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  • OfferZen passes recruitment milestone

    Online recruiting marketplace, OfferZen has helped more than 250 SA companies recruit top software developers through their platform. The recruitment platform has recently passed its recruiting milestone, having averaged 40% compound growth each month since its launch. According to OfferZen, they're now placing one developer into a permanent position every day. Software developers seeking a new job create a profile on the platform, which is followed by an advisory process on the hiring process of companies on OfferZen. The job seeker, with help from OfferZen, negotiates their salary and prepares for an interview to best understand how to market and sell themselves. To ensure that...

  • Company Office

    Can brokers use robo-advice to their advantage?

    It seems every year there's a new development that threatens to make traditional financial advisers and insurance brokers obsolete. In the past few years it was the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) and the Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPI). So far, none have disrupted what some refer to as the 'dinosaur' of the traditional insurance industry. But a new foe has emerged in the form of robo-advice: automated algorithms and digital techniques to give consumers the advice and products they need sans advisor. Earlier this year, Lawrence Wintermeyer, Innovate Finance (the UK's fintech industry body) CEO, told Business Insider that robo-advice covers anything from execution right up to where a client has to sign...

  • Exclusive interview: RainFin CEO on buying back company from Absa

    Fintech online market lending place RainFin, has announced the buyback of shares from their majority shareholder, Barclays Africa Group (Absa). The banking institution held a 49% share in RainFin. Ventureburn had a chance to sit down with RainFin CEO Sean Emery to talk about the reasons behind the buyback as well as the startup's future post-buyback. In February of this year, Emery spoke to us about the inclusion of its products into Absa's offering. This came about through the 49% equity purchase Absa had with RainFin. The buyback and independence In March this year, Barclays Group announced its intention to sell its 62.3% stake...

  • From garages to high rises: what to consider when moving into your first office

    While a startup can survive in a basement or garage for a few months, there eventually comes a time when you'll need to move into your first real office. When this time comes, will you know what you're doing? Moving into your first office isn't as simple as finding a building you like and leasing it out. There's a lot that goes into a real estate transaction – whether you're purchasing or renting – and you need to be prepared to deal with all of the issues. Specifically, you'll want to think about the following: 1. Location From a very practical perspective,...

  • Are Africa’s innovation hubs helping innovators realise their full potential?

    Much has changed in Africa since 2014 when oil-rich nations began to see their incomes slide and the global recovery began to falter. During these years of change, African governments redoubled their focus on economic diversity and innovation, which we know go hand-in-hand. Yet in the context of a region that continues to suffer from high levels of poverty, disparate infrastructure and young capital markets, Africa's entrepreneurs continue to face an uphill struggle. Africa needs to accelerate enterprise – it is a region that is set to become the youngest population on the planet, hungry for economic success; stymied...

  • Zoona wins Social Entrepreneurship prize

    Mobile payments company, Zoona has been awarded the Social Entrepreneurship award at the Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship (AAE). The event was hosted by the African Leadership Network in Mauritius. The Social Entrepreneurship award is given to organisations addressing social problems in Africa, and who have a revenue between US$150 000 and US$2.5-million. It was accepted by brothers and co-founders Brett and Brad Magrath. "We are honoured to have been recognised among organisations that are such a force for positive change on the African continent," says Brad Magrath in a press release to Ventureburn. Zoona has recently raised US$15-million in funding, while passing other milestones too "We strive to take...

  • Ducere Holdings wins R1-million at Green City Startup competition

    Greentech startup, Ducere Holdings was awarded first place at the Joburg Green City Startup competition. The event took place on 9 November in Johannesburg. The company created a hybrid transmission system, MISER, that can offer up to 70% reduction in emissions for vehicles. It can be fitted into existing vehicles. Second and third places were awarded to cloud-based technology startup Solid Insight, and farming system Rydawi Fish Farms, who won R400 000 and R300 000 respectively. The event was created by the City of Johannesburg and in partnership with Resolution Circle, the University of Johannesburg's technology commercialisation company and incubator. Out of 187 entries for the competition,...

  • These are African Entrepreneurship Award finalists

    The African Entrepreneurship Awards have selected their 37 finalists to take part in their Presidential Round which takes place on 2 December 2016 with winners being announced three days later. The finalists will be converging on Morocco where they will be presenting their innovative businesses and ideas. Here, they will also be fielding questions in a private pitching session from those on the Presidential jury. Some of the jury members include the chairman and president of BMCE Bank of Africa, Othman Benjelloun and retired chairman of Accenture in greater China, Gong Li. The jury is also comprised of founder and executive director of Golden Baobab,...

  • Entrepreneurs: recruitment advice for startups

    Hiring skills for a young and inevitably small company is tough. In fact, many businesspeople say that when you hire your first employee, it is the start of a new era in your company. A lot rides on the first few hires being the sort of people that have both the ability and the mindset to take your business to the next level. The process of finding the right talent is a job in itself, and the consequences can be critical to the success of your business. So I'll focus on ways to minimise recruitment headaches, with the question: how...

  • UK DIT, Sw7 to hold international expansion event for startups

    The UK's Department for International Trade (DIT) and tech innovation accelerator Sw7 will host two UK 'Deal Makers' to share their experience with local entrepreneurs. The programme will take place from 14 to 18 of November in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The event is designed to help sustainable, early-stage companies and entrepreneurs who wish to expand internationally. Stephen Mooney (CEO of Synoptic Technologies) and Anthony Sheehan (founder and CEO of Near You Now) are part of UK's Global Entrepreneur Programme, which is a project run by the country's government. "The UK is a massive technology market, in excess of ten times the size of our ...

  • Solar startup d.light secures $22.5m in funding

    Solar power manufacturer d.light has secured US$22.5-million in funding to help grow its PayGo business globally. d.light has raised US$15-million in Series D equity from multiple companies such as KawiSafi Ventures Fund, Energy Access Ventures, the Omidyar Network and NewQuest Capital Partners. They've also raised US$2.5-million in debt funding through SunFinder. "Energy Access Ventures works closely with companies bringing reliable energy access to rural and peri-urban areas, and d.light is the perfect addition to our portfolio," said managing partners of Energy Access Ventures, Dr Michael H. Gera in a press release, who will also be joining d.light's board. "This is our largest...