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  • Here’s all you need to know about the ABInBev Sustainability Challenge

    As part of its 2025 sustainability goals, global brewer Ab InBev has launched the AbInBev Sustainability Challenge, with entries closing on 31 May. The AbInBev Sustainability Challenge will see 25 innovators behind the best submissions travel to South Africa for an acceleration bootcamp. Thereafter, the top 15 winners from the acceleration bootcamp in South Africa will each win a trip to Silicon Savannah in Kenya. In addition, the finalists will stand a chance to visit and compete at ABInBev's global accelerator in New York. The AbInBev Sustainability Challenge will see 25 innovators participate in an acceleration bootcamp in South Africa The challenge is split...

  • Company Office

    Be good at being wrong… and getting it right quickly

    Even the best entrepreneurs get things wrong from time to time. Launching a business is a learning process, and you are bound to go down dead ends and change direction here and there, says CEO of Nomanini, Vahid Monadjem.  One of our investors, Esther Dyson, has the words “Always make new mistakes!” in her email footer. Being wrong is pretty much unavoidable when you’re doing something new. You have to work with a mixture of facts and assumptions. You don’t have a crystal ball, but you have to take a view. And even if a solution or a strategy is...

  • PIC behind new black-owned insurtech Yalu, set to launch first product in June

    The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) -- which oversees government employees' pensions -- is behind Yalu a new black-owned insurtech founded by two former Old Mutual managers. The Johannesburg-based startup claims it will offer South Africans "more affordable and transparent" credit life insurance when it launches its first product on 1 June. However when contacted by Ventureburn today Yalu CEO Nkazi Sokhulu, who founded the startup last year with Tlalane Ntuli, did not want to disclose the amount that the PIC has invested in the startup. He did however confirm that the PIC have invested in the startup. While both he and Ntuli have worked for Old Mutual in the past and...

  • Five years on SA man behind ‘$20bn Namibia gas field’ yet to sink test wells

    Over five years since founding his energy company, a SA-born entrepreneur who claims that he can make millions of rands off using drones and special algorithms to find gas in the Namibian desert, has yet to start sinking test wells. This, while he says he has turned down a $500-million Chinese investment, decided against listing and insists he never said he would frack. In April last year London-based Stephen Larkin claimed that investors could be in for “free cash” of $20-billion if Africa New Energy, which uses a unique algorithm to pinpoint possible gas deposits, makes a find in Namibia’s Kalahari Desert. The Namibian government has awarded...

  • SA entrepreneur ‘thrilled’ to be selected for Collective Global Accelerator

    After successfully completing two rounds of pitching, SA entrepreneur Shaney Vijendranath, co-founder of analytics startup Momsays and parenting blog You, Baby and I says she is "thrilled" to have been selected to join the 2018 cohort of the Collective Global Accelerator (CGA). “We had to go through two rounds of pitching before we were accepted. I am extremely thrilled to be chosen to represent South Africa globally, most importantly I think represent women in tech from Africa,” said Vijendranath (pictured above) in an email to Ventureburn yesterday (7 May). Vijendranath is one two African entrepreneurs selected for the London-based accelerator which aims to assist social entrepreneurs...

  • Yes, we’ve closed $200 000 EchoVC-led round confirms Nigerian startup LifeBank

    Lagos-based startup LifeBank confirmed today that it closed a $200 000 seed round. The round was led by EchoVC Pan-Africa fund. Angel investor Fola Laoye and CcHub Growth Capital also participated in the round. It follows a report by Quartz Africa in January that the Nigerian startup, which delivers blood supplies and essential medical supplies to hospitals, had closed a $200 000 seed round. LifeBank's Ifeoluwa Olokode, who oversees "partnerships and growth" at the startup, confirmed the seed round in an email. "Yes, this round announced by EchoVC is the same round of funding covered in the Quartz article. In a press release to Ventureburn today...

  • 3 of 6 startups former Dimension Data head has invested in headed by Saffers [Updated]

    Former Dimension Data head Brett Dawson revealed today that he has invested in six startups, and has formed Campan, an investment company. Three of the startups have been founded by Saffers, or South Africans living overseas. The three startups are Australian based social networking site Gather Online in which Dawson has invested R10-million and UK-based startups Fourex -- which makes fast, easy and efficient forex its primary objective — and Free2cycle which aims to transform wellbeing by reimagining the cycling commuter business model. Dawson said there was no "strategic reason" why three of the six investments are in startups founded by South Africans living overseas, rather these were just from those he...

  • Private equity fund Africinvest to launch VC fund targeting startups on continent

    Tunisia-based private equity fund AfricInvest is busy raising funds to launch a €120-million fund to invest in innovative new ventures across the continent, a top official at the company has revealed. Speaking to Ventureburn last week, AfricInvest VC director Selma Ribica said the fund would target "successful startups" from any sector, from across the continent, using AfricInvest's various other offices across the continent, namely: Tunis, Lagos, Abidjan, Nairobi, Cairo, Algiers and Casablanca. "It is aimed to be first truly African fund with offices in North, East, and West Africa and we aim to raise €120-million," said Ribica. The idea, she said is to help startup...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [07/05/2018]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or brush up on some of your skills? Well, you’ve come to the right place. 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 next week’s, please let us know in the comments below or send us an email. Not all of the events are free and some will require booking in advance. Please click on the event names to find out...

  • Google to invest in startups working in the digital assistant ecosystem

    Google has announced that it is opening a new investment initiative for startups developing solutions in the digital assistant ecosystem, namely the Google Assistant Investments programme. The announcement was made on Wednesday (2 May) in a blog post by Google vice president for corporate development Sanjay Kapoor, and Nick Fox, Google's vice president of product. "We’re welcoming companies across a diverse range of fields, including startups that are developing technologies that broaden the Assistant’s set of features, or are building new hardware devices for digital assistants, or that focus on a particular industry such as travel, games, or hospitality," Kapoor and Fox stated. The...

  • Just under two days left to apply for Startupbootcamp Johannesburg FastTrack

    Startups looking to participate at the Startupbootcamp Africa Johannesburg FastTrack event have just under two days to apply for one of 10 spots with the application deadline set for Sunday (6 May). The Johannesburg FastTrack, which is sponsored by Old Mutual, is part of a tour to source, grow and scale the next generation of Africa-focused innovators. The event will be held next Wednesday (9 May) at Old Mutual's head office in Sandton. Only 10 startups will be selected to attend the Startupbootcamp Johannesburg FastTrack event Applications are open to tech startups from the Gauteng region with solutions in; blockchain, connected devices, payment solutions, capital...

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