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  • AFD seeks startups with solutions that boost women to apply to digital challenge

    French development bank AFD and innovation platform Digital Africa are seeking African tech startups that help boost women -- be it in the economic, social, cultural or political sphere -- to apply to the third edition of the AFD Digital Challenge. Applications close on 12 November. This year's edition has three prizes on offer for five selected startups, namely -- the Digital Challenge Initiative, Digital Challenge Success and Digital Challenge Jury's Award. Entries for the AFD Digital Challenge close on 12 November The Digital Challenge Initiative aims to award €15 000 to two seed-stage startups that demonstrate an "outstanding" ability to innovate. A €50 000 Digital Challenge Success prize will be awarded to...

  • Company Office

    treadFEST 2017 – five stages with Gangs of Ballet, DJ Ali, Matthew Mole

    treadFEST 2017 presents five stages with a mix of music genres: Gangs of Ballet, DJ Ali and Mathew Mole are just three among a host of bands and DJs in the pipeline. When the award-winning, Durban based, alternative rock band Gangs of Ballet lost their bassist, it didn't stop them in their tracks. They just became a gang of three (comprising brothers, Brad and Josh Klynsmith, and Jonny Rich) and so refined their distinctive sound. After the enormous success of their first album, yes/no/grey the challenge was to move forward to even greater things. Becoming a trio was just part of that journey....

  • How Naspers could help find SA’s next great tech startups [Opinion]

    Former Naspers CEO Koos Bekker has always been vocal about the lack of good tech entrepreneurs in South Africa. It’s a statement that makes many wince, and many defensively start rattling off a list of successful local tech entrepreneurs. Why, they say, there is Takealot.com, led by former Naspers man Kim Reid, and the edtech business Getsmarter that was recently sold for $100-million. And many more. But people misunderstand Koos. He is not talking about these businesses at the level they think he is. When he says the country has no great tech entrepreneurs, he is thinking on a much bigger scale. This...

  • Kenya’s Novastar Ventures to open Lagos office after raising $75.5m for new fund [Updated]

    Nairobi-based venture fund Novastar Ventures has made the first close of its Novastar II fund with commitments of $72.5-million. The firm now plans to open an office in Lagos, Nigeria as it expands into West Africa. In a statement on Tuesday (30 October), Novastar Ventures said commitments had come from AXA Investment Managers, the CDC Group, the European Investment Bank, Dutch Good Growth Fund and the Dutch Development Bank FMO. The fund aims to reach $120-million. Novastar Ventures invests in early and growth stage enterprises and the Novastar II fund will target East and West African businesses with a positive social impact for low-income households. Novastar Ventures' Novastar II fund has...

  • GTR Ventures announces investment in Africa-focused deals platform Orbitt

    International investment platform GTR Ventures has announced an undisclosed investment in Africa-focused digital deal-sourcing platform Orbitt. In a statement on its website on Tuesday (30 October), GTR Ventures -- which has offices in Singapore, London and Hong Kong -- said the deal with the London-based startup marks its "first Africa-focused investment". As part of the deal, the venture builder said it will work with Orbitt to strengthen the deal-sourcing platform's trade finance capabilities. It will also help Orbitt to grow its relationships with traditional and digital trade finance players. Orbitt claims it has facilitated over $100-million of equity, debt and trade finance transactions to date Commenting in the same...

  • Cisco launches R10m business incubator in Pretoria, plans further centres

    IT multinational Cisco today (1 November) launched a R10-million incubation centre in Pretoria aimed at helping small businesses and startups speed up entry into the market. In a statement, Cisco said its Cisco Edge Incubation Centre -- the first in South Africa -- will provide small businesses and startups with Cisco technology and training. The centre is located at the Gauteng government's Innovation Hub in Pretoria. The Pretoria centre also offers complete business facilities including workspaces with high-speed broadband connectivity, video conferencing and collaboration platforms, as well as boardroom and training facilities. In addition, small businesses will be able to connect with global Cisco experts, who can help...

  • French funder Investisseurs & Partenaires reveals stake it took in CoinAfrique, AMI

    French impact investor group Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) -- which last month announced the first investments in a new fund -- has revealed the equity stakes it has taken in three African startups -- including two tech firms. Earlier last month I&P announced in a statement that its Afrique Entrepreneurs 2 (IPAE 2) fund had invested in Senegalese classifieds platform CoinAfrique, Nairobi-based social enterprise The African Management Initiative (AMI) and food flavour producer Afribon Group to its portfolio. Although it did not disclose just how much it had invested in each of the three companies, I&P stated that the IPAE 2 fund's investment ticket sizes can reach up to €3-million. On Tuesday (30 October) I&P fundraising and...

  • ‘Excited’ co-founder’s legal firm is among 12 African startups in HiiL accelerator

    Being selected for the Hague-based HiiL Justice Accelerator has been the "most exciting" moment in his career for Epoq Legal COO Emile Gerber. The SA legaltech startup -- which offers a service that provides real-time assistance and guidance around the creation of legal documents used by businesses -- is one of 12 African startups that was selected earlier this month to join the accelerator's six-month long programme, which got under way earlier this month. After receiving over 430 applications from around the world, HiiL announced on 17 October that it had selected 17 startups from around the world to join its latest cohort. The 12 African startups selected to participate in the...

  • AfricArena predicts funding raised by African startups in 2018 will crack $1bn

    The amount of venture capital (VC) funding raised by African startups this year could for the first time exceed the $1-billion mark. So, predict the organisers of AfricArena, which runs an annual tech startup conference. Ahead of this year's conference, which takes place on 15 and 16 November in Cape Town, AfricArena said in a statement yesterday (30 October) that its prediction is based on internal research the organisation conducted earlier this year with Silicon Cape and Wesgro. Like this, it expects the funding raised by African startups to increase by over 100%. Commenting today (31 October) on the prediction, AfricArena CEO Christophe Viarnaud (pictured above) said he was...

  • Airbus opens call to startups for second edition of its Africa4Future accelerator

    Got a tech solution that can help address a problem with the aerospace sector? Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has launched the second edition of its Africa4Future initiative and is calling on African tech startups to apply to join its six-month long acceleration programme. The joint accelerator programme is run by Airbus' global aerospace accelerator BizLab and Make-IT in Africa, an initiative of the German Agency for International Co-operation (GIZ). Startups that are working on solutions related to areas including: unmanned logistics and remote-sensing technology, automation and drones, electrification, blockchain, artificial intelligence, data analytics and material composites and manufacturing -- can all apply. The Africa4Future initiative...

  • Here are the 10 SA startups that will pitch at Seedstars Johannesburg 2018

    Seedstars World, one of the largest startup competitions for emerging markets, has announced the 10 SA startups that will pitch at Seedstars Johannesburg this Friday (2 November) — in the second pitch before the SA finals. The top three startups from the pitch event, which will be held Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, will join the top three startups from the Johannesburg pitch which will be held next month, as well as other competitors at the South Africa finals -- to be held in Cape Town on 14 November. At the finals, startups will compete to be crowned the country winner and a chance to win an all-inclusive trip to attend the...

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