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  • 2015 was a record year for private equity investments in South Africa

    If you ask South African startup founders what their biggest bug-bear is, the majority will tell you it's attracting funding. But if this was ever really a problem, it's becoming obvious that it's increasingly less so. Case in point: local private equity funds reached R29.0 billion in 2015, the highest on record for the industry and up a significant 145% from R11.8 billion in 2014. That's according to the SAVCA 2016 Private Equity Industry Survey, the annual survey of private equity and venture capital activity in Southern Africa. The survey suggests that a substantial majority of the funds...

  • Company Office

    Peach Payments and Callpay announce EFT system partnership

    Peach Payments, a leading and one of Africa's fastest growing payment service providers and Callpay, an innovative provider of secure payment solutions announce collaboration to provide automated Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT) as well as secure telephonic payment acceptance solutions. The innovative products will enable millions of South Africans to make instant and secure payments when shopping online or during payment processes over the phone and via call centres. Through this exciting collaboration announced at the 3rd eCommerce Africa Conference, customers will now be able to pay online using their cheque, savings or credit card accounts. Merchants that sign up through...

  • 1Fetch is Sandton’s newest on-demand delivery startup

    Taking a cue from Uber, on-demand couriers are a popular business in SA. The latest entry, 1Fetch, looks to pit its bike-only delivery service against the rest. "We guarantee collection within 90 minutes of the order being placed. Once collected, the package is delivered directly to your destination, with no stops along the way." writes director of 1Fetch, Panico Theocharides, in a press release to Ventureburn. He goes on to say: "If you get the basics right, and build around your customer needs, the growth should follow." According to Theocharides, all of their drivers are employed by the company, and the directors meet each...

  • Webfluential bags Startup-Up Tel Aviv South Africa crown

    South African influencer and brand matching platform Webfluential has been crowned winner of the 2016 Start-Up Tel Aviv South Africa competition. As part of the prize, Webfluential's Global Head of Operations Kirsty Sharman will be heading to Tel Aviv in September to take part in the DLD Festival Week. The DLD Festival week is Israel's largest international hi-tech gathering, featuring hundreds of start-ups, VCs, angel investors and leading multinationals including top technological talent and leading companies such as Intel, Google, and Microsoft, Kimberly Clark, Amazon, GM, Amdocs, Facebook and more. "The Webfluential team is incredibly excited about this opportunity, not...

  • Expensive, legal software a conundrum for Nigerian startups

    Last Thursday, I chaired a panel at the Nigeria International Technology Exhibition and Conference (NITEC 2016) that focused on how Nigeria can harness cloud solutions. I had my talking points ready and introduced the panel by speaking on how cloud computing remains both a research question and a market product -- but I couldn't have predicted how the session ended with the panelists. We argued back and forth on Nigeria's preparedness for cloud services beyond just using social media, YouTube, email services and the like. There was a consensus among panelists that infrastructure-wise, Nigeria isn't ready yet for cloud computing as several of these services require...

  • Seedstars, Angolan VC on the hunt for top startups

    With its South African leg wrapping up on Thursday, Seedstars World -- the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes -- is set to return to Angola on 27 July. As is the case with all its regional competitions, the startups at the Luanda event will be competing for a place at the Seedstars World Summit, which takes place in Geneva, Switzerland. There, they will have the chance to pitch for a US$500 000 grand prize. Angola was previously represented by Jobartis, a jobs and learning platform. "Experiences such as participating at the Seedstars World event...

  • Survey: startups not creating jobs at scale SA needs

    South Africa is putting a lot of time and resources into entrepreneurship (as recently as May, government and big business announced a R1.5-billion entrepreneurial fund), but the country's startup aren't producing anywhere near the number of jobs they should be. That's one of the more worrying finds from a new survey conducted Seed Academy, which also shows that while South African entrepreneurs are generally optimistic, they have a long way to go when it comes to showing real growth and reflecting the demographics of the country as a whole. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the 2016...

  • Pimping the wheel: an anthropologist’s view of entrepreneurship in SA

    South Africa is as wrapped up in the myth of the rock star entrepreneur as the rest of the world. But what kind of entrepreneurs are we developing, and why? This is the question that Melissa Beresford, an anthropologist PhD student from Arizona State University, has set out to answer. She has spent the last 11 months in SA doing research for her thesis, focusing on the cultural models of entrepreneurship across low-resource and high-resource environments in the country. This topic wasn't her original plan. Beresford had spent the last two years working on doing her PhD on the model of collective action in the...

  • Here are the 9 startups that’ll compete for Seedstars World’s SA crown

    With its three pre-selection events in Cape Town, Durban, and Soweto done and dusted Seedstars World has confirmed the nine startups that will be competing at its final event in Johannesburg. The nine startups, together with an as yet unnamed wildcard, are competing for a variety of prizes. The biggest of those will see the ultimate winner flown to Switzerland to compete at the Seedstars World Global Summit. Whoever claims South Africa's top spot this year will have some seriously weighty expectations on their shoulders. The 2015 winner, recruitment app Giraffe, went on to claim the global title and...

  • SA Innovation Summit announces competitions for entrepreneurs, investors

    The SA Innovation Summit, set to take place in Johannesburg in September, has opened up entries to two competitions: the Inventors Garage and the SA Innovation Legends Pitching Den competitions. The pitching den is open to high-growth start-ups, established companies and large corporates who are driving innovation on the African continent. “The Pitching Den was designed to recognise companies whose innovative tech-enabled solutions have the potential to make a significant positive impact on the growth of the continent,” says Dr Verhaeghe. The overall winners will be announced at an Award Ceremony and stand a chance to win...

  • The world of venture capital and a peep into the basics

    Every thriving company has a founding story behind them. Usually it involves college dropouts, friends experimenting in a garage or products sold individually. It makes us wonder how they achieve it. Their success is connected to their passion, perseverance, innovation and usually just being lucky. But the important role venture capital plays in the founding of a company doesn’t usually get told. The money provided to startups in exchange for partial ownership in a business is called venture capital. It helps in changing the direction and potential of the company. Nowadays, it is a necessary in part in industries for...