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  • From banks to microlenders, Fincheck wants to help you find the best loans

    Financial service comparison websites have been around for a while in South Africa with the likes of Hippo, Click n Compare and many more, assisting people with probably one of the most stressful undertakings out there. Now, two young entrepreneurs are trying to help South Africans with a more in-depth finance comparison website, called Fincheck, which helps people find loan options. Slated as an independent comparisons website, Fincheck focuses on comparing complex verticals of the financial sector in a more simplistic manner. Its offerings look at finance plans for personal, payday, and student loans, debt consolidation, and credit cards. The company place...

  • 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...

  • Kenya’s BRCK hauls in $3m from Steve Case, Synergy Energies and others

    To kick off the year on a positive note, Kenyan startup BRCK has raised US$3-million from a group of international investors, which include former AOL executives Jean and Steve Case as well as TED, Swiss-based MKS Alternative Investments, Synergy Energy and Jim Sorenson. Designed by the same team in Nairobi that's behind Ushahidi, Crowdmap and the iHub, BRCK is a mobile WiFi hotspot that’s described as a back-up generator for the internet. The device is physically robust and can connect to multiple networks. Read more: Taking African innovation global: Q&A with Aaron Fu from Nairobi’s Nest Business Day reports that the funding...

  • Q&A with AzarGen Biotechnologies on $3.1m funding round

    Starting 2016 with a bang, VC4Africa-listed venture AzarGen Biotechnologies closes US$3.1-million in Series B funding. VC4A had a chance to speak with Dr. Mauritz Venter to learn more about their progress and plans for the future. VC4Africa: Can you highlight the origins of the company and its inspiration? Mauritz Venter: AzarGen was started by four aspiring life science entrepreneurs with a diverse set of skills, interests and passions as post-graduate students at Stellenbosch University’s Institute for Plant Biotechnology. Throughout our years at university the team had a keen interest in the business aspects of science and in the beginning of 2003...

  • Deep VR is the startup bridging videography and virtual reality

    Virtual reality (VR) startups are rare companies, even with the technology gaining more traction. Deep VR is one such company -- specialising in 3D and 2D 360 degree video production -- that came together while in a pinch. Founded and self-funded by Ulrico Grech-Cumbo and Telmo dos Reis, in October 2015, the South African-based company started off as something of a necessity. Its sister company, Ambrosia Brand Experience Agency over-sold itself on a project. The client required a jazz club to be filmed in 360 degrees, but the agency didn't know how to achieve this. Fortunately, the pair stepped up to the...

  • How entrepreneurs can utilise the ‘Sustainability Factor’

    The idea of making your business more "green" may seem rather intimidating and to some unnecessary. However, making the move toward a more sustainable business culture does more than merely reduce your company’s carbon footprint – it can actually help your business grow. That being said, making any sort of move towards sustainability is better than not making any, after all, what do you have to lose? Small steps that you can take toward making your business more "green" are easy on the environment and on the company budget, as most sustainability shifts will ultimately save you money. For this...

  • StartupYourLife to co-host first annual Seedstars Africa event

    The first annual Seedstars Africa event will take place on 30 January in Casablanca, Morocco. The event will be hosted by non-profit startup organisation StartupYourLife along with Seedstars World, and hosted in conjunction with OCP Entrepreneurship Network. The event focusses on connecting 300 African startup founders with mentors, investors, and the startup ecosystem in general. It will also include networking with successful entrepreneurs from Africa, Middle East, Europe and the US. StartupYourLife is a non-profit organisation created to identify and empower entrepreneurs in Morocco. It has helped startups such as travel parcel shipping startup Sheaply, carpooling platform Carpooli, and Kahenas an ecommerce store...

  • Primecart’s bold attempt to dominate ecommerce in Nigeria through Shoprite

    During the festive period, public holidays, and those notable days that are not recognised in Nigeria's calendar, people often troop en masse to quite a number of places, with one of these being Shoprite. But not every Nigerian waits until the holidays to visit Shoprite – as a matter of fact, a sizeable proportion of the corporate demographic in Nigeria relies on Shoprite for their daily living. "I spend more than 60% of my monthly earnings on Shoprite," said Dayo, an Abuja-based Nigerian high-earning medical professional. There are more people like Dayo whose daily lives revolve around Shoprite; from the food...

  • India’s Xiaomi backer bets on a startup that tracks other startups

    Ratan Tata remains a respected name in India, where several business tycoons are tarnished with the brush of crony capitalism. He retired at the end of 2012 after helming the Tata Group of companies which collectively had over US$100 billion in revenues. He’s credited with turning the Tatas from a family-run business to a professionally managed global entity after taking the reins in 1991, when India embarked on economic liberalization. The benefits of that experience and reputation have been flowing to startups over the past couple of years, as Ratan Tata has taken to investing in entrepreneurs since his retirement....

  • The Bitcoin Africa Conference opens registrations for Johannesburg event

    Bitcoin and Blockchain enthusiasts will be able to attend the second annual Blockchain Africa Conference in Johannesburg. The event will be taking place from 3 to 4 March and will be hosted by Bitcoin Events Pty Ltd. The two-day conference will include industry experts, such as the CEO of CiTi, Ian Merrington; Kathryn Haun, a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice; and co-founder and CEO of BitX, Marcus Swanepoel amongst others. Speakers will talk about their experiences with the technology, issues faced when it comes to digital currencies, as well as the impact it has on social, economic,...

  • 4 easy ways to use LinkedIn to grow your startup

    Most business people know startups have to overcome many challenges and defy the odds to succeed in the marketplace. One of the ways you can get a leg up on competitors is to make your business as visible as possible. Being involved with a startup business may mean you’re trying to get by on a shoestring budget, which could give you the impression becoming more visible is a nearly impossible task. Fortunately, growing your business and making it clear what you have to offer are both much simpler when using LinkedIn. 1. Get as Many Recommendations as Possible In the world...