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  • HouseME looks to change the rental market in SA with app

    Real estate startup, HouseME wants to change the way property rentals are handled for landlords and prospective tenants in SA. The company has launched an app which it hopes will solve gaps in the rental process. "The market is locked by a process where landlords advertise their properties for a set rental, and often accept the first tenants to put a deposit down," says the CEO and co-founder of HouseME, Ben Shaw, in a press release to Ventureburn. Prospective tenants will be able to bid on an open property instead of the landlord setting a price. "It's clear that both landlords and tenants will benefit from a...

  • Company Office

    Bookmark Awards 2016 Entry Series: Platform, Publishing and Special Honours

    With the deadline for entries to the prestigious IAB SA Bookmark Awards extended to 30 November, digital marketers have one last opportunity to enter and do battle for the industry’s most coveted awards across eight categories, of which the Platform category is one. The Bookmark Awards celebrate the country’s most creative and high-impact digital executions and rewards excellence in digital advertising and publishing work, benchmarked against the highest international standards. “The Platforms category encompasses all the means to communicate a digital message to current and future clients,” says Fred Roed, Head of IAB SA’s Agency Council. “These prizes are therefore always...

  • SweepSouth expands into KwaZulu-Natal, hits Durban first

    On-demand cleaning service, SweepSouth has expanded into Durban. The startup previously launched in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Pretoria. "Expanding to Durban has been on the books from the get-go, and we've been working hard behind the scenes to interview and register a top quality team of local cleaners – or, as we call them, SweepStars," says SweetSouth CEO Aisha Pandor in a press release to Ventureburn. Customers are charged R38 per hour via a cashless system with cleaners taking between 70% and 80% of the total fee. "By tapping into new markets and empowering cleaners to take on multiple or supplementary jobs, we...

  • Our 12 favourite startups from the 2016 Innovation Summit

    Hosted in Johannesburg, the four-day Innovation Summit played host to a range of activities and events. Among these was the Ventureburn Pitching Den, which saw 40 startups pitch for a chance to compete at the Startup World Cup in 2017. Over the two-day period, the Pitching Den was filled with all manner of entrepreneurs from all walks of life. While many of them pitched eco-friendly products, others looked to more traditional and IP-based companies. Here are our favourite startups from the two-day Ventureburn Pitching Den event: Baoberry - creators of the "wetland in a box," this product is an all natural...

  • LulaLend raises new round of funding from Accion Venture Lab

    Online lending platform LulaLend has raised a new round of funding from Accion Venture Lab, a division of Accion. The round also included participation from Newid Capital and Hallmann Holding International Investment GmbH. When asked about the amount raised, co-founder and CEO of Lulalend, Trevor Gosling, told Ventureburn it is necessary to "raise both debt to fund the loan book and equity to fund operations & tech investment". He went on to say the company has raised US$1-million with equity and the debt side will run into multiple million dollars over time. “LulaLend was founded in 2014 to provide quick, transparent online credit to small...

  • Absa teams up with fintech startup walletdoc

    Absa has partnered with fintech startup walletdoc to make bill payments a more convenient process. Walletdoc, founded by Dan Wagner and Leonard Shenker, is an app billed as a "smart, secure and free way" to pay bills on the go. Notable features include notifications for bill arrivals/payment dates, the ability to remember account/reference numbers for payments and electronic bill storage. To get started, users create an account on the service and ask billers to direct all bills to the associated walletdoc email address. The app will then give you relevant notifications/reminders and allow for seamless payments (including the ability to pay for...

  • Medical insurance startup InukaPap wins Seedstars World in Kenya

    Medical insurance platform, InukaPap, was selected as the winner for Seedstars World in Kenya. The pitching competition took place on 7 October. InukaPap will represent Kenya in the Seedstars World final taking place in April 2017 in Switzerland. They will compete against 60 other startups from around the world for the chance to win up to US$1-million in equity investment. Second place was awarded to road maintenance startup Mobilized Construction, which uses local labour to build climate-resistant roads. The final place in the top three went to Ujuzi Software Solutions Ltd, a company that AML solutions for all segments. The other contestants consisted of Lakt co, OptiSmart...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [10/10/2016]

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

  • Eneza secures investment from US$1-million Spark Venture Fund [update]

    Update: the article has been corrected to reflect the funding amount was not US$1-million, but rather a share of it. Edu-tech company, Eneza Education recently secured equity investment through Safaricom's Spark Venture Fund's US$1-million investment fund. Co-founded by Kago Kagichiri and Toni Maraviglia, Eneza Education is a mobile-based education tool to help students revise for exams. With 1.1-million users across 11 countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, SA, and more, Eneza provides real-time assessments and course level progress through SMS functionality. "We believe in the power of the mobile phone in extending access to learners so they can realise their full potential," said Kagichiri. "The additional investment will go...

  • Universal Technology Holdings acquires 51% of MiBRAND

    Business solutions based company Universal Technology Holdings (UTH) has acquired 51% of MiBRAND, an app focusing on specials for consumers. The acquisition will allow MiBRAND to receive both funding and infrastructure for expansion. "Using our investment and new found resources we will be focused on increasing our global footprint, starting with the launch of our mobile development branch in Asia," says the co-founder of MiBRAND, Salvatore Barras, in a press release to Ventureburn. Since the app's launch in July, it has received over 2500 downloads, the developer claims. It also went on to win the People's Choice Award at the MTN App of the Year awards. The startup...

  • CarZar gets backed by Silvertree Capital

    Venture Capital firm Silvertree Capital, who backed PriceCheck and CyberCellar, is now backing second-hand auto-trader CarZar. CarZar is a stats-based auto-trader which prices the vehicle you're looking to sell, using national data and their own algorithm, to offer consumers a convenient way to sell their vehicle. The user will first need to fill in the make and model of the vehicle they'd like to sell. Some vehicle models weren't a part of their automated listing, we found, such as the Ford Capri. Next, you'll be required to fill out your contact details and then a quote will be sent to you. You'll also receive details...