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  • TIA calls on innovators to submit funding proposals for waste, water solutions

    The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) is calling on startups and innovators to submit proposals that tackle ewaste and waste beneficiation, as well as Acid Mine Drainage, water purification, water saving and repairing water leakages. The deadline for proposals to be submitted and considered for funding is by the end of September. Funding of R650 000 and above will be considered for successful applicants. Compulsory briefing sessions will be conducted across the country later this month to facilitate and assist applicants to understand the TIA application requirements (see below for dates). To qualify for funding applicants must have developed a proof of concept (an idea that has been...

  • Company Office

    Zapacap Optimizing Taxis Will Help Cape Town Transport

    Cape Town has been named as ‘the third most congested city in the world’ -a pretty incredible statistic for the city often named as easy-going, lazy or just, ‘chilled’. With a statistic like that, we have to ask, “What’s going on with Cape Town’s transport?” Too many cars only transport one passenger We have some great roads in Cape Town and municipalities are always quick to fix any potholes that come about as a result of wear and tear. The real problem though is the bottlenecks that occur each morning as a result of some unfortunate road design as well as...

  • Here are the finalists of the second edition of the Ecobank Fintech Challenge

    Pan-African banking conglomerate Ecobank has announced the 11 finalists of the second edition of the Ecobank Fintech Challenge. In a statement last week, Ecobank Group executive for operations and technology Eddy Ogbogu said the bank was "delighted" by the quality of the challenge finalists and had high hopes they will capitalise on the mentoring and support of the group. The 11 finalists are: Lypa (Kenya), Wallet.Ng (Nigeria), Nala (Tanzania), Litee (Benin), SESO Global (South Africa), InvestED (Sierra Leone), Secapay (Nigeria), Virtual Identity (developed by e4 from South Africa), MojiPay (Togo), Eversend(France), and Awamo (Germany). The 11 finalists will exhibit and pitch at an Innovation Fair and award's ceremony set to be held...

  • Fintech platform Mines raises $13m in Series-A round led by The Rise Fund

    US-based fintech Mines -- which was founded by a Nigerian team -- has raised $13-million in a Series-A round led by US impact investor The Rise Fund. The startup announced the funding in a statement last week. The investment will finance talent acquisition, and expansion into Africa, South America, and South East Asia. The deal will see TPG Growth's Yemi Lalude, and Velocity Capital's Willem Willemstein join Mine's board of directors. Velocity Capital, Western Technology Investments, First Ally Capital, X/Seed Capital, NYCA Partners, Persistent Capital, Singularity Investments, Trans Sahara Investments, and the Bank of Industry also participated in the round. Mines plans to use the investment to fund talent acquisition, and expansion into Africa, South America,...

  • Debate rages over whether VC investors biased towards expat-founded startups

    Concern is brewing over the large number of venture capital (VC) deals in East Africa involving expat founders -- with both local and foreign entrepreneurs in the region weighing in in recent months over whether venture capitalists have a clear bias towards investing in tech startups that count foreigners among their founders. In all, four of the five VC deals Ventureburn has reported on in East Africa so far this year have involved startups founded by expats -- with the latest being Sokowatch's $2-million deal involving 4Dx Ventures (the founders are pictured above -- see the story here). Earlier this year, Kenyan tech site...

  • Nedbank, Plug and Play to host The Disruption Agenda in Joburg [Updated]

    SA bank Nedbank is partnering with Silicon Valley accelerator Plug and Play to bring 10 startups -- including international companies among them -- to an event in South Africa next month to connect with major companies and business leaders. In an announcement yesterday, Nedbank said the event, The Disruption Agenda will be held in Johannesburg. The 10 companies are Koniku, Airware, Sentiance, LifeQ, Wasteless, Trueface AI, Aerobotics, What3Words Dispel, and IoT.nxt. The 10 companies are all graduates of the Plug and Play accelerator platform and were identified as relevant disruptors to solving cross-sector business challenges at a corporate level within the local market. While The Disruption Agenda will be a closed event structured for Nedbank’s...

  • Six takeaways from Jack Ma and his speech to African tech entrepreneurs

    Last week, Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma spoke at what is arguably one of the most important tech events to have taken place so far this year on the continent. In his speech on Wednesday in Johannesburg, Ma challenged African entrepreneurs to look at problems as opportunities, called on governments to create tax policies that are favourable for startups and entrepreneurs and announced plans for his $10-million African Netpreneur Prize initiative. In case you missed his speech (which can still be streamed online), here's what stood out: 1.When everything is ready, it's too late One of the main highlights of Ma's speech was the recurring theme on...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [13/08/2018]

    Curious about alternative ways to raise money for your startup? If you're in Joburg you might want to join FundEx 2018, a one-day conference taking place on Thursday (16 August) which will explore funding opportunities for entrepreneurs. In keeping with Women's Month, why not join the African Women in Fintech and Payments breakfast this Friday in Cape Town? In East Africa, join an i-Talks panel discussion on idea poaching this Thursday (16 August) in Nairobi. Across the continent, in Lagos, Nigeria, CcHUB Nigeria accelerator programmes manager Francis Sani will look at how entrepreneurs can build digital ventures. This article is part of a weekly...

  • Egyptian fintechs score with sandbox after AUC Venture Lab, Temenos deal

    Fintech startups in Egypt will be able to test their new products and services in a sandbox, following an announcement today that university accelerator AUC Venture Lab will collaborate with banking software company Temenos. The deal was announced in a press release today by Geneva-based Temenos and AUC Venture Lab, which is located at The American University in Cairo . Among other things, the agreement will see Temenos provide a sandbox service to the startups that utilise the accelerator. Over the past five years the AUC Venture Lab has accelerated 115 startups. The sandbox is a non-production cloud-based version of the Temenos T24 core banking system. It will enable startups to...

  • Let’s do it for ourselves Africa and stop copying overseas tech trends [Opinion]

    I like comparing the startup scene in South Africa to where hip hop was in the country about 10 years ago. Artists trying to imitate what the Americans were doing -- fake American accents, no vernac in their songs and oversized clothes which failed dismally and did not connect with the audience. Fast-forward and now in the forefront with artists like Cassper Nyovest hip hop has become one of the most popular and lucrative genres. It is the biggest driver of urban youth culture purely because they “pivoted” and embraced their SA identity these artists are not only successful with their music but have...

  • Three tech startups tapped for inaugural Savca Industry Awards

    Three SA tech startups -- fintech i-Pay, on demand cleaning platform SweepSouth, and meal delivery site Ucook -- are among nine companies that have been shortlisted for the inaugura Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Savca) Industry Awards. The nominees were announced today (10 August) in a press release by Savca, in partnership with banking and asset managing group Investec. The awards, which recognise portfolio companies that have thrived from private equity and venture capital investment in the region, will take place on 8 November. The shortlisted companies range from startups to large companies, and represent various sizes of private equity and venture capital investments. To be nominated for the Savca Industry...