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  • DFS Labs invests $250 000 in four African, US startups

    The Digital Financial Services Labs (DFS Labs), an initiative backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has announced that it'll be investing $250 000 in four separate fintech startups. "We are excited to have the opportunity to invest in companies that are focusing on consumers in emerging markets," DFS director Jake Kendall said yesterday in a press release. The four were chosen out of an initial nine startups that presented their products at the DFS Lab's Fintech Bootcamp in Sri Lanka earlier this year. 'Expanding access to digital financial services can transform people's lives' In addition to finance, the chosen companies will also receive six...

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    Callpay to launch first of its kind payment product called Pay Request

    Callpay, a leading payment solutions provider, today announced that it will launch its new patent pending product called "Pay Request." Callpay developed Pay Request with security in mind, allowing a merchant to send a payment application to any mobile device. What makes this patent pending technology so unique is that a payment can be made in real time without the need of an app or mobile data. At the point of payment, Pay Request allows a merchant to send a secure terminal to the customer’s mobile device, turning their mobile phone into a virtual card terminal. The customer simply enters their...

  • King Baudouin Foundation puts African startups in presence of Belgium royalty

    Independent pluralistic body The King Baudouin Foundation has awarded three young entrepreneurs the King Baudouin African Development Prize for their contribution to social change across Africa. The biennial award ceremony took place yesterday at the Royal Palace in Brussels and was attended by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium. "Young entrepreneurs are changing the economic landscape on the continent. They represent the future, a future that is happening now. Illustrating this in three key sectors was the only way of doing justice to the diversity of this transformation," said the chair of the prize selection committee Koen Vervaeke in a press release. This marks the...

  • Mastercard Foundation opens call for African projects that address rural poor

    The MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity (FRP) in Nairobi yesterday launched a new competition to find and support providers of innovative and scalable financial products and services that improve the lives of poor people in rural areas of Africa. In a press release the fund said the 2017 competition will be open throughout the year with applications submitted and evaluated periodically. The first submission period will close for judging on 10 August. Unsuccessful applicants will be able to refine and resubmit their applications subsequently, along with new entrants in the competition. The Fund for Rural Prosperity will accept applications for innovative financial solutions...

  • Bloemfontein startup secures $2m funding from Canadian investment bank

    Bloemfontein-based startup Xineoh is making waves internationally thanks to its unique algorithm, which has already generated in excess of $30-million in revenue for clients across the globe, attracting the interest of investors, with $2-million received in backing to date in 2017. The startup has developed a series of algorithms that help connect the right buyer to the right producer -- in a similar way to how Amazon.com and Netflix taps into user behaviour to predict potential purchasing behaviour and serve users bespoke information likely to incite conversion. Xineoh CEO and founder Vian Chinner told Ventureburn that King and Bay West, a investment...

  • Wallettec to represent South Africa at the EcoBank Fintech Challenge

    Online payment solution Wallettec will today (20 June) represent South Africa, competing against 19 other companies at the EcoBank Fintech Challenge held in Togo. "South Africa is filled with really great startups and businesses especially in the fintech space, being the only one selected for this event is truly an honour," said Wallettec's founder, Johan Meyer in an interview with Ventureburn. Founded in 2013, Wallettec allows merchants to process any payment without transmitting any personal or payment information. Currently operating out of six countries including Kenya, Uganda and SA, the company will be establishing a presence in Ghana as well. Meyer explained...

  • Consumer lending has dropped to ‘almost zero’ under new regulations – Rainfin CEO

    Consumer lending on marketplace lending platform RainFin has ground to a halt since the new National Credit Regulations threshold came into effect on 11 November, the company’s chief executive Sean Emery said yesterday. "Our consumer lending has dropped almost to zero," Emery said, adding that before the new threshold came into place consumer lending made up half of the platform's focus. Under the new threshold, lenders who lend even one cent to consumers have be registered with the National Credit Regulator to do so. Emery said most consumers are reluctant to go through the process of getting registered with the National Credit Regulator. Under...

  • Singularity University’s international summit heading to Africa for first time

    Singularity University (SU) is finally coming to Johannesburg. The Silicon Valley think tank is expected to host its first international conference, SingularityU Summit, in the city on 23 and 24 August. The summit will be held in collaboration with Standard Bank and other partners including MTN, SAP and Deloitte. "Singularity University is proud to be working with Standard Bank and Mann Made Media to host this first-ever SingularityU South Africa Summit, and to connect with Africa’s leaders and organisations shaping the future," said associate founder and CEO of SU Rob Nail in a press release. The summit aims to address innovative technologies and entrepreneurs in the sectors of...

  • Mozambique’s Móvelcare selected for Seedstars global summit

    Insurance startup Móvelcare has been selected to represent Mozambique at global entrepreneurial competition Seedstars World's summit in Switzerland next year. The Mozambican leg of Seedstars World concluded last week at the Standard Bank incubator in Maputo. Twelve startups pitched their ideas for a shot to represent the country at the Seedstars World Global Summit in Switzerland next year. Startups from all around the world will come together to compete for up to $500 000 in equity investment. The Maputo event was held in support from Standard Bank and local ambassador UX Information Technologies. In addition Seedstars World partnered with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the...

  • SA animation studio scoops three awards for Revolting Rhymes film

    Cape Town based film company Triggerfish Animation Studios is celebrating. The producers of Adventures in Zambezia and Khumba scored a hat-trick this weekend with their new film Revolting Rhymes -- an adaptation of Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake’s classic book. The company won Best Storytelling at the Shanghai International Film and TV Festival in China, then Best Animation at the World Banff Media Festival in Canada, and finished off with the Cristal for Best TV Production at Annecy in France, the world’s premier animation festival. “With South Africa officially in recession, it’s more important than ever that our economy finds new avenues for growth,” said Triggerfish Animation CEO...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [19/06/2017]

    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,...