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  • All sunshine for Mobisol after €14m in investments

    Solar power company, Mobisol has acquired large investments from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), as well as from the Dutch development bank. The IFC has invested €5.42-million in equity while the AEF and MASSIF Dutch government fund has invested €9.2-million. "Our partnership with IFC and FMO, alongside Investec Asset Management marks an important milestone in the growth history of Mobisol. We are excited by the value such a reputable list of global investors stand to bring to Mobisol. We can now concentrate on scaling and even better serving our customers," said founder and CEO of Mobisol, Thomas Gottschalk in a press release. According to...

  • Company Office

    Judges announced for the IAB SA Bookmark Awards 2017

    The IAB SA has announced the list of judges that will decide which contenders will scoop a coveted Bookmark Award in 2017. The team of judges, led by Jury President John Dixon, features more diverse industry players than ever before. Josephine Buys, CEO of IAB SA says, "Our mid-year, judges workshop yielded valuable insights from the best in the business for judging the Bookmarks 2017. We have secured the time and talent of some of the brightest minds in digital and have expanded our pool of experts to include gamers, innovators and engineers.” Judges will now fall under the categories of...

  • Algebra: VC tech fund in Egypt hits $40m mark

    A new tech VC fund by Algebra Ventures has completed a US$40-million first closing. Algebra claims that it's the largest tech VC fund in Egypt. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the fund will invest in up 25 tech startups or "tech-enabled" startups. Focus areas include "technology IP, fintech, industry platforms, e-commerce and consumer internet", Algebra explained. As for funding amounts, Algebra confirmed that investments would mostly be in the range of US$500 000 to US$4-million. The fund is expected to achieve a final closing of US$50-million. Algebra Ventures is aiming for a rather lofty final goal, but it's only got US$10-million to...

  • Startup with an education focus? This contest might be for you

    The Jacobs Foundation's TRECC initiative, in partnership with Seedstars World, has launched a new competition to find innovative startups with education-focused ideas and services. The competition is focused on ideas and services for rural areas. Startups participating in the competition, called the TRECC Rural Distribution Contest, could win a prize of US$1000. "Rural distribution challenges often limit access to quality education for the communities that need it most, further exacerbating social inequalities," said the company in a press release to Ventureburn. "We want to better understand how education systems -- as well as education entrepreneurs -- can leverage existing distribution networks or create socially responsible...

  • Q&A: How FindADriver247 carved its niche in an Uber-dominated market

    With Uber waxing stronger and dominating the taxi tech space in Nigeria, tech startup founders are striving to find other opportunities within the sector. Considering the limited nature of the country's on-demand-driving space, it perhaps explains why Uber continues to be the only significant player. But a startup has emerged and is striving to solve a different problem: hiring drivers. In a chat with Ventureburn, Jonathan Ikpenu, a co-founder of FindADriver247.com, explains the company's idea and unique strategy in a market that currently has one dominant player. Ventureburn: What is your background in startups and tech? Jonathan Ikpenu: I have no direct experience in...

  • Watch: Ventureburn chats to OfferZen founders about their ‘Journey’ in Silicon Valley

    Several years ago, the now founders of OfferZen went to Silicon Valley to create their own startup. Along the way, brothers Philip and Malan Joubert acquired an exceptional amount of knowledge about startups that they wouldn't have otherwise learned here. Ventureburn's editor, Graham van der Made, had a chance to sit down with the Jouberts to pick their brains about visas, finding a place to live, and pitching competitions. Read more: Watch: Ventureburn chats to OfferZen founders about Silicon Valley, Silicon Cape Watch the full video below:

  • Amavulandlela Fund launched for disabled entrepreneurs

    A new fund, dubbed the Amavulandlela Fund, has recently been announced, focusing on supporting entrepreneurs with disabilities. The Amavulandlela Fund will be made up of a R24-million loan funding component as well as a R6-million business support grant.  Aside from individual disabled entrepreneurs, the fund will also be made available to companies and cooperatives of which 26% of people with physical disabilities have a stake in the company. People with physical disabilities will also need to have managerial positions and adequately display that they are active and are recognised in their positions. The funding scheme, announced by Minister of Small Business Development (SBD) Lindiwe Zulu,...

  • Innoventures ends year on $1.6m high note

    SME developer and accelerator Innoventures has announced the launch of their US$1.6-million fund, named Innoventures Fund 1. Innoventures' CEO Hesham Wahby made the announcement alongside the launch of their workspace in Alexandria, dubbed IdeaSpace-Borg. The startup accelerator, in partnership with VC4A, has also awarded top startups during their Reactor competition where three startups from Africa won prizes up to €10 000. "The winning startups have our commitment towards providing them with investments either by networking with investors or directly from us," said acceleration programme manager at Innoventures, Nourhan Ghanem in a press release. Zerowaste Technologies, the winner of Innoventures Reactor, is an eco-friendly...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [12/12/2016]

    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...

  • Do you have what it takes to raise your own venture capital?

    You've got an idea for a startup. You think it's brilliant, but you don't have any money to get it off the ground. What do you do? If you're like most entrepreneurs, you seek early-stage funding from a capitalist. These capitalists have a lot of money and they aren't afraid of risk – within reason. Though they may be willing to put money into your startup idea, they'll also seek ownership or management of your business in order to offset their financial risk. You can give up control in exchange for money, or you can find another way to reach...

  • 2017 applications now open for Street Business School

    The Street Business School, a Johannesburg-based institution for entrepreneurs, is taking applications for 2017. Ten students are selected for the programme per annum. Their studies will be fully funded and they'll have an existing business to "take and break" over the period of three years. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the school "offers practical opportunities to aspiring entrepreneurs by giving selected candidates the chance to build startups and gain commercial business experience in a real-world setting". "We have launched Street Business School, the first-ever school for entrepreneurs, with the aim of creating more opportunities for young South Africans. We...