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  • OnFarm Systems gains funding from Invested Development

    Invested Development recently invested in OnFarm Systems, an agriculture technology startup that aims to combine software and hardware to provide a platform of information to better management and decision-making. Invested Development is an early stage investment fund manager that focuses on reducing poverty by providing risk capital investments in early stage startups and support "radically affordable and innovative solutions to poverty in alternative energy, mobile technology, and agricultural technology." Californian based OnFarm joins software and hardware to provide a better management and decision-making platform for farmers. Using anything from soil moisture sensors to weather stations, OnFarm combines these multiple data sources...

  • Company Office

    What the fintech revolution means for financial inclusion

    From Artificial Intelligence (AI) to blockchain, emerging technology is quickly changing both how we think about finance and how we access it. Fintech is rapidly innovating, and with a growing number of predictions about what it will mean for the future of business, company owners and entrepreneurs are taking note. The funding problem While 2017 saw a surge in the emergence of new fintech startups, 2018 has brought about a maturing in the market as these products roll out and become more widely adopted across industries. They have become particularly impactful for small-to-medium sized businesses and startups, where technology is helping...

  • Venture Talk: Is innovation in Africa good or bad?

    Innovation in Africa -- good or bad? In our first Venture Talk, Mich Atagana chats to Sarah Rice, Head of Communications at Mxit, Rapelang Rabana, founder of Yeigo Communications, and Brett Commaille, co-founder and CEO of AngelHub about the current innovation scene in Africa. The group's discussion looks at what role the current innovation hype plays in Africa's startup scene. Generally, Africa's startup industry is still young and full of excitement. Is it being over exaggerated? Is there too much innovation? Could this hype be the death of Africa's tech world? The group also looks at the fact that too many startups...

  • Santam’s ‘Business Legal’ insurance could solve SMMEs’ compliance issues

    Staying legally compliant is notoriously easier for larger companies than it is for small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs), especially in a country like South Africa, because of access to legal advice, and the heavy penalties involved with non-compliance. South African short-term insurer, Santam, aims to alleviate that bias with its new offering, Business Legal insurance, which is directed at young companies with the aim of stimulating job creation as well as economic sustainability and growth. A healthy small business sector is universally recognised as a key driver of economic success,” says Joseph Makgopa, Head of Corporate Legal Services at Santam....

  • Want your startup to be a success? Become an expert in your field

    How important is it for entrepreneurs to have specific domain experience prior to founding their startup? As an entrepreneur you are bound to run into this question sooner or later. My journey with startups brought me face-to-face with this question right from the start. I joined a group of friends directly after university to found our first startup. We built mobile applications for SMEs and enterprises that allowed them to manage distributed workforces effectively. Based on my experience, if your customers are other businesses, you have two options: either work your ass off to build domain expertise or start...

  • Lessons from Israel: how the country became the Startup Nation

    Some call it a miracle. Others an enigma of the culture. But the statistics surrounding the amount of high-tech startups that are conceived in Israel is astounding. A small country, with roughly 7.6-million people, has approximately 4 800 startup companies and attracts far more venture capital per person than any other country in the world. Dubbed as the Startup Nation, Israel outweighs the United States in venture capital investment per person, totaling US$170 per person compared to US$70 per person in the US. Not too bad for a country that was established 65 years ago. Some examples of well-known startup...

  • TechInBraam: Johannesburg’s new tech hub is ready to roll

    We've mentioned the tech renaissance happening in Johannesburg's Braamfontein suburb in our recently compiled startup guide. The initiatives aimed at tech innovation in the area are collectively known as TechInBraam, and things are picking up steam, reports TechCentral. TechInBraam is backed by Wits University and the government, academia and industry partnership based at Wits University, the Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE). Microsoft, Marketing agency Quirk and international IT consultancy, ThoughtWorks, are also onboard. The idea is to create an ICT cluster in Braamfontein fueled by Wits University's creation of the "Tshimologong Precinct" -- "Tshimologong" is the isiSotho word for...

  • An ecosystem in turmoil: inside South Africa’s startup problems

    When you think about the number of tech communities popping up everywhere, the question no one seems to ask is whether or not the ecosystem they are in is sustainable. When you think about it scientifically, in a marine ecosystem, if one link is missing the entire ecosystem suffers. It is easy to watch the meteoric rise of a growing tech scene, full of promise, innovators and 10-million people ready to make the same mistakes. It's easy to get caught in the savoir faire because everyone has the right words every time. Things seem to be that way in South...

  • Rocket Internet’s SE Asian LAZADA secures huge funding for the region

    Things seem to be going well for Rocket Internet, with news and investments coming every week from the ecommerce cookie cutter company. This time it's with LAZADA, Southeast Asia's (SEA) largest online shopping "mall". The company has announced a new round of funding and the welcoming of Verlinvest, a Belgian family-owned, consumer-focused investment holding company as an investor. Together, with existing investors Holtzbrinck Ventures, Kinnevik, Summit Partners and Tengelmann Group, LAZADA's investors have pumped in an impressive US$100-million in a new round of funding. Rocket Internet, the startup clone incubator behind LAZADA, claims that this is one of the biggest...

  • EDGE Campus launches Qurio, plans to disrupt education

    EDGE Campus, the Stellenbosch-based education software startup, has just announced the launch of Qurio-- a free mobile and web product designed to help simplify assessment processes for teachers across the African continent. The product goes live at the 2013 African Education Week. As important as assessment has been in helping educators to better understand how and when to intervene, the process is too often "tedious" and "proves to be a logistical and practical nightmare." According to the startup's research, educators in the Western Cape are spending between 25% and 50% of their time assessing learners in one form or another....

  • USB partners with MEDO for broader education reach

    The University of Stellenbosch Business School's Executive Development (USB-ED) and Micro Enterprise Development Organisation (MEDO) have signed a letter of intent to collaborate. This is a partnership between one of the top executive development programs in the world and a support initiative attempting to bridge the gap between the disadvantaged and quality tertiary education. MEDO wants to change the creation and sustainable development of entrepreneurs dependent on corporate Enterprise Development (ED) funding to enable training, business support and relevant initiatives geared towards the 90% of the population who have previously had no access to these services. On the other...