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  • Philip and Malan Joubert share some of their experiences from Silicon Valley

    Venturing to the far-off land of Silicon Valley seems to be the dream of many an entrepreneur. It is, after all, the birthplace of companies like Uber and Microsoft. For entrepreneurial brothers Philip and Malan Joubert, heading to the Bay Area was an obvious choice. At a recent Stellenbosch Digital talk, held at the Launchlab accelerator, the two shared some of their knowledge and experiences from the adventure. The pair are no strangers to the startup scene. They've been involved with companies from FireID to Pondering Panda, and SnapScan; more recently founding OfferZen. One of the first things they mention is to make sure you secure...

  • Company Office

    Peach Payments and Callpay announce EFT system partnership

    Peach Payments, a leading and one of Africa's fastest growing payment service providers and Callpay, an innovative provider of secure payment solutions announce collaboration to provide automated Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT) as well as secure telephonic payment acceptance solutions. The innovative products will enable millions of South Africans to make instant and secure payments when shopping online or during payment processes over the phone and via call centres. Through this exciting collaboration announced at the 3rd eCommerce Africa Conference, customers will now be able to pay online using their cheque, savings or credit card accounts. Merchants that sign up through...

  • Tradesman platform IDWork crowned Seedstars World SA winner [update]

    Update: added comment from Sayo Folawiyo The South African leg of the Seedstars World competition has finally come to a close, with IDWork crowned the overall SA winner. Held in Johannesburg on 30 June, the event consisted of ten startups -- from the Cape Town, Durban, and Soweto pitching events -- as well as the 'Wild Card,' IDWork. All of the contestants pitched in front of a panel of judges and an audience. IDWork will go on to represent SA in the SeedStars World finale in Switzerland in March 2017, where it will stand a chance of winning a US$500 000 equity prize. A Gauteng-based startup, IDWork is a...

  • Raising your game: Charne Gerber and Copeland Stables [Sponsored]

    Doctor, mom and charity director Charné Gerber is an all-round superwoman. Acquiring Napoleon, her first Friesian stallion, was the catalyst for her latest venture, Copeland Stables. See how Charné raises her game: Best of breed From a young age, plaasmeisie Charne had a deep-seated love of horses. Copeland Stables is the culmination of her lifelong passion and an exciting challenge for this ambitious entrepreneur. From a single stallion, her herd has grown to seven majestic Friesians. Whether she’s ferrying her kids to the family farm or towing a prize Friesian stallion to a show, Charné needs a vehicle that’s safe and dependable in...

  • How to scale your startup’s infrastructure from the inside out

    When considering the most exciting elements of entrepreneurial life, you probably don’t immediately think of the word “infrastructure.” Foundations, wiring, plumbing — surely, these aren’t the things that provide a startup with the innovative spark it needs to grow. But infrastructure goes way beyond pipes and wires; it’s your startup’s internal road map. It’s your HR systems, sales processes, and marketing protocols. It embodies some of the most vital and creative parts of your operation, and it helps you achieve your biggest goals. As you begin to grow your business, you need to ensure your infrastructure can expand alongside you....

  • Convergance Partners, Nedbank Private Equity, IDC pump R500m into Comsol Fibre Connect

    Investment management firm Convergance Partners this week announced that it, along with Nedbank Private Equity and the IDC, have invested over R500 million in Comsol Fibre Connect. Billing itself as South Africa’s "first and only nationwide open access high-speed carrier grade data network", the network will reportedly connect enterprises in both major metros and small towns. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the key advantage of Comsol Fibre Connect is that customers are guaranteed connectivity of a high capacity, uncontended product, underpinned by a carrier grade service level agreement. The first elements of the network have reportedly...

  • 2015 was a record year for private equity investments in South Africa

    If you ask South African startup founders what their biggest bug-bear is, the majority will tell you it's attracting funding. But if this was ever really a problem, it's becoming obvious that it's increasingly less so. Case in point: local private equity funds reached R29.0 billion in 2015, the highest on record for the industry and up a significant 145% from R11.8 billion in 2014. That's according to the SAVCA 2016 Private Equity Industry Survey, the annual survey of private equity and venture capital activity in Southern Africa. The survey suggests that a substantial majority of the funds...

  • 1Fetch is Sandton’s newest on-demand delivery startup

    Taking a cue from Uber, on-demand couriers are a popular business in SA. The latest entry, 1Fetch, looks to pit its bike-only delivery service against the rest. "We guarantee collection within 90 minutes of the order being placed. Once collected, the package is delivered directly to your destination, with no stops along the way." writes director of 1Fetch, Panico Theocharides, in a press release to Ventureburn. He goes on to say: "If you get the basics right, and build around your customer needs, the growth should follow." According to Theocharides, all of their drivers are employed by the company, and the directors meet each...

  • Webfluential bags Startup-Up Tel Aviv South Africa crown

    South African influencer and brand matching platform Webfluential has been crowned winner of the 2016 Start-Up Tel Aviv South Africa competition. As part of the prize, Webfluential's Global Head of Operations Kirsty Sharman will be heading to Tel Aviv in September to take part in the DLD Festival Week. The DLD Festival week is Israel's largest international hi-tech gathering, featuring hundreds of start-ups, VCs, angel investors and leading multinationals including top technological talent and leading companies such as Intel, Google, and Microsoft, Kimberly Clark, Amazon, GM, Amdocs, Facebook and more. "The Webfluential team is incredibly excited about this opportunity, not...

  • Expensive, legal software a conundrum for Nigerian startups

    Last Thursday, I chaired a panel at the Nigeria International Technology Exhibition and Conference (NITEC 2016) that focused on how Nigeria can harness cloud solutions. I had my talking points ready and introduced the panel by speaking on how cloud computing remains both a research question and a market product -- but I couldn't have predicted how the session ended with the panelists. We argued back and forth on Nigeria's preparedness for cloud services beyond just using social media, YouTube, email services and the like. There was a consensus among panelists that infrastructure-wise, Nigeria isn't ready yet for cloud computing as several of these services require...

  • Seedstars, Angolan VC on the hunt for top startups

    With its South African leg wrapping up on Thursday, Seedstars World -- the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes -- is set to return to Angola on 27 July. As is the case with all its regional competitions, the startups at the Luanda event will be competing for a place at the Seedstars World Summit, which takes place in Geneva, Switzerland. There, they will have the chance to pitch for a US$500 000 grand prize. Angola was previously represented by Jobartis, a jobs and learning platform. "Experiences such as participating at the Seedstars World event...