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  • Here are the 10 easiest places in Africa to run a business reveals World Bank

    South Africa is now only the sixth easiest country in Africa to run a business -- behind star performer Mauritius -- and has slid eight places to 82 out of 190 countries, reveals the World Bank's latest Doing Business report. The report, released yesterday, puts South Africa now behind the island country, Rwanda, Morocco, Kenya (up from 92 last year, to 80th spot) and Botswana. Among fellow emerging economies India shot up 30 places, to 100th spot, Russia gained five places to 35 -- while Brazil slid two places to 125 and China remained at 78. In addition South Africa has slid in the...

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    FinChatBot to improve customer service, reduce costs for financial services

    If you’ve had enough of being put on hold, speaking to call centres in India or waiting for that promised call back on your query from people who never call back, you are probably ready for a chatbot. Chatbots have arrived in South Africa and are kicking off in financial services. Chatbots are life like text based online conversations to connect businesses with their customers. These conversations are possible on websites, Facebook messenger or on apps. They are intelligent conversations made possible through artificial intelligence and machine learning. If you think spending 45 minutes on the phone is absurd to take...

  • Merrill Lynch, Royal Bafokeng awards R4m to four black fintech startups

    Four black-owned SA fintech startups have each won R1-million at a pitching event held earlier this week by AlphaCode, a Rand Merchant Investments (RMI) Holdings fintech initiative. The pitching event, held in Monday evening, was run by Merrill Lynch South Africa and Royal Bafokeng Holdings and sought to identify and reward high potential black-owned SA fintech entrepreneurs. The winning startups are: Commuscore -- an alternate credit-scoring provider founded by Philile Mkhize and Priya Mistry. The startup captures payment and lending behaviour of consumers and micro-lenders in the informal sector. It also provides an informal saving scheme administration and management tool that is able to build a credit profile...

  • Despite 134% growth in VC investments, sector still lacks liquidity says investor

    The number of South African venture capital (VC) investments grew by 134% to R872-million in deals in 2016 over the previous year, shows Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Savca) data. But a leading venture capitalist, Angel Hub Ventures lead investor Brett Commaille, says a lack of liquidity and follow-on funding is holding back the sector. Speaking at a Savca event held at the PwC offices in Cape Town last week to launch a VC success stories booklet (opens as a PDF), Commaille said while in the early days SA internet billionaire Mark Shuttleworth's HBD ventures was investing over R20-million in VC deals, these days...

  • Last few hours to complete Ventureburn’s Tech Startup Survey backed by Telkom

    Startups have just hours left to complete the second annual Startup Survey — the Ventureburn Tech Startup Survey powered by Telkom Futuremakers — and stand a chance to win a business startup hamper powered by Telkom, BCX and Trudon or an iPhone 8, as well as and other great prizes. Ventureburn, in partnership with Telkom Futuremakers and analytics company Qurio launched the survey on 2 October. The survey closes at midnight (12am, 1 November). As of today 12pm 275 questionnaires have been completed in full, shows data from Qurio. A further 136 surveys were incomplete. ‘The Ventureburn Startup Survey will prove crucial in providing data on the challenges faced by South Africa’s tech...

  • Telkom assists 40 black technician firms, helps set up 11 black Express dealers

    South African telecoms giant Telkom had in the year to end of March this year, procured R130-million in services from 40 black-owned technician businesses employing 364 people last year, said Telkom Futuremakers head Litha Kutta. In an email last week to Ventureburn, Kutta (pictured above) added that the telecoms company also helped build four black-owned Telkom Express stores, set up 11 black-owned dealers and supported 24 internet cafes, He said the aim is to set up black-owned sales and distribution partners to enable the telecoms company to diversify its revenue channels, penetrate the informal market, and enhance product access and brand visibility in...

  • Zim startup myRunner wins ticket to pitch for up to $1m at Seedstars Summit

    The team of Zimbawean startup myRunner has won themselves a ticket to represent their country at next year's Seedstars Summit in Switzerland and compete for up to $1-million in equity investment and other prizes. The announcement was made today in a press release by Seedstars World, following a pitching event held last Friday (27 October) at Impact Hub Harare, where 10 selected startups were invited to present their ideas in front of the local jury panel. Read more: Students app, wedding platform among 10 startups selected for Harare Seedstars MyRunner's platform allows users to book their bus tickets and track their location. The Seedstars Summit, which is set to take place...

  • Two days left to apply to join Liquid Telecom’s entertainment Launchpad

    Internet service provider Liquid Telecom is on the hunt for the best African entertainment startup to join its Cape Town-based Liquid Launchpad -- and startups have until Wednesday (11.59pm on 1 November) to apply. The winning startup will get a six-month membership at the MEST Incubator in Cape Town where they will learn how to scale-up across Africa. Five selected startups will get a chance to pitch at AfricaCom, with the winning startup entering the Liquid Launchpad The call is open to startups that are developing innovations in entertainment technology, including: augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), gaming, and music technology. Five shortlisted startups will be announced...

  • Cape Town company Digital Cabinet lands R5m funding from HAVAÍC, Growth Grid

    Cape Town tech company Digital Cabinet has landed R5-million in equity funding, local venture capital (VC) company HAVAÍC announced today. The investment was secured from a consortium of individuals led by HAVAÍC, with a smaller stake from Growth Grid Venture Capital Partners, a registered section 12J VC fund founded by Roy Fine and Rob Ferguson. The company, which was founded in 2011, offers companies cloud-based paperless document and workflow management solutions. The deal was revealed in a press release today from HAVAÍC. When contacted by Ventureburn, HAVAÍC executive director Grant Rock said he did not want to disclose the equity stake each partner has taken in Digital Cabinet. 'The proceeds of the capital raise will be...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [30/10/2017]

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

  • Enter the 2017 Ventureburn Tech Startup Survey and win an iPhone 8, more!

    Ventureburn, in partnership with Telkom Futuremakers and analytics company Qurio, is proud to announce the launch of the second annual Startup Survey -- the Ventureburn Tech Startup Survey powered by Telkom Futuremakers. We are looking again to uncover the nuts and bolts of the startup sector and answer questions like: What are the major challenges facing the country’s entrepreneurs? What do South Africa’s startup founders look like? What sectors are startups more prevalent in? What types of funding are startups securing, and where are they getting their money from? Why are people flocking to startups to work there? Where is the most startup activity happening...