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  • Agri-Vie Fund exit from Fairfield sees investors reap over three times in returns

    Investors in the $100-million Agri-Vie Fund I have scored big with the fund today announcing its first exit, from one of South Africa’s most respected dairy companies Fairfield Dairy. A private investment trust linked to the Lang family which founded the diary has agreed to buy Agri-Vie’s stake in the KwaZulu-Natal-based dairy producer. While the fund would not disclosed the sale figure, Agri-Vie co-founder and managing partner Herman Marais said the return on the investment exceeded the fund's objectives -- which is usually to return to investors between 2.5 to 3 times of the invested capital. The fund's initial investment of about $4-million in Fairfield diaries was made in 2009. Marais said...

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    Sunrise yoga, delicious food, water activities and more at treadFEST

    treadFEST -- which takes place from 3 to 6 December 2017 in the Drakensberg -- wants you to get the most out of your trip, and has ensured that there is constantly something to do. You will never be bored while at the festival. Start your day off right with sunrise yoga. There is no better way to start of your morning, and it will leave you feeling energised for the rest of the day. treadFEST has partnered with Tranquini to create the ultimate Zen experience. Whether you’re a yoga pro or a beginner, everyone is welcome. In the evening, watch movies...

  • Machine learning is fast becoming business imperative for marketing

    Imagine a world ruled by robots, where artificial intelligence (AI) is used to wield commercial influence and drive our daily decisions. Imagine if your every move was predictable, your behaviours easily anticipated, your world reduced to a set of probabilities. This might sound like the stuff of science fiction, but this isn’t a dreamed up dystopian reality -- in fact, it’s the world we’re living in today. But machine learning isn’t the stuff of nightmares conjured up in futuristic Hollywood thrillers -- in fact, it’s something with which most of us are very familiar, thanks to its prolific use in...

  • SA startup ThisIsMe claims can process FICA filing in record three minutes

    South African fintech startup, ThisIsMe claimed today to have set a new record for making a Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment (FICA) filing on behalf of accounting institutions. It says it can do the filing in just three minutes -- down from the two days to two weeks it usually takes. “ThisIsMe has set a new African record for the compliance process known as Know Your Customer (KYC) and in doing so have also set a new record for the fastest FICA in South Africa," said Mark Chirnside, CEO, ThisIsMe in a press release. He said consumers that have used ThisIsMe are able to skip queues and register new accounts within minutes...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [03/07/2017]

    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 them 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,...

  • Benin’s Sèmè City to become West Africa’s newest business hub

    The presidential office of Benin has launched an international call for all innovators earlier this week (28 June), to help in the development of Sèmè City. Sèmè City aims to become a unique hub for education, research and business incubation in West Africa and will be situated in the coastal city of Cotonou, Benin. One of the main attractions regarding Sèmè City would be its ability to generate and house educational establishments, and research and development centres which include a business incubator supporting up to 250 startups. "Sèmè City symbolises our determination to promote knowledge as a growth driver and position Benin at the...

  • EMGuidance is set to represent South Africa at the Seedstars World finals

    The South African leg of the Seedstars World competition came to a close this week with EMGuidance being chosen to represent SA in the finals in Switzerland next year. The finals saw all the SA satellite winners as well as the three wildcard draws come together to pitch for their chance to represent the country. "The quality of startups is validation of the abundance of talent in South Africa. 2017 being our third (running), we are seeing the impact Seedstars World has on the growth of the local ecosystem, as more founders are thinking global," said Vuyisa Qabaka, a partner at Entrepreneur...

  • Online betting may be on rise in Nigeria but startups still put off by challenges

    The English Premier League enjoys a religious following in Nigeria, likewise the Spanish La Liga. But for some fans, watching the game is not enough -- they must also put money on it. This has given rise to a burgeoning betting sector in the West African country. From just one betting company 10 years ago the betting sector in Nigeria has grown to over 20, according to one online list. One of these is NairaSpin an online betting platform, founded by Balogun Danjuma. Recently several industry players were shocked when Danjuma announced on Facebook that he would be shutting down his startup 9jabookings.com and...

  • How AI is enabling accountants to move from record keepers to strategic advisors

    Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have been two major buzzwords of late. Progress in this field of technology will undoubtedly alter the world as we know it in decades to come. In this the field of accounting is no different. Very real progress in the field of cloud accounting is already enabling business owners to do more, faster -- enabling incredible jumps in growth and profitability potential. Cloud accounting refers to using cloud-based software to run the accounting function of a business. This new approach is fast replacing the old desktop versions of accounting software. And for good reason! Here below...

  • Ten days left to apply for first ever Startupbootcamp Cape Town

    International business accelerator Startupbootcamp today issued a final call for applications to its Cape Town programme. In a press release today, the accelerator said applicants have until 9 July to apply online. Startupbootcamp launched its first Africa-based programme, Startupbootcamp Cape Town, in April and has since carried out over 12 FastTrack events across the globe in search of startup talent. Read more: Startupbootcamp launches its first African-based programme From a pool of hundreds of applicants, the 10 most promising teams will be selected and provided with €15,000, have access to over 100 industry mentors, free office space, access to funding and a network of industry partners,...

  • Private equity returns up a whopping 123% in 2016 reveals Savca report

    South African private equity capital returns to investors were up 123.2% last year to R18.3-billion -- up from R8.2-billion in 2015, reveals the Savca 2017 Private Equity Industry Survey, released today. Tanya van Lill, CEO of the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Savca), said between 2015 and last year, trade sales were reported as the most popular exit route in value terms while sales to management were the most popular by volume. “The average proceeds per exit was R176.3-million in 2016, compared to R48.1-million in 2015. Realisations (returns to investors) in 2016 reflected a times money multiple of 2.0, an increase...