000 and $90 000 equity-free early-stage seed investments, this after Unicef Innovation fund launched a call for such solutions on Monday (7 December). Applications close on 28 February. Through the fund Unicef aims to finance open-source solutions that can improve children's...

  • Rising Tide Africa to establish Pan-African fund in 2019 says co-founder

    Rising Tide Africa, a Lagos-based women-oriented investment group, will this year establish a Pan-African fund, co-founder Olayemi Keri has said. Keri (pictured above), who founded Rising Tide Africa in 2016 with Ndidi Nnoli Edozien, told Ventureburn last December that the organisation will this year also look to close more deals. A slide deck Keri sent to Ventureburn shows that once the fund is operational, a nine-person investment committee will screen, analyse and vote on investments. Rising Tide Africa -- which was founded in 2016 by Olayemi Keri and Ndidi Nnoli Edozien -- made its first investments last year Keri explained today (8 January), that...

  • Strangled by red tape, Tanzanian tech entrepreneurs call for change

    When Tanzanian entrepreneur Emmanuel David (pictured above) set out to establish his crowdfunding platform recently, little did he know the frustration he was in for, causing him to lose a $15 000 investment from a potential investor. He now plans to leave his home country in favour of the more business friendly Kenya. His is a frustration nearly any startup that sets up in Tanzania can relate to.  Registering his crowdfunding platform, Gatefunding, took months to conclude as David was shifted from pillar to post. Like this, he was forced to postpone the startup's launch by a year. "As soon as they hear...

  • Applications open for Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme

    Lagos-based non-profit the Tony Elumelu Foundation has opened applications for this year's edition of its eponymous Entrepreneurship Programme. The programme is open to African entrepreneurs with businesses that are less than three years old. Applications will close on 1 March. Those selected for the programme stand to benefit from $5000 in seed capital, business training, mentorship as well as access to other African entrepreneurs as well as the foundation's global networks. Applications for the 2019 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme will close on 1 March Applications will be judged on feasibility of the business idea, market opportunity, financial understanding, scalability, leadership potential, as...

  • Will regulators provide more clarity on cryptocurrency in 2019?

    Governments have long been unsure over whether to treat bitcoin, Etherium and other crypto currencies as real money or not. If crypto currencies are indeed no different from fiat currencies like the Dollar or Rand, what rules should states then put in place to ensure they're safe for all to use?  Perhaps we will finally soon know. This year -- believes the manager of bitcoin exchange Luno's SA office, Marius Reitz -- is likely to see regulators provide more clarity on their stance towards cryptocurrency. In an interview with Ventureburn late last year, Reitz said he hopes such clarity will provide...

  • 10 people in the SA tech startup sector you should follow in 2019

    The new year is here, 2019 is here. Why not get started by following and connecting with some key decision makers in the SA tech scene. Here are 10 people — from entrepreneur and investor Michael Jordaan to Matsi Modise, the head of startup advocacy body Simodisa — that you should follow to keep abreast on views and happenings in the SA tech startup ecosystem. Michael Jordaan (Entrepreneur and investor): The venture capitalist and former banker has invested in a number of startups and always has a wise word to say on tech innovation in South Africa. Earlier this year he announced plans to launch a new app-based Bank Zero. In...

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