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  • Jozi fintech startup Franc Group wins Seedstars Johannesburg 2018

    Jozi-based self-insurance platform Franc Group has been selected as the winner of last Friday's Seedstars Johannesburg pitch event. The fintech startup was founded in May by CEO Thomas Brennan and aims to give people access to low-cost passive investments. Through the Franc app -- available on both the Google Playstore and the Apple App Store -- customers can invest in either the money market and the stock market for only R5 per month with no minimum contribution required Language learning platform Uthini was placed second, while fintech startup Maxicash came third for its financial support ecosystem which is built around remittance and payments. Franc Group, Uthini and Maxicash...

  • 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...

  • AfriLabs partners with Francophone innovation hub network Jokkolabs

    AfriLabs -- a pan-African network of tech innovation hubs -- has announced that it is adding 12 new hubs to its network and extending its reach to nine countries after concluding a partnership with Francophone open innovation organisation Jokkolabs. The nine countries are Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, France, Gambia, Mali, Morocco and Senegal. The development brings the total number of innovation hubs in the AfriLabs network to 135 centres across 36 African countries. In a statement announcing the partnership with Jokkolabs last week Friday (2 November), AfriLabs said the two organisations will work together to design programmes for both networks. As part of the deal,...

  • Startups have until midnight to enter 2018 Ventureburn Survey to win iPhone X

    SA startups have until midnight this Monday (5 November) to enter the 2018 Ventureburn Tech Startup Survey. In addition, Ventureburn has added two new prizes to encourage startups to enter -- a brand new iPhone X valued at over R21 000 and two cases of venture capitalist Michael Jordaan's Montegray wine, a 2015 Syrah worth over R2000. The two new prizes are in addition to a number of other prizes (see below). The survey is run in partnership with Telkom Futuremakers and analytics company Qurio. Following the success of both its 2015 and 2017 tech startup surveys, Ventureburn will again uncover the nuts and bolts of the SA tech startup sector, seeking to...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [5/11/2018] [Updated]

    This week sees the fourth Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) kick off in Cape Town on Thursday (8 November). The theme of this year's event is "Unleashing Ideas: Innovation, sustainability and enterprise growth". On Wednesday (7 November), DEMO Ventures CEO Tania Ngima will moderate a fireside chat with Chandaria Group CEO Darshan Chandaria at Metta Nairobi. The Africa Fintech Summit (AFTS) takes place on 8 and 9 November in Lagos, Nigeria and will bring the issues, entrepreneurs, and opportunities revolutionising finance in Africa to the forefront. Building an aerospace startup? Look out for Africa4Future initiative events being held in Cape Town, Nairobi and Lagos this week...

  • Nine African fintech startups selected for Catapult: Inclusion Africa bootcamp

    The Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT) Foundation has announced the 14 fintech startups -- nine of them from Africa -- that have been selected for next week's Catapult: Inclusion Africa bootcamp in Luxembourg. The announcement was made yesterday (1 November). The week-long bootcamp -- which will take place between 5 and 9 November -- is aimed at fintech companies that that are focused on financial inclusion and keen to establish a link between Africa and Europe. The bootcamp is sponsored by Luxembourg's Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Directorate for Development and Humanitarian Affairs, as well as by PwC Luxembourg. The LHoFT Foundation's strategic partners InFine, University of...

  • AFD seeks startups with solutions that boost women to apply to digital challenge

    French development bank AFD and innovation platform Digital Africa are seeking African tech startups that help boost women -- be it in the economic, social, cultural or political sphere -- to apply to the third edition of the AFD Digital Challenge. Applications close on 12 November. This year's edition has three prizes on offer for five selected startups, namely -- the Digital Challenge Initiative, Digital Challenge Success and Digital Challenge Jury's Award. Entries for the AFD Digital Challenge close on 12 November The Digital Challenge Initiative aims to award €15 000 to two seed-stage startups that demonstrate an "outstanding" ability to innovate. A €50 000 Digital Challenge Success prize will be awarded to...

  • How Naspers could help find SA’s next great tech startups [Opinion]

    Former Naspers CEO Koos Bekker has always been vocal about the lack of good tech entrepreneurs in South Africa. It’s a statement that makes many wince, and many defensively start rattling off a list of successful local tech entrepreneurs. Why, they say, there is Takealot.com, led by former Naspers man Kim Reid, and the edtech business Getsmarter that was recently sold for $100-million. And many more. But people misunderstand Koos. He is not talking about these businesses at the level they think he is. When he says the country has no great tech entrepreneurs, he is thinking on a much bigger scale. This...

  • Kenya’s Novastar Ventures to open Lagos office after raising $75.5m for new fund [Updated]

    Nairobi-based venture fund Novastar Ventures has made the first close of its Novastar II fund with commitments of $72.5-million. The firm now plans to open an office in Lagos, Nigeria as it expands into West Africa. In a statement on Tuesday (30 October), Novastar Ventures said commitments had come from AXA Investment Managers, the CDC Group, the European Investment Bank, Dutch Good Growth Fund and the Dutch Development Bank FMO. The fund aims to reach $120-million. Novastar Ventures invests in early and growth stage enterprises and the Novastar II fund will target East and West African businesses with a positive social impact for low-income households. Novastar Ventures' Novastar II fund has...

  • GTR Ventures announces investment in Africa-focused deals platform Orbitt

    International investment platform GTR Ventures has announced an undisclosed investment in Africa-focused digital deal-sourcing platform Orbitt. In a statement on its website on Tuesday (30 October), GTR Ventures -- which has offices in Singapore, London and Hong Kong -- said the deal with the London-based startup marks its "first Africa-focused investment". As part of the deal, the venture builder said it will work with Orbitt to strengthen the deal-sourcing platform's trade finance capabilities. It will also help Orbitt to grow its relationships with traditional and digital trade finance players. Orbitt claims it has facilitated over $100-million of equity, debt and trade finance transactions to date Commenting in the same...

  • Cisco launches R10m business incubator in Pretoria, plans further centres

    IT multinational Cisco today (1 November) launched a R10-million incubation centre in Pretoria aimed at helping small businesses and startups speed up entry into the market. In a statement, Cisco said its Cisco Edge Incubation Centre -- the first in South Africa -- will provide small businesses and startups with Cisco technology and training. The centre is located at the Gauteng government's Innovation Hub in Pretoria. The Pretoria centre also offers complete business facilities including workspaces with high-speed broadband connectivity, video conferencing and collaboration platforms, as well as boardroom and training facilities. In addition, small businesses will be able to connect with global Cisco experts, who can help...