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  • AlphaCode attracts over 1000 members

    Fintech accelerator AlphaCode has reached over 1000 members in a single year. The Rand Merchant Investment (RMI) initiative has seen eight member-to-member deals and invested R9-million into 11 various black-owned businesses through their partnership with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. AlphaCode has also invested in Merchant Capital, which provides alternative working capital for SMEs in SA. "The Rand Merchant Group has a history of partnering extraordinary entrepreneurs who have built disruptive, successful businesses such as RMB, Discovery and OUTsurance," said senior investment executive at RMI, Dominique Collett. Companies that joined AlphaCode cover various sectors of industry. These range from lending, payments and financial literacy to blockchain...

  • 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...

  • Iono.fm receives R2.5m funding from Angel investment round

    Audio distribution startup iono.fm today announced it has received R2.5-million in funding from an Angel investment round. The round was led by financial firm Clifftop Colony, and includes a range of unspecified local and international Angel investors. "With a local and international presence of the Angels and Clifftop Colony itself, the consortium of investors are ideal partners for us as we continue to scale our business both domestically and globally," noted CEO of iono.fm, Ryan Dingley. The funding will be used to bolster iono.fm's streaming services, as well as domestic consolidation. "Iono.fm is the third company in our portfolio that we are building alongside...

  • Fintech startup My Treasury helps users with savings rates

    Having launched at the end of September, My Treasury, is a free-to-use startup service which provides financial savings solutions based on a few questions. The startup is founded by Michael Kransdorff, Simon Shear, and Daniel Rubenstein. The platform uses a complex algorithm with the system scouring 670 different savings rates at eight institutions. These institutions include the likes of Standard Bank, Absa, Nedbank, FNB, and Investec. Users are asked to fill in questions pertaining to their savings range as well as how much they'd like to save. The algorithm takes the users answers and offers them saving solutions based on what they've answered. My...

  • Fintech Circle Innovate announces partnership with CiTi

    London-based fintech accelerator, Fintech Circle Innovate has announced a partnership with one of SAs oldest tech hubs, the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi). The partnership will aim to fast track fintech development in SA as well as the rest of the continent. "The partnership with The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) is a logical and obvious choice for us," said CEO and co-founder of Fintech Circle Innovate, Nicole Anderson, in a press release to Ventureburn. "CiTi has a long-standing history as the most experienced incubator in Africa, plus we are both leaders in innovation in our regions. The opportunity and use case...

  • Cactus Capital invests over R1-million in African startups

    Investment firm Cactus Capital has announced investments in growth-stage fintech startups Flutterwave and E-Factor. This makes it the second and third investments the firm has concluded this year. The firm's investment was in Ugandan based mobile payment aggregator, Intel World International (IWI Africa), which happened in Q1 of 2016. When asked about the amounts invested, Cactus Capital could not give an exact amount due to legal reasons, but said all three investments have a combined amount of over R1-million. "As Cactus Advisors, simply investing into high growth, high impact tech-enabled ventures on the continent is not good enough, unless we critically have the right enabling environment on...

  • Domestly adds AppsAfrica Award to its trophy cabinet

    Cape Town-based startup Domestly has this week won the Best Disruptive Innovation Award at the AppsAfrica Awards 2016. This comes after the company won the overall MTN Business App of the Year accolade in August 2016, and an expansion into Gauteng a month later. The Awards, which took place in Cape Town Monday night and recognises entries from over 25 countries, "celebrate the enormous growth in mobile, technology and entrepreneurship in Africa". Speaking in a press release, Domestly noted that these small wins are enabling the company to grow across the country. "It is achievements and recognition like this that have allowed us...

  • FbStart: Facebook’s startup drive gathers local steam

    Facebook has made a concerted effort to court mobile-based startups with its FbStart initiative. The programme offers qualifying app developers year-round support, access to a global community of startups and a suite of tools to the value of up to US$80 000. These tools include MailChimp, Dropbox, and Stripe. FbStart is divided into two categories, namely Bootstrap and Accelerate. The former category is for apps that have just launched, while the latter is for "thriving" apps that need to grow even more. The initiative made its way to the African continent a while back, so what has the progress been like? How are...

  • 6 lessons startups can learn from the corporate world

    Many books and articles have been written on what corporates can learn from startups — how to build an agile culture, foster creativity in the team, and ship products quickly. However, the opposite is also true in many cases. There are areas that a startup can learn from a well run corporate. Implementing these lessons early on will help a startup immensely along its journey to be a large well-managed company. When I moved from a corporate life to the world of startups, what took me by surprise was the similarities between the two regardless of some fundamental differences. In the...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [14/11/2016]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or scratch 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 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, or...

  • Seedstars World heads back to Rwanda

    Global pitching competition, Seedstars World heads back to Rwanda for the next leg of their competition on 6 December 2016 and will take place at Rwanda Online's headquarters. Travelling to more than 65 countries, the pitching event aims to find the best startup to represent their respective countries at the final pitching event in Switzerland in 2017. Selected finalists pitching in Switzerland stand a chance to win up to US$1-million in equity as well as the opportunity to network with industry professionals and mentors from around the world. Eligible companies to pitch at Seedstars Kigali need to be less than two-years old and...