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  • Report: over $185m invested in Africa’s tech startups in 2015

    Tech startups in Africa raised an estimated total of over US$185-million in 2015, according to a recent report. The report, titled African Tech Startups Funding Report 2015 by startup news site Disrupt Africa, polled hundreds of startups, investors, hubs and other ecosystem players over the course of two months. It found that 125 tech startups secured a total of US$185 785 500 during the course of 2015. To little surprise, South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya made up the bulk of the overall figure. In South Africa, 45 startups raised funding, 36% of the overall total. An estimated 24% of deal value was...

  • Company Office

    How to find a strong mentor to guide you to business success

    Why every entrepreneur needs multiple mentors… While the challenges of being an entrepreneur have been well-documented, reports often fail to describe the feelings of self-doubt, loneliness and isolation that tend to plague aspiring entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey. No amount of angel funding, slick technology or strategic business consulting can really assuage the feelings of doubt that accompany starting a brave new enterprise. Yet this is where strong mentorship can play a critical role – and in fact can prove to be far more valuable than landing an investment deal or angel fund backing. Mentors can keep tired...

  • All-female startup from Nigeria hauls in $40k for innovative legal service

    An all-female startup that seeks to give people easy access to legal services in Nigeria, called DIYlaw, recently bagged US$40 000. Organised by The Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law (HiiL), which promotes innovative solutions in the legal space, over 200 innovators applied for the Innovating Justice Award. DIYlaw emerged the winner of the SME Empowerment Innovation Challenge for East and West Africa during the Innovating Justice Forum at The Peace Palace, The Hague, Netherlands. Read more: SME Empowerment Challenge to support African innovations with up to $70k The Innovating Justice Awards is an annual award ceremony which takes place during the...

  • Nigerian gift-card startup SureGifts introduces unique way to obtain loans

    Nigerian gift-card startup SureGifts is introducing a new service that allows employees in Nigeria to obtain voucher loans to pay for certain online services. Even though many Nigerians on social media described last year’s Black Friday sales by ecommerce giants in Nigeria, Jumia and Konga, as fraudulent, quite a number of online shoppers were able to get some good deals online and at offline stores. But for a good number of Nigerians, whether the deals were true or false, they wouldn’t even think of buying any new stuffs because they don’t have money for such. This could be a very bad...

  • Onyeka Akumah on Travelbeta, ecommerce and Nigeria’s tech space [Q&A]

    The first time I heard about Travelbeta launch by Onyeka Akumah was in July 2015 at the official launch of HouseMax in Lagos. Akumah described the platform as one that would totally transform the travel space in Africa. Few months later, the platform was officially launched and a few week later, it raised US$2-million. I recently caught up with Akumah to speak about the exciting travel company, startups and a range of issues they face in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Ventureburn: How has the market responded to the launch of Travelbeta? Onyeka Akumah: It's been exciting. Every day we keep...

  • Entrepreneurship accelerator seeks to tackle youth unemployment in SA

    Following the launch of its pilot last year to tackle unemployment, South African accelerator New Ventures Studio is calling for new applications. Aimed at aspiring entrepreneurs between the ages of 16 and 35, the programme consists of an intensive eight-week entrepreneurship course. Participants will have the opportunity to secure a spot in the Studio Incubator said to be worth R150 000. In 2015, 19 participants ended up graduating from the programme while four will be selected to join the incubator. "It has been a productive and effective amount of learning, being a team player, allowing other candidates help structure my business," says 23-year-old...

  • Fastvan wants to change SA logistics with its all-in-one app

    South African startup Fastvan is an all-in-one courier service app looking to change the logistics industry. It's like an Uber but with parcels. With the Fastvan app, clients are able to create quotes and book courier, removal, and domestic delivery services. The nearest free courier will be notified for parcel collection. Once collected, the customers can track the package in real-time through the app's built-in map. The platform offers other Uber-like functionality, such as rating couriers, receiving invoices via email, and app notifications for collection and delivery. Read more: WeChat set to launch on-demand courier service in SA Fastvan’s goal is to move every aspect of...

  • VC to pump $10m into South African, African startups [update]

    Update: This article has been updated to include additional commentary from PriceCheck founder and CEO Kevin Tucker. Cape Town-based venture capital firm Silvertree Internet Holdings has announced a US$10-million investment destined for South African and African startups in 2016. The pan-African tech investment firm and incubator seemed to have had good year in 2015, claiming that it recorded 330% growth per annum revenue for its startups. The firm has invested in startups like Faithful to Nature, Click n Compare, WineCo and more recently We Are Monsters and PriceCheck. Silvertree together with entrepreneur Kevin Tucker acquired the popular price-comparison website, PriceCheck, from global media giant Naspers...

  • How your startup can make a fresh start in 2016

    The start of a New Year is always a great time to re-evaluate your business plans and operations, and ask yourself if there’s anything you could do better. Here are a few ideas for getting a good start to 2016: 1. Set your goals for the year ahead During the first few days of the New Year, take a bit of time to think about your goals for the calendar year ahead. Focus especially on the aspects of your business that you neglect in the busyness of day-to-day survival. Do you want to target new customer segments? Fix up your ageing IT setup? Hire new...

  • This Indian edtech startup is diving deep into China, US, Philippines. Here’s how

    After almost exactly 8 years of helping Indians find jobs, Aspiring Minds has decided to take its services wordwide. India has several startups trying their hands at the job searching industry, but this edtech startup for the unemployed is expanding across continents. China, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Tanzania are all on its list, and that’s just for now, co-founder and CEO Himanshu Aggarwal tells Tech in Asia. The expansion has been in the works for a while and resulted partially from popular demand and partially due to the realization that job-matching services are needed in countries outside India...

  • OfferZen wants to be the curated marketplace for SA’s top devs, top companies

    It's not easy finding the job you deserve in South Africa, especially if you're a talented developer exposed to what's on offer in, say, Silicon Valley. This might change as curated jobs marketplace OfferZen sets out to help top developers find the best jobs the South African tech industry has to offer. In 2014, two South African brothers Malan and Philip Joubert traveled to Silicon Valley where they pitched their startup Journey Apps to various venture capitalists. The entrepreneurs, who are also behind startup incubator FireID, wanted to know how difficult it was for a South African tech company to...