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  • 6 effective ways to fund your startup

    Whether you’re launching the next big thing in fintech or a rival to Uber, your startup is going to require some cash injection. It’s not always easy securing funding for your company, no matter how great the idea. Thankfully, there are quite a few avenues to explore. Entrepreneurs should be thinking of how to fund their venture from the get-go. This allows them to not only have realistic expectations of what is needed but gauge interest in the product as well. Besides bootstrapping, which isn’t always feasible, especially in South Africa, there are quite a few avenues when it comes to...

  • Company Office

    Barclays accelerator announces latest participants in African programme

    Barclays Africa Group and Techstars today released the names of 10 financial-technology (fintech) companies selected to participate in the second Barclays Accelerator programme, powered by Techstars. The successful companies, all focused on providing fintech solutions in Africa, will participate in a 13-week growth acceleration programme at Barclays Africa’s Rise fintech innovation hub in Cape Town from mid-May. The 2017 programme participants are: Flexpay (Kenya), Howler (South Africa), Spatialedge (South Africa), Abe.ai (USA), The Sun Exchange (South Africa), Byte Money (South Africa), Avenews-GT (Israel), FOMO Travel (South Africa), Kapitalwise (USA) and eCOIDA (South Africa). Yasaman Hadjibashi, chief creation officer at Barclays Africa Group, said:...

  • Hepstar heads to Silicon Valley Plug and Play accelerator

    Cape Town based travel technology startup, Hepstar has been selected to participate in Silicon Valley's Plug and Play accelerator hosted by the Plug and Play Tech Center. The accelerator, which connects various startups to suitable investors as well as invests in over 100 companies every year, made the announcement last month. The company's portfolio includes major companies such as PayPal, Dropbox and Skytree. Hepstar was among the top 20 participants handpicked for the accelerator from more than 1000 global applicants. The company places a strong emphasis on data analytics, e-merchandising, machine-learning and personalisation. "We are really excited about this opportunity. With partners like Turkish Airlines, Carlson Wagolit,...

  • Wirecard AG acquires MyGate Communications

    Payments solution Wirecard has acquired 100% of payment service provider MyGate's shares. "Over the last couple of years we had quite a few companies wanting to acquire MyGate. We were looking for the right payment partner that could help accelerate our strategy across Africa and when Wirecard approached us it became apparent very quickly that they were the perfect fit," said MyGate MD Dan Edmiston in an interview with Ventureburn. Edmiston also commented on whether or not core management staff would still be in place. "All of the management including myself are staying. Our staff are some of the most experienced online payment specialists in...

  • African startup future: infrastructure and access

    Last week, I wrote about the future of the African startup. I tried to answer what our future in the tech startup space entailed, I am not sure there is a solid answer to that question. Something that does need to be discussed, however, is the infrastructure and access problem that we are still battling to solve. The ‘West’ has this romanticised view of Africa, the dark continent, the continent on the rise, the home of the next billion users. For those of us that live here, it is a completely different view, we see the daily struggle for basic...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [3/04/2017]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or catch 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...

  • VoguePay takes home the Best Fintech Startup Award

    Payment gateway VoguePay has walked away with the Best Fintech Startup Award at the sixth edition of the Cashless Africa Award 2017 presented by Mobile Money Africa. The event was held at the Ballroom Oriental Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria on 25 March. A number of African and global stakeholders in digital finance attended. VoguePay launched in 2012 with the aim of making online payments and cross-currency payments safer for businesses, traders as well as consumers. With offices in Lagos and the UK, VoguePay also serves clients in three other continents including North America, Europe and Asia. "The awards honour organisations that have made significant contributions to the digital...

  • 9 things we learnt at Startup Grind Cape Town

    The latest Startup Grind Cape Town event took place on Friday, featuring Monique Woodard of 500 Startups. The fireside chat covered a wide variety of topics, such as black entrepreneurs, her personal journey and more. Interestingly enough, the finals of the 500 Startups/Geeks on a Plane Africa pitching competition took place at Startup Grind as well. Here are all the notable quotes and happenings that took place at the event. FinChatBot won US$1000 for pitching competition FinChatBot walked away as the winner of the pitching battle (winning US$1000), with DroneClouds in second place and Mobenzi in third. The other two finalists received...

  • ‘Shortage of VC funding, not of black entrepreneurs’

    The US has no shortage of black entrepreneurs. The shortage rather is one of funding for black entrepreneurs, says Monique Woodard of 500 Startups. Woodard, speaking at Startup Grind Cape Town last week Friday as part of a fireside chat, made the statement in response to a question from an audience member who asked why there was a shortage of black entrepreneurs. "So, I don't think there's... comparatively, in the space... there's not a huge shortage of black entrepreneurs. There's a shortage of black entrepreneurs getting VC funding," Woodard told the audience. The 500 Startups representative and Black Founders co-founder expanded on the topic. Monique Woodard of 500 Startups says...

  • Q&A: Google’s John Kimani on Launchpad Start

    Ventureburn had the opportunity to interview John Kimani, the Developer Relations Ecosystem Program Manager for East Africa and is responsible for looking after the Launchpad programme in Sub-Saharan Africa. "We work by providing startups with the in-person mentoring that they need to tackle critical challenges and enable each startup to grow or scale. We currently operate in 30 countries with over 600 mentors," said Kimani over email. "Startups can join a Launchpad activity through our partner network of startup organisations around the world, or at Launchpad Space in San Francisco," he continued. Launchpad Start Johannesburg, which is held in partnership with JoziHub,...

  • Geeks on a Plane: A night out in Cape Town

    Wesgro in partnership with Silicon Cape hosted The Geeks on a Plane dinner in Cape Town last night in honour of the participants of the initiative. The planned speakers for the evening consisted of the CEO of Wesgro, Tim Harris; director of Silicon Cape, Alexandra Fraser; MD of 4di Justin Stanford; CFO of Zoona, Keith Davis and investors Monica Brand Engel and Doug Galen. In Harris' opening remarks, he touched on the significance of what Geeks on a Plane is trying to achieve. "What you’ve done as geeks on a plane, is gone to see for yourself," referring to the misconceptions people usually...