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  • BREAKING: Springleap’s Eran Eyal released from US prison, posts $250k bail

    SA entrepreneur Eran Eyal, who faces fraud charges in the US, was today released from prison after he appeared in a New York court and posted bail -- which was earlier today set at a whopping $250 000. The portal for New York City's Department of Correction confirmed his released and payment of bail today (see below screenshot). An earlier visit to the same portal by Ventureburn at 4pm SA time today revealed that the former Springleap founder had been in jail in the Rikers Island correctional facility (pictured above) since his arrest on 23 August. Former Springleap founder Eran Eyal was today released from prison after...

  • Company Office

    Bookmark Awards 2016 Entry Series: Platform, Publishing and Special Honours

    With the deadline for entries to the prestigious IAB SA Bookmark Awards extended to 30 November, digital marketers have one last opportunity to enter and do battle for the industry’s most coveted awards across eight categories, of which the Platform category is one. The Bookmark Awards celebrate the country’s most creative and high-impact digital executions and rewards excellence in digital advertising and publishing work, benchmarked against the highest international standards. “The Platforms category encompasses all the means to communicate a digital message to current and future clients,” says Fred Roed, Head of IAB SA’s Agency Council. “These prizes are therefore always...

  • SA journalism network Hashtag Our Stories lands $150k from Snapchat

    SA mobile journalism network Hashtag Our Stories has netted $150 000 in funding from struggling social media Snapchat and a place in the US tech company's startup accelerator Yellow. The year-old Durban-founded network is run by former social media reporter at CNN, Yusuf Omar (pictured above) and his wife Sumaiya. Techcrunch reported yesterday that the network has been accepted into the accelerator's first class of nine companies. Hashtag Our Stories is the only non-US participant. Hashtag Our Stories has netted $150 000 in funding from Snapchat and a place in its three-month accelerator Yellow The US tech publication reported that apart from the funding the accelerator will offer business support...

  • SA legal startup Baobab named as Southern African winner of HiiL challenge

    SA legal startup Baobab has been named the Southern Africa winner of justice accelerator The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law's s (HiiL) annual Innovating Justice Challenge. The news was revealed yesterday in a press release by HiiL. The winner was decided at a special pitching event held last Tuesday (4 September) at Sandton Convention Centre, by a panel of expert judges from the fields of law and innovation. Baobab.law was founded by Khokela Daula and Guy Stern. The two are looking to remove barriers to entry for legal assistance by providing information DIY legal solutions in the form of video tutorials that can speed up...

  • Blockchain has yet to prove useful for companies – crypto expert [Sponsored]

    There is not one blockchain that currently provides value for companies or that saves them money, a SA crypto expert argues. Speaking at a panel discussion on the future of blockchain in Africa at the Leaderex expo last Tuesday (4 September), VALR founder Farzam Ehsani questioned the value that blockchains have reaped so far for businesses. “If we ask ourselves with all the money in the corporate space, which blockchains are in production that are either providing value or saving costs for companies I can’t give you any,” said Ehsani. VALR is a digital asset platform that allows customers to store and protect their...

  • Payments startup Sudpay wins 2018 edition of Seedstars Dakar

    Senegalese payments startup Sudpay has been crowned as the winner of the 2018 edition of the Seedstars Dakar pitch competition. The Dakar-based startup placed first for its solution Townpay, which enables municipalities to collect more revenue by digitising the collection of local taxes. Tourism enterprise Dakar Lives and on-demand delivery startup Paps came in second and third, respectively at the event which was held last week Friday (7 September). The startup will next year represent Senegal at the global Seedstars Summit in Switzerland where it stands to win up to $1-million in equity investments. Sudpay was founded in 2014 and claims to have operations in...

  • Two African startups selected for FinTech Hive’s 2018 Accelerator programme

    Two African fintech startups: Amplified Payment System from Nigeria and PaySky from Egypt have been selected to join FinTech Hive's 2018 accelerator programme. The Dubai-based accelerator claims to be one of the largest fintech accelerators in the Africa and Middle-East region. This year's accelerator programme, which kicked-off last week, is run in partnership with Accenture. In a blog post announcing the finalists last week, FinTech Hive stated that over 300 startups from around the world applied to join this year's programme, FinTech Hive's second. In all, 22 startups were selected. FinTech Hive is one of the largest fintech accelerators in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia...

  • How SA ride hailing startup Hailer wants to undercut industry giants Uber, Taxify

    Malvin Nkomo might be crazy to go up against ride-sharing giants Uber and Taxify, but the Joburg entrepreneur says he's confident he has a plan to undercut the mobility juggernauts. Nkomo, who is originally from Zimbabwe, runs Joburg-based ride hailing startup Hailer which he founded in 2016. His is just one of several local startups that have launched in the ride-hailing industry -- none of which seem to have come up with a model that successfully competes with Uber and Taxify. But he reckons his offering will be different. In an email last week he told Ventureburn that he's relying on an arsenal that includes a...

  • PwC probe into financial mismanagement at wiGroup: CFO confirms he resigned

    The chief financial officer (CFO) of Cape Town based fintech company wiGroup confirmed today that he has resigned from the company. It comes as wiGroup revealed last month that it had tasked PwC to conduct a probe into what it is referring to as "financial mismanagement" at the company. The saga comes just months after the company secured investment from the Virgin Group and retail solutions provider Smollan to fast-track its entry into emerging and developed markets. An employee Ventureburn spoke to over the phone said Morne Patterson had resigned in July from the company. It follows a TechCentral story last month which reported that the company had ordered...

  • SA startup PropertyFox acquires local platform Steeple for undisclosed amount

    Online estate agency PropertyFox has acquired fellow Cape Town based property platform Steeple. PropertyFox did not disclose the amount it had bought the company for. PropertyFox revealed in a press release today that in terms of the deal, the two agencies will effectively be consolidated, with PropertyFox taking on all Steeple’s clients. Steeple, which has been in operation since 2012, says on its website that the company is a "low commission" estate agent platform, where sellers get to show potential buyers around their home and where Steeple takes commission of "only 1.9%" (plus Valued-Added Tax). The announcement follows hot on the heels of Pam...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [10/09/2018]

    If you're based in Cape Town go see the SA Innovation Summit which kicks off on Wednesday (12 September) and runs till Friday (14 September). The annual flagship event is a platform for nurturing, developing and showcasing African innovation, as well as facilitating innovation thought leadership. For those working with artificial intelligence (AI), you might want to attend AI Expo Africa 2018 which kicked off yesterday (9 September) and closes tomorrow (11 September). The expo will cover the trends driving the AI economy in Africa. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup events, competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences in Africa. If...