• BURN MEDIA
    • Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!
  • Most startup founders fear the tech industry is in a bubble, survey finds

    Over the past two years there's been a lot of talk regarding "unicorns", or startups carrying US$1-billion valuations. While the buzzword still makes for catchy headlines, skeptics fear that there is a bubble developing within the tech industry. This belief has been reiterated in a new report by US-based First Round Capital, which surveyed 500 VC-backed startup founders. The majority (73%) believe that we are, in fact, in a bubble or witnessing over-speculation of the tech industry. Specifically, industries such as wearables and bitcoin are believed to be overhyped, while autonomous vehicles and mobile are underhyped. Prospects for the VC industry overall don't...

  • 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...

  • SA mobile shopping app MySideKick announces R4m staged investment

    South African mobile shopping app startup MySideKick has announced it received R4-million from EM Software & Systems' tech fund and accelerator Alchemy-A in a staged investment, meaning the entire amount is not invested upfront. Based in the Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab, MySidekick seeks to give users easy access to specials, promotions, sales, products and coupons of some of the country’s major retailers based on your location. Founder and CEO of MySidekick, Leonard Brewer, says "We are very pleased with the investment agreement. It has given us additional resources required for growth and expansion." Alchemy-A provides seed funding to startups and invest in...

  • Absa ’empowered’ 4k small business owners over four months

    South African banking institution Absa has announced its "empowerment" of 4 000 small business owners through events. The attendees were primarily made up of young and women-owned enterprises. Absa collaborated with both the private sector and non-profit organisations from Gauteng for its 70 business seminars and workshops, which took place over the past four months. The participants also received free advice on the problems they faced and how to succeed in Gauteng’s economy. The topics covered included funding and customised services. According to Banie Claasen (pictured above), newly appointed Provincial Managing Executive of Absa in Gauteng: "The seminars we have hosted form part...

  • OfLocal: the site aiming to curate the best of your town

    Ever wanted a website that can tell you about the best places to eat in a city and where to find the best photographers? Well then you'll probably get some use out of OfLocal, a site which aims to curate the best of South African towns and cities. Launched in November, the site relies on user-generated content in the shape of lists which are published, shared and voted for by the consumer. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, local business owners are able to create and publish their own personalised lists, as well as share the lists that...

  • 6 actionable social media tips for startups

    Social media marketing has become an integral part of most companies’ marketing strategy. Gone are the days when it was considered an optional activity. In fact, it has gone on to become key to building a brand’s awareness and reputation. Social media is also considered an effective medium for distributing content and generating leads. One of the best things about social media marketing is that it is affordable and even startups with small budget can make the most of it. According to Rocketpost, 40% of people spend more time socialising on social media rather than having face-to-face interactions. If you’re smart,...

  • Study: impact investment deployed in West Africa amounts to $852m in 2014

    The impact investing industry in West Africa may be small, though it is growing, and amounted to US$852-million in 2014. This is according to a study by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), in partnership with Dalberg Global Development Advisors. The study found that investors seeking "positive impact" have deployed US$894-million in 2012, and more than US$800-million in 2013. The West African region has a compound annual growth rate of 18% since 2005. The study revealed that US$6.8-billion direct impact investment has been deployed within the last decade in West Africa. This is small relative to East Africa, which is the only other...

  • The 13 African startups pitching at the Seedstars World finals

    International seed-stage startup competition Seedstars World will be hosting its final pitching event 3 March 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland. The 13 African startups will be competing amongst a total of 55 from other countries for a US$500 000 equity prize. The startups will be participating in a three-day bootcamp, which will include mentors from around the world. Afterwards, the winner will be chosen after the final round of pitches. Prizes will also be awarded to other sectors, such as space and travel startups. The Seedstars World Summit will play host to a range of panel discussions covering topics from women entrepreneurs to...

  • Exclusive: WeChat launches R50m fund for mobile startups

    Naspers-backed instant messaging platform WeChat on Wednesday announced the launch of a R50-million seed fund specifically for startups working in the mobile space. The fund will support startups identified as promising by WeChat South Africa. The company plans to identify these startups through an application and selection process and will also assist startups in launching dedicated WeChat offerings. The idea for the fund apparently came about after WeChat saw how successfully the likes of M4JAM (which it invested in earlier this year), PicUp, and Order In have used it as a launch platform for their own offerings. "Our fund...

  • Africa Internet Group face shake-up with ecommerce MDs in Nigeria

    Major ecommerce backer Africa Internet Group (AIG) has quietly faced an overhaul of leadership of its online shopping plays in Nigeria. Already, the Rocket Internet affiliate has completed the replacement of the heads of Kaymu, Jovago, Easy Taxi and Lamudi. Interestingly, the heads of these companies are choosing to remain in Nigeria. In October, Marek Zmysłowski was replaced to ensure his new enterprise, Jovago, becomes the next big thing in online hotel bookings in Africa. And with the support of AIG, the platform is on its way to achieving that. But several weeks ago, news emerged that he had been...

  • Richard Branson, Al Gore, Steve Case back Kenyan solar startup M-Kopa in $19m round

    The likes of Virgin Group's Sir Richard Branson, former US Vice President Al Gore and AOL founder Steve Case have invested US$19-million in Kenyan pay-as-you-go solar energy startup M-Kopa. London-based Generation Investment Management, which was founded by Al Gore and David Blood, led the round. The deal includes reinvestment by existing shareholders. Already backed by impressive investors such as Safaricom and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, M-Kopa seems right on track to create affordable and sustainable energy solutions for millions of households in East Africa. So far the company has connected over 250 000 homes across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania with...