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  • HiiL announces winner of SA leg of the Global Legal Hackathon 2019

    Online mediation platform Kagiso has won the SA leg of Global Legal Hackathon 2019 (GLH2019), which was run by the Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) and global law firm Baker McKenzie. In a statement yesterday, HiiL said Kagiso beat eight SA teams at the SA event which took place at Baker McKenzie’s Johannesburg office in Sandhurst. The startup will now move to the second round of the contest, in which a panel of international judges will decide who will get to attend a grand final in New York. Kagiso uses machine learning to match cases with professional mediators who have...

  • Company Office

    Tremendous innovation in sophisticated fintech payments in South Africa

    In 2016 $5.5-billion of venture capital investment went into payments startups. This represented 22% of global fintech investment activity. In South Africa, payments still dominate the fintech landscape. At AlphaCode, a club for fintech entrepreneurs, we are seeing a tremendous amount of innovation in payments as SA consumers seek new ways to transact. Due to SA’s sophisticated banking infrastructure, we possess strong skills in this sector and many AlphaCode entrepreneurs are finding better and more efficient ways to transact. Here below are some of the really innovative startups operating in the payments space that fulfil specific customer needs. Including the informal economy Due to...

  • Nigerian fintech TeamApt raises $5.5m in round led by Quantum Capital Partners

    Nigerian fintech startup TeamApt has raised $5.5-million in investment in a Series-A round led by Nigerian venture capital (VC) company Quantum Capital Partners. This, according to a US tech news site Techcrunch article published earlier today. Techcrunch said the startup -- which is based in Lagos and was founded by Tosin Eniolorunda (pictured above) in 2015 -- will use the funds to expand its white label digital finance products and pivot to consumer finance with the launch of its AptPay banking app. TeamApt supplies financial and payment solutions to Nigeria’s largest commercial banks — including Zenith, UBA, and ALAT. Quoting Eniolorunda, Techcrunch...

  • What Edge Growth looks for when investing in entrepreneurs [Q&A]

    The ability to manage complicated tasks and still stay focused, deep industry experience, a strong work ethic and the ability to take advice from others -- these are some of the key characteristics that funders look for in a tech entrepreneur before investing. So says, Edge Growth's Janice Johnston. Edge Growth invests in high growth small enterprises, and is capitalised using corporate companies' enterprise and supplier development spend under the BEE codes. According to figures provided by Johnston (pictured above), who is Edge Growth's chief executive for the funder's growth equity portfolio, the fund manager currently manages two funds that target...

  • Spartan SME Finance secures R100m from SA SME Fund for R600m fund

    SA small business financier Spartan SME Finance has secured a R100-million investment from The SA SME Fund to anchor its R600-million debt financing fund, with half of the investment or R50-million, to be channelled to black African owned businesses. The funding will be immediately available to Spartan SME Finance to boost its lending to SMEs. The debt fund is expected to finance at least 100 small and medium sized enterprises every year. Earlier this month the SA SME Fund announced that it had committed R110-million to Cape Town based hardware tech incubator Savant, with 50% of this amount earmarked for black...

  • SA startup Aerobotics secures R29m in funding from Paper Plane Ventures

    SA aerial-data analytics startup Aerobotics announced this evening that it has received R29-million ($2-million) from local venture capital (VC) company Paper Plane Ventures in its latest round of funding. Aerobotics' various software products help farmers – by way of a web-based and artificial-intelligence (AI) enabled web platform and app – to scout and find areas of their vineyards of orchards that are underperforming because of pests or other problems. The latest funding follows a $2-million round led by Nedbank in May last year (the deal was announced in July 2018 -- see here) and an R8-million round in 2017 from SA VC 4Di...

  • JustLaundry to use novel way to raise R7.2m on local crowdfunding site

    Johannesburg based crowdfunding platform The People’s Fund today announced that it offering customers the opportunity to own up to 40% of a laundromat company by simply buying credit to use their service. The laundromat JustLaundry currently operates in Gauteng and is looking to expand to the entire country by setting up a franchise in each province. The business is looking for R7.2-million to finance this expansion. It's raising the funding in an innovative way -- by getting customers to purchase credits that they can then use to pay to access the laundromat's laundry delivery services. The platform’s co-founder Luyanda Jafta calls it...

  • Sasfin aquires strategic stake in factoring finance fintech Payabill

    SA bank Sasfin has acquired what it calls a "strategic" stake in Johannesburg based fintech startup Payabill. The announcement was made by Sasfin last Thursday (21 February). The bank did not reveal how much it had invested in the startup -- which was launched by CEO Eli Michal in 2017 -- or what stake it had taken in the company. Payabill is a digital lending business that provides finance to small businesses. It does this by way of offering factoring finance -- by settling with suppliers directly on behalf of its clients and allows clients to select their own extended payment...

  • SA crypto platform Revix to launch with JSE-listed firm R11m

    SA startup Revix has secured R11-million from a Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed firm and is set to go live with its crypto-trading platform next month, Ventureburn can reveal today. Revix was founded last year by Louis Buys and Sean Sanders (pictured above), who previously worked at investment firm Sabvest for three years and had a brief stint with local venture capital fund Knife Capital in 2016. Speaking to Ventureburn, Sanders said the platform -- which is set to launch on March 15 -- will make it easier for the common investor to invest in cryptocurrency funds. "A lot of people want...

  • SA startup Lula launches R2.5m Uprise.Africa crowdfunding campaign

    SA mobility startup Lüla announced today that it will seek to raise R2.5-million in return for giving up an 8.5% equity stake, through local equity crowdfunding platform Uprise.Africa. The campaign will run for 90 days and already 10 investors -- who were alerted ahead of time of the campaign of the equity crowdfunding's database of interested investors -- have contributed R81 000. This is Uprise.Africa's third campaign. While a campaign run last year to raise R3-million to fund the publication of more African literature flopped after the campaign failed to meet its fund-raising target (see this story) -- another to fund Drifter Brewery,...

  • I’M IN Accelerator to commence with all-women cohort in May

    An all women cohort is in the pipeline at Johannesburg-based I'M IN Accelerator, and is set to start in May with the aim of accelerating at least five startups, says I'M IN Accelerator executive director and founder Polo Leteka. Commenting in an email last Thursday (21 February), Leteka (pictured above) -- who is also the executive director and founder of IDF Capital -- said the intention with the all women cohort is aimed at broadening women participation in the tech sector. "We are quite positive that the all-female cohort planned for May 2019, will provide invaluable lessons on sourcing, supporting and...

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