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  • 3 of 6 startups former Dimension Data head has invested in headed by Saffers [Updated]

    Former Dimension Data head Brett Dawson revealed today that he has invested in six startups, and has formed Campan, an investment company. Three of the startups have been founded by Saffers, or South Africans living overseas. The three startups are Australian based social networking site Gather Online in which Dawson has invested R10-million and UK-based startups Fourex -- which makes fast, easy and efficient forex its primary objective — and Free2cycle which aims to transform wellbeing by reimagining the cycling commuter business model. Dawson said there was no "strategic reason" why three of the six investments are in startups founded by South Africans living overseas, rather these were just from those he...

  • Company Office

    Business, SA set to benefit from innovation and startup ecosystems

    Global accelerator programmes are vitally important in bringing new technologies into the insurance industry’s value chain, writes Stanley Gabriel, head of innovation at Old Mutual Personal Finance. By partnering with such initiatives, companies like Old Mutual continue to explore how to streamline, reorganise or redesign business models, legacy processes and systems to enhance customers’ experience. Entrepreneurship and small businesses are driving economic development in South Africa, with startups and small businesses contributing an estimated 50% to 60% to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It comes as no surprise then, that the 2017 Old Mutual Savings and Investment Monitor found that 39% of...

  • Private equity fund Africinvest to launch VC fund targeting startups on continent

    Tunisia-based private equity fund AfricInvest is busy raising funds to launch a €120-million fund to invest in innovative new ventures across the continent, a top official at the company has revealed. Speaking to Ventureburn last week, AfricInvest VC director Selma Ribica said the fund would target "successful startups" from any sector, from across the continent, using AfricInvest's various other offices across the continent, namely: Tunis, Lagos, Abidjan, Nairobi, Cairo, Algiers and Casablanca. "It is aimed to be first truly African fund with offices in North, East, and West Africa and we aim to raise €120-million," said Ribica. The idea, she said is to help startup...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [07/05/2018]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or brush up on some of your skills? Well, you’ve come to the right place. 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, or next week’s, please let us know in the comments below or send us an email. Not all of the events are free and some will require booking in advance. Please click on the event names to find out...

  • Google to invest in startups working in the digital assistant ecosystem

    Google has announced that it is opening a new investment initiative for startups developing solutions in the digital assistant ecosystem, namely the Google Assistant Investments programme. The announcement was made on Wednesday (2 May) in a blog post by Google vice president for corporate development Sanjay Kapoor, and Nick Fox, Google's vice president of product. "We’re welcoming companies across a diverse range of fields, including startups that are developing technologies that broaden the Assistant’s set of features, or are building new hardware devices for digital assistants, or that focus on a particular industry such as travel, games, or hospitality," Kapoor and Fox stated. The...

  • Just under two days left to apply for Startupbootcamp Johannesburg FastTrack

    Startups looking to participate at the Startupbootcamp Africa Johannesburg FastTrack event have just under two days to apply for one of 10 spots with the application deadline set for Sunday (6 May). The Johannesburg FastTrack, which is sponsored by Old Mutual, is part of a tour to source, grow and scale the next generation of Africa-focused innovators. The event will be held next Wednesday (9 May) at Old Mutual's head office in Sandton. Only 10 startups will be selected to attend the Startupbootcamp Johannesburg FastTrack event Applications are open to tech startups from the Gauteng region with solutions in; blockchain, connected devices, payment solutions, capital...

  • These are the two Egyptian startups representing Africa at 500 Startups’s Seed Accelerator

    There are 18 companies currently participating in 500 startups's 23rd Speed Accelerator cohort. Among those startups, two hail from Egypt: dating app Harmonica and mental health platform Shezlong. 500 Startup's Seed Accelerator programme focuses on sales, fundraising and marketing. Selected startups are provided with an equity investment of $150 000 in exchange for a six percent stake of the startup. However participants are charged a $37 500 fee for participating in the programme. The two Egyptian startups will each receive an equity investment of $150 000 and will pitch at the Speed Accelerator demo day on 28 June The four month long accelerator will...

  • Karoo Tech Hub’s Nerd Academy to train community for the gig economy

    The Karoo Tech Hub has launched the Nerd Academy programme, a free initiative which aims to offer unemployed people in the Karoo online studying opportunities and training on how to pitch to foreign businesses and become part of the gig economy. The hub, based in Somerset East, Eastern Cape, is run by video production company Piehole.tv in collaboration with ProcurementExpress.com. More than 20 people have been trained at the Karoo Tech Hub Piehole.tv founder Priscilla Kennedy says the academy will help solve unemployment in the Karoo. "Education at university level is not always possible for families in the Karoo. It places untenable pressure on...

  • IncubMe: everything you need to know about Algeria’s new incubator

    Algeria has a new incubator, this after Algiers-based IncubMe launched this week on Monday at a conference in the country's capital. IncubMe co-founder and general manager Kamel Oumnia told Ventureburn in an email yesterday (3 May) that the idea behind IncubMe's launch was inspired by the lack of incubators in Algeria -- despite there being great opportunities for doing business in the country. IncubMe plans on incubating between 20 and 30 entrepreneurs per year The multisectoral incubator is looking at selecting between 20 and 30 entrepreneurs or projects per year. "We'll choose the best projects and give the entrepreneurs all the advice and training...

  • ‘$8.6m Series A round well timed as Africa’s Talking was looking at expansion’

    Africa's Talking Series A $8.6-million funding round led by IFC Venture Capital was the startup's first major round of investment and came just as the Nairobi-based software company is looking to expand into more African countries, the company's spokesperson has said. Orange Digital Ventures and Silicon Valley VC firm Social Capital also participated in the $8.6-million funding round. "This round of funding has come as the need for us to accelerate to more African countries became more pressing," Africa's Talking spokesperson Rachael Wambua said in an email. Africa's Talking was founded in 2010 by MIT graduates CEO Samuel Gikandi (pictured above) and Eston Kimani. The...

  • How Seedstars competition helped put these SA startups on the map

    It's been two years since SA startup Giraffe was crowned the 2016 Seedstars World winner, scoring equity investment of an undisclosed amount and putting the company on the radar of local and international investors. Last month the Johannesburg startup, which runs a web platform that matches job seekers with job placements, announced a second round of funding led by Edge Growth. Giraffe CEO Anish Shivdasani told Ventureburn this week that winning the South African leg of the competition generated media interest which culminated in the startup's first round of finance led by Omidyar shortly after winning the SA leg. Read more: Giraffe receives undisclosed seed funding from Omidyar Network Read...