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  • Mobile Challenge Africa crowns three winners from Sub-Saharan Africa

    Last week saw the final round of the Mobile Challenge Africa (MCA) startup competition, where three exciting mobile-focused entrepreneurs were recognised for their innovations. The event is co-founded by European business school IE Business School and IMTIAZ Middle East. "It was a fantastic event where we could see the enormous talent and potential that there is in the region," says Catalina Tejero, Associate Director for the Middle East & Africa, IE Business School & IE University. Out of the eight contestants on the day -- several of which were unavailable -- three winners were chosen. The winners were Kenyan credit card processing and paying system, LipaPlus; Gifted Mom from...

  • Company Office

    Welcome to the Matrix: Mastering the art of Scenario Planning

    For entrepreneurs, one of the most frequently cited challenges is the task of having to juggle multiple demands on your time at any given moment. In my view, however, there is a task that is perhaps more taxing – and yet absolutely critical – that entrepreneurs have to tackle every day. It is the task of identifying and planning for multiple possible business scenarios in the midst of an ever-changing market environment. Smart scenario planning, in effect, is something that undoubtedly needs to be built into the fabric of your daily communications with the board, management and your team...

  • Online entertainment startup iROKO closes $19m in deals

    Online entertainment startup iROKO has revealed that it's closed multiple deals totaling US$19-million to beef up the Nigerian company's operations and expand across the continent. The figure is made up of content development and capital funding deals from French media giant CANAL+ and existing investor Kinnevik AB. Launched in 2010 and headed by renowned entrepreneur Jason Njoku (pictured above), iROKO claims to be the largest online distributor of African content in the world. IROKOtv, for instance, claims to be the world’s largest online catalogue of Nollywood movies, with over 10 000 hours of movie and TV content streamed on-demand. “With millions more...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [25/01/2016]

    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...

  • Publicis celebrates 90th birthday with support for 90 startups

    Publicis, one of the biggest agency networks on the planet, has announced plans to provide mentoring, support, and funding to 90 entrepreneurial projects around the world. The initiative, called Publicis90, is part of the company's 90th birthday celebrations and is open to startups doing innovative things in the digital field. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, Publicis90 is not limited to established startups and is also open to students and employees within the Publicis network of agencies. The Publicis90 platform will be open for submissions until 28 February 2016. Projects will be pre-selected by region (Africa, Asia-Pacific,...

  • 3 ways China’s slowdown yields opportunities for Africa

    Any economic news out of China makes waves in markets around the world, particularly when it’s bad. Last year’s slowdown prompted furrowed brows across the globe. Reports in December 2015 that the People’s Bank of China was using an aggressive expansionary policy to buffer lethargic growth indicated that China’s problems would persist well into the new year. Because China is a leading investor in African markets, many analysts speculated that the shift would negatively impact the continent. The International Monetary Fund even downgraded sub-Saharan Africa’s growth forecast on the basis of China’s circumstances. But Africa won’t suffer over China’s economic situation....

  • Seedstars Africa entrepreneurship summit to kick off in Morocco

    Startup initiative for emerging markets Seedstars World will host its first ever Africa summit in Casablanca, Morocco late this January. Seedstars Africa seeks to connect entrepreneurs, investors and entrepreneurship ecosystems from around the continent with the world. The initiative has partnered with Moroccan startup organisation StartupYourLife to bring together 300 startup talents, investors, speakers and mentors from over 20 different countries across Africa and Europe. “We have gathered some of the most experienced, influential and active ecosystem leaders, investors and entrepreneurs from Africa, the Middle East and Europe for a promising three-day event full of learning, inspirational speeches, and key insights...

  • SA decentralised communication startup joins Silicon Valley accelerator

    Port Elizabeth, South African-based startup Tuse by Millbug is joining Silicon Valley's Founders Space accelerator programme. Thulisile Volwana, Sabelo Sibanda and Michael Kyazze are behind Tuse, which is described as an Android app that allows people to "create wireless mesh networks using their WiFi-enabled mobile devices". Users are then able to send texts, transfer data and make phone called to other people in their network, without the need of traditional wireless infrastructure or network coverage. Read more: SA tech company launches Vuya solar powered tablet After traveling to Germany, Israel, Palestine, Turkey, Ghana and Nigeria since last year, Sibanda tells Ventureburn that...

  • Kenyan Hellofood users can now order KFC, Ocean Basket online

    Hellofood, the online food ordering and delivery service operated by Foodpanda, has announced that its Kenyan users can now order KFC and Ocean Basket from the service. In a press release, the company says the chains add to over 270 restaurants from which customers can order food across Nairobi and Mombasa on its online marketplace. "With full automation, the restaurant owners are able to monitor orders made, pending, shipped and cancelled through a seller centre portal," the company says, adding that all deliveries are made within an hour. Read more: Hellofood is now Rocket Internet’s fastest expanding venture Duncan Muchangi...

  • UAE property startup pulls in $20m investment round

    UAE-based property portal Bayut has announced the completion of a US$20-million Series C funding round, building on the US$9-million Series B round it secured towards the end of 2015. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the funding comes from the company's existing investors, a fund which focuses on frontier and emerging markets with over US$ 1 billion in assets under management. The investment has gone into Bayut’s parent company Emerging Markets Property Group (EMPG), formerly Zamzama Property Group, which also controls Pakistani property play Zameen.com. According to Bayut CEO Haider Ali Khan, the funding round will be used...

  • 6 more lessons I have learnt about raising capital from VCs [Part 2]

    The following is an adapted version of a talk done by Clive Butkow from Grovest at the Gordon Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Butkow boasts 28 years of management consulting experience at Accenture. Currently non-executive director of Grovest, he is also supporting and mentoring technology businesses, assisting them in driving growth. I want to share with you what I have experienced from sitting on both sides of the table on how you can increase your chances of raising capital for your business. In part one, I discussed the myth of insufficient capital in South...