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  • Charges against Springleap founder not first time Eran Eyal’s in trouble with law [Updated]

    The latest charges laid against former Springleap founder Eran Eyal are not the first time he has had trouble with the law. Eyal, who currently resides in the Brooklyn in the US, appeared before New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood last Friday. The charges were contained in a statement on Saturday (25 August) by Underwood. Last year a case was lodged against Eyal in a Khar police station in India, by a Mumbai businessman in connection with a $50,000 investment that he alleges was cheated out of him. The case was lodged after a court order from the Bandra magistrate's court. The Times of India in 7 June last...

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    Three things to consider when looking to save on the costs of transferring pensions

    Let’s face facts -- there’s scarcely been a worse time than now, to accumulate wealth. After all, not only has real wage growth stalled across multiple industries, but inflation peaked at a little under 3% during the latter stages of last years. This has sent household savings plunging to record lows, while there’s no indication as to when the economic climate will improve. With this in mind, it’s important that you strive to maximise your pension funds for the longer term. This will mean reducing the cost of managing your funds, particularly in instances where you want to transfer numerous plans into...

  • Investor gatvol over losing R8.5m to Springleap through ‘misrepresentation’

    SA business owner and angel investor Duncan Barratt says he lost R8.5-million to Eran Eyal's former company Springleap. Eyal, the former CEO of Springleap, faces fraud charges in the US. Eyal has been charged with allegedly stealing $600,000 from investors by fraudulently soliciting investors to purchase convertible notes through false representations of his company, Springleap. If convicted of the top count charged, he faces up to 15 years in prison. Barratt (pictured above), who is the CEO of Dairy-Best, was a key angel funder behind Springleap and at one time held a 60% stake in the startup before he parted ways with the company in 2012. He is co-operating...

  • Leapfrog Ventures’ Takuma Terakubo wants to fund 200 startups by 2020

    Leapfrog Ventures founder and CEO Takuma Terakubo says he aims to invest in 200 African startups by 2020. This follows a report by Japanese publication The Bridge earlier this week that the venture capital firm had invested $50 000 in Kenyan startup Biasharabot. Yesterday (29 August) Digest Africa reported that Leapfrog Ventures is also set to invest $190 000 in three Ugandan startups: Francom, Swipe2pay and Xente. "My first target is 200 startups to invest until end of 2020 and ticket size is basically $30 000 to $50 000, sometimes $100 000," said Terakubo. Leapfrog Ventures and the Rwandan government are working on a sandbox that aims to...

  • Springleap charges: Are claims as world’s 7th most innovative firm a fabrication? [Updated]

    SA entrepreneur and former CEO of Springleap Eran Eyal faces fraud charges in the US, one of the claims he has made is that his former company is the "7th most innovative in the world". Is it really? The charges against Eyal were contained in a statement on Saturday (25 August) by New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood. Eyal has been charged with allegedly stealing $600,000 from investors by fraudulently soliciting investors to purchase convertible notes through false representations of his company, Springleap. If convicted of the top count charged, he faces up to 15 years in prison. A simple internet search by Ventureburn found that at least one of...

  • MAN Impact Accelerator opens applications for second cohort

    MAN Truck and Bus has opened applications for the second cohort of its MAN Impact Accelerator and is calling on South African mobility, transport and logistics startups with a tangible social impact to submit entries. Applications close on 23 September. In an email yesterday (29 August), MAN Truck and Bus digital innovation manager Stehbeck Florian said SA startups will have the unique opportunity to learn from top-notch mentors during the accelerator's six week programme, "Among them are representatives from Uber, Maersk, Salesforce, Google and, of course, MAN Truck & Bus. Together with Yunus Social Business (YSB), we aim to create even more impact for...

  • SA entrepreneur Eran Eyal charged with fraud in the US over startup Springleap

    SA entrepreneur and former CEO of Springleap Eran Eyal, who currently resides in the Brooklyn in the US, has been charged with fraud. The charges were contained in a statement on Saturday (25 August) by New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood. Eyal, who is the founder of US-based Shopin, has been charged with allegedly stealing $600,000 from investors by fraudulently soliciting investors to purchase convertible notes through false representations of his company, Springleap. There has been no comment from Eyal so far via his social media channels and he did not respond immediately to Ventureburn attempts to get hold of him tonight via the telephone...

  • CoGrammar to make 200 hires in Cape after new funding, reveals SA founder

    Riaz Moola, the founder of UK and SA-based edtech startup CoGrammar, says his startup will hire 200 employees in Cape Town by the end of next year, after closing a funding round earlier this year. Speaking to Ventureburn yesterday while on a short visit to the city, Moola (pictured above) pointed out that the startup expects to hire 50 of the new hires by March next year when it kicks off a recruitment drive on 10 September. The news comes amid a tech boom in Cape Town, with SA bitcoin exchange Luno currently looking to fill 40 new positions for the company’s Cape Town office. Read...

  • Nigerian payments startup Paystack raises $8m in Series A round led by Stripe

    Nigerian payments startup Paystack has raised $8-million in a Series A funding round led by US payments company Stripe. US tech publication Tech Crunch reported the deal yesterday (28 August), adding that digital payments giant Visa and Chinese internet company Tencent were also involved in the round. Paystack was founded in 2015 by CEO Shola Akinlade and CTO Ezra Olubi. The startup, which has offices in both Lagos and San Francisco, enables Nigerian businesses to accept Mastercard, Visa and Verve cards. Paystack was founded in 2015 by Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi In addition, the startup also supports payments through mobile money transfer services. The...

  • Investors use loophole in VC tax incentive to invest in own companies – Sars

    Investors are using a loophole in a SA venture capital (VC) tax incentive to invest in companies connected to them and benefit from a whopping 125% write-off on their taxable income, the SA Revenue Services (Sars) revealed yesterday. The incentive, which falls under Section 12J of the Income Tax Act and came into effect in 2009, entitles investors that invest in accredited VC companies that then invest in small businesses, to make a tax deduction of 125% in the year that the investment was made. Last week saw an outcry from South Africa’s venture capital (VC) and private equity sector over...

  • Here are this year’s MTN Women in ICT Partnership for Change Awards finalists

    Telco giant MTN has announced the nominees of this year's MTN Women in ICT – Partnership for Change Awards. The awards aim to recognise, honour and celebrate the contribution made by women professionals to the growth and development of the ICT sector in South Africa. The nominees were shortlisted by the award's adjudication panel in a process that was audited by accounting firm BDO. In a statement earlier this week, MTN SA executive for corporate affairs Jacqui O’Sullivan said MTN was pleased with the quality of entries received and grateful for the "sterling work" done by the adjudicators. Winners of the 2018 MTN Women...

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