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  • PayGate partners with ReD to beef up online fraud protection

    Ecommerce payment service provider PayGate recently partnered with global fraud prevention company ReD in an effort to beef up security against fraud for its South African online merchants. Fraud, or the fear thereof, is often seen as one of the main deterrents for people flocking to online shops. Rightly so, reports suggest that losses due to credit card fraud increased by 23% from R366-million in 2013 to R453.9-million in 2014. Even though not all of these cases relate to online shopping, it does follow a similar trend as the online space grows to be more popular. Read more: South Africans beware,...

  • De Beers finally opens entrepreneurial hub in Cape Town

    It's always good to see big business helping out the little guys. Major mining conglomerate and member of Anglo American, De Beers, finally launched the De Beers Marine Zimele Business Hub in Cape Town over the weekend, in a move to support local entrepreneurs with their endeavors. Although De Beers already has similar entrepreneurial support structures across the country where it operates -- providing funding, mentoring and guidance -- this is a first for the Western Cape. De Beers Zimele supported 233 new small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and created 2 335 jobs in 2014. Moreover, over R60-million in loans have been made...

  • Africa gets its first billion dollar equity fund, courtesy of Helios

    London-based investment group Helios Investment Partners has created the first billion dollar plus Africa-focused private equity fund. The group, founded by Nigerian expats in 2004, operates a family of funds and their related co-investment entities, pursuing a full range of investment types, including business formations, growth equity investments, structured investments in listed entities and large scale leveraged acquisitions across Africa. According to CP-Africa, around 60% of the fund comes from existing investors. The fund shows just how much the African investment space has grown in the past few years and, if Helios co-founder Tope Lawani is to be believed, also...

  • Wanna build a startup from scratch? Why not learn Ruby on Rails

    Daniel Kehoe is the author of Learn Ruby on Rails -- a book that comprehensively covers the programming language from Git to Gems. We recently caught up with the San Francisco native to chat about what it is about Ruby on Rails that makes it so appealing for startups and learn about his reflections on the local tech scene. For those not familiar with Rails, it's a open source web application framework written in Ruby which is an alternative to other languages like PHP, Python or Java. Unlike those languages, Rails requires less code for basic structures and is therefore...

  • TechWomen calls for 2015’s in-take of tech savvy ladies

    US exchange programme TechWomen is calling for its 2015 in-take of skilled women in tech and sciences from Africa, the Middle East and more recently, Central Asia. TechWomen is a three-year-old initiative of the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) which aims to empower and mentor skilled women in the science, technology, engineering and maths fields. Participants in the programme will have access to networks, resources, and knowledge needed to help them reach their full potential. The initiative culminates in a five-week programme where participants will be placed in leading companies of the San Francisco...

  • Here are 3 top tips to help you secure that investment

    TSG Consumer Partners’ Senior Managing Director Hadley Mullin shared his magic steps to effectively raise funding for your startup and foster its expansion onward. He averred that the best time to start fundraising is when you have yet found the necessity of doing so. When money is the last thing founders look to think about, they tend to make much wiser and more rational calls. In contrast, those who are desperately in need of money tend to make rushy decisions, which result on a less engaging proposal for investors. Here are Mullin’s strategies: 1. Don’t underestimate the power of networking It’s just normal...

  • Looking to start a business in 2015? These are the best countries to do it in

    Because of new credit regulations, South Africa has fallen six spaces in global ranking of the best countries to start a business in. Mauritius, on the other hand, went up by one after it introduced electronic filing in its legal system and reduced trade license fees. That's according to a comprehensive annual report by the World Bank which looked at the nuts and bolts required to start a business in 189 countries, each with its own set of perks and quarrels. Specifically, the Doing Business 2015 report weighed the relevant laws and regulations in each country as well as...

  • Via Afrika partners with Tabtor for personalised math programme in SA

    Via Afrika Publishers has partnered with the tablet-based learning solution Tabtor, to bring world-class learning techniques in math to young South African students. Tabtor's groundbreaking concept that provides powerful student level Point-of-Learning Analytics along with time stamped Proficiency Matrix to teachers has attracted widespread adoption among consumers as well as media attention in the US because it delivers results. Via Afrika has been around for a while as a mover in the education space though have only recently moved onto the digital space. Part of major local publisher Media24, its tutoring technology is available on both iOS and Android devices. Read more:...

  • Spring startup accelerator wants to empower girls in East Africa

    Sponsored by UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Nike Foundation, the East African Spring Accelerator has recently launched in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda with plans to expand to the rest of the continent as well as Asia. Slightly different to what we usually come across, Spring has a social-good edge to it that makes it stands out. The programme is looking to help build and scale businesses that can improve the lives of adolescent girls living in poverty. “What sets our accelerator apart is our work with local and global entrepreneur...

  • 8 exciting African startup programmes and accelerators to watch in 2015

    While still arguably lacking, there a growing number of entrepreneursial programmes in Africa these days, each with its own agenda and "recipe for success". For those startups looking for mentorship, capital or recognition, we thought it would be fitting to round-up some of these programmes so you can make a choice based on your specific needs. If you're not looking to participate, just keep an eye out for the ones listed below for 2015's news to come. Think If you want to be inspired by one of Africa's most innovative cities, then Think is probably the one for you. Backed by the...