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  • $50k equity investment up for grabs in MEST Africa Challenge

    The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) will for the first time invest $50 000 in companies that are not part of its programme through the MEST Africa Challenge. The announcement was made by MEST general manager Uneku Atowadi-Edun on Wednesday (4 April) in a post on Twitter. Open to tech startups operating in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, applications for the challenge close on 22 April. The $50 000 MEST Africa Challenge marks the first time MEST will invest in startups outside its programme. Applications close on 22 April The MEST Africa Challenge will see regional events being held in Accra and Lagos on...

  • Company Office

    treadFEST 2017 – five stages with New Hero, Grimehouse, Opposite the Other

    treadFEST 2017 presents five stages with a mix of music genres: Grimehouse, New Hero and Opposite the Other are just three among a host of bands and DJs in the pipeline. Welcome to the filthy side of South African Drumstep: Grimehouse. His tracks are played by some of the biggest artists in the world, including the Beatport Studios Live and a compilation for one of the world’s biggest record labels "MAD DECENT". But this is just the beginning for the filth monster! Grimehouse’s tracks are racking up thousands and thousands of plays every month on his Soundcloud page and he tries to give...

  • The low-down on Gather Online’s R10m investment, next round, expansion plans

    Social networking platform Gather Online this week announced that it had raised R10-million from former Dimension Data CEO Brett Dawson who will be joining the startup's board of directors as its chairman. The announcement was made on Wednesday (4 April) and the investment will see Dawson get a 10% stake in the startups, effectively making him its largest external investor. The platform which was founded in 2015 by South Africans Michael van Andel and CEO David Price is based in Australia and has offices in Johannesburg. In an email to Ventureburn yesterday, Price said the investment is part of the company's third seed round, with R2-million...

  • SA marketplace lender Rainfin sells corporate debt offering to 4AX exchange

    SA credit marketplace RainFin has sold its corporate debt marketplace offering to Johannesburg alternate exchange 4AX, while acquiring a stake in the latter company. The deal was announced yesterday (4 April). Rainfin, which has been involved in crowdfunding since 2012, introduced its facility by which consumers are able to lend to corporates in December 2016. The company will retain its lending marketplace for individuals as well as to small businesses. In a phone call with Ventureburn today (5 April), Rainfin co-founder and CEO Sean Emery said the two companies had spent the past year working on the deal. RainFin approached 4AX after the exchange announced plans to launch a debt...

  • 7 South African healthtech startups to watch in 2018 [Digital All Stars]

    Digital All Stars is a series of articles which aims to celebrate the best of South African digital. The articles, which will appear on Memeburn and Ventureburn, recognise and celebrate South Africa’s best digital entrepreneurs, business people, advertisers, and media professionals among others. An increasing demand for accountable care and the digital delivery of health care is driving more startups to develop innovative health care solutions. With the launch of new call for startups on 3 April by accelerator Digital Health Cape Town (see the story here), Ventureburn takes a look at seven promising South African healthtech startups to keep an eye on. Recomed Fresh off a R4.5-million...

  • Here’s why Demo Africa is moving to Morocco for the next two years

    Startup launchpad DEMO Africa will for the next two years be held in Morocco. Applications for this year's edition close on 15 June, with the main event set to be held in October. The programme aims to link tech startups with investors and technology stakeholders and by doing so connect African tech startups to the global ecosystem. In a statement last week (26 March), US-based Africa Technology Foundation (ATF) -- the managing partners of Lions@frica -- announced that the next two editions of DEMO Africa (2018 and 2019) will be held in Morocco. Demo Africa 2018 will take place in October, applications close on 15...

  • Digital Health Cape Town launches second call, adds incubation offering to support

    South African health tech accelerator Digital Health Cape Town (DHCT) has opened a second call for applications which will now also include support for ideas in the pre-commercialisation stage. The call was launched on Tuesday (3 April) and applications close at the end of next month (May). "We are quite excited about accelerator two," DHCT chief executive Siraaj Adams told Ventureburn in a call last week. Digital Health Cape Town launches a second call which now includes incubation support for ideas in the pre-commercialisation stage The organisation is seeking 10 participants for its second cohort which will kick off later this year and has also made available five...

  • Savca raises concern over governance issues in Section 12J VC tax incentive

    The Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Savca) has raised concern that governance issues could emerge in some venture capital companies approved by the SA Revenue Service (Sars) for a tax incentive. The VC tax incentive, set up under Section 12J of the Income Tax Act, allows investors who make investments in approved VCs -- that then invest in qualifying small companies -- a tax deduction. While the incentive came into effect in 2009, the number of VCCs approved under the incentive by Sars shot up in recent years following amendments the Treasury made to the incentive to make it more...

  • ‘Tanzania must introduce tax incentives, policy change to spur VC investment’

    Ahead of next month's launch of Tanzania's first angel investors network, a top venture capitalist has called for the government to make a number of changes to encourage venture capital (VC) investments in startups in the East African country. In an email to Ventureburn yesterday Salum Awadh, CEO of Tanzanian financial and investment advisory firm SSC Capital, called on the government to introduce tax incentives, relax part of the country's competition law and to enact changes to the Companies Act to allow for the setting up of limited partnerships to drive VC investments in the country. Awadh's comments come in the wake of the...

  • Kickstart Accelerator back for third edition with new programme structure

    Zurich-based accelerator programme Kickstart Accelerator has opened applications for the third edition of its programme, which this year will take on a new programme structure. The Swiss accelerator focuses on later-stage tech startups with solutions in deep technologies -- science and engineering driven tech like artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain -- as well as in areas like edtech, fintech and smart cities. The programme also aims to initiate successful partnerships and pilot projects between selected startups and Kickstart's partner companies and institutions. Kickstart co-lead Katka Letzing said in a statement today that the accelerator's first two programmes had resulted in 30 proof-of-concepts and collaborations. In...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [03/04/2018]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or brush up on some of your skills? Well, you’ve come to the right place. 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 next week’s, please let us know in the comments below or send us an email. Not all of the events are free and some will require booking in advance. Please click on the event names to find out...

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