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  • Could this asset management startup be SA’s next ‘quant’ powerhouse?

    A Financial Times article published on Tuesday (20 March) describes interest in quantitative investing (quant investing) -- the use of powerful computers and artificial intelligence (AI) to search markets and big data sets for patterns that can be used by trading algorithms -- as one of the biggest trends in the money management industry. The article states that last year Larry Fink, the CEO of US asset manager BlackRock fired seven under-performing fund managers and moved the money they were managing to a "computer-powered" investment division called Systematic Active Equities (SAE). This division now reportedly outperforms the other more conventional stock...

  • Company Office

    Wabona Birthday Promotion

    Wabona, Cape Town based video streaming service is celebrating its one year birthday. With that Wabona is free to all until the 12th of December. Anyone can sign up and watch as much content as they want for free. To celebrate this momentous occasion Wabona received a birthday message from acclaimed African-American film and TV star, Malik Yoba. Malik was introduced to Wabona by Africa Angel Network Founder and Chairman, Pule Taukobong. Africa Angels Network (AAN) is an Angel Investment firm that invests in and supports African entrepreneurs and start-ups. AAN pays particular attention to start-ups in the TMT (Technology,...

  • SITA, Wits, Tshimologong Precinct launch $10k travel innovation award

    UK-based SITA Air Transport Community Foundation has partnered with Wits University and the Tshimologong Precinct to launch a $10 000 travel innovation award. The challenge? What information, tools or technology will first-time air travellers in Africa need to make their journeys easy, successful and enjoyable? The team that comes up with the best solution will be awarded with the SITA Air Transport Community Foundation Innovation Award and will receive a $10 000 cash prize. Drop-in session The innovation challenge is open to Wits students and active members of the Tshimologong Precinct. Each team -- comprising of between two and five members -- needs to submit...

  • Yoco had month of capital left in bank before we closed deal – Katlego Maphai

    SA fintech startup Yoco was living on the edge in the two years it took to conclude the company's first funding round, says co-founder and CEO Katlego Maphai. In a tell-all session at FuckUp Nights Cape Town -- held in Cape Town on Tuesday evening (20 March) and hosted by Aspiring Black Leaders and Cape Town Office -- Maphai detailed the struggle he and his three co-founders faced before they were able to clinch the startup's first round of funding. The deal, which involved an undisclosed amount in a round led by US-based Quona Capital and Netherlands-based Velocity Capital, was announced in March last year. Read more: Yoco concludes...

  • Here are the finalists of the Next Einstein Forum’s Ci2i Innovation Competition

    The Next Einstein Forum's (NEF) in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung has announced the top 16 finalists of the Ci2i Innovation Competition. NEF -- an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences -- made the announcement in a statement on Tuesday (20 March) noting that the winners will be announced on 28 March at the closing ceremony of NEF's 2018 Global Gathering in Kigali, Rwanda. The second edition of the competition will see the finalists -- a mixture of scientists and entrepreneurs -- compete across three categories, namely data science and deep tech, personalised health and climate smart innovations. Thierry Zomahoun, president...

  • DataProphet secures ‘multi-million dollar’ funding from Knife Capital

    Cape Town-based machine learning startup DataProphet has secured a "multi-million dollar" funding round from venture capital firm Knife Capital. Speaking with Ventureburn, DataProphet co-founder and MD Frans Cronje (pictured above) said the startup had been in discussion with Knife Capital about the deal since the second half of last year. He would not disclose the exact amount of the deal. DataProphet employs machine learning to aid companies in developing products and solutions, with a particular focus on the manufacturing sector. Prior to this deal, the startup, which was founded in 2014 by Cronje and Daniel Schwartzkopff, had previously raised funding from private investment...

  • Startup scene ‘absolutely exploded’ after Silicon Cape launch – Justin Stanford

    Silicon Cape must continue to help trying to promote and grow Cape Town's tech startup community and to represent the idea of startups in South Africa and the community, and act in its best interests in whatever way it can, says venture capitalist Justin Stanford. Stanford (pictured above) founded Silicon Cape in 2009 together with tech entrepreneur Vinny Lingham to represent the city's growing tech startup scene. He claims after the two launched the organisation the city's tech scene "absolutely exploded" This week the organisation's chairperson Sumarie Roodt told Ventureburn that the organisation will be carrying out a review of its strategy. It follows the...

  • BitPesa launches in Ghana, extending presence in West Africa

    Nairobi-based digital payments startup BitPesa has launched in Ghana, enabling Ghanaians to settle global payments in their local currency, the Cedi. In a press release, the fintech company stated that its services will allow Ghanaians to make Ghanaian cedi payments that will settle in more than 10 currencies including Nigerian nairas, South Africa rands and Ugandan shillings. In the same statement, BitPesa CEO Elizabeth Rossiello (pictured above) said the company is "constantly looking for ways to promote intra-African trade". BitPesa will enable Ghanaians to make global payments using the Ghanaian Cedi "Ghanaians should be allowed to make global payments using their own currency and we are excited to facilitate...

  • Silicon Cape to engage local tech community to help forge new strategy

    What does Silicon Cape really do? What should it be doing and who should it be serving? These are some of the key questions that the tech ecosystem organisation will be asking stakeholders in the community in coming weeks, as it sets out to realign its strategy. The organisation was founded in 2009, by tech entrepreneur Vinny Lingham and Justin Stanford as a platform with which to connect various stakeholders in Cape Town's tech ecosystem -- including entrepreneurs, universities, accelerators and incubators and government. Silicon Cape chairperson Sumarie Roodt told Ventureburn yesterday in a call that between now and the end of next month (April) the...

  • Merck launches Satellite Programme for African startups in pharma, life sciences

    German pharmaceutical, life sciences and performance materials company The Merck Group has kicked of its African Satellite Programme in Nairobi, Kenya. In a statement on the company's accelerator (released via Twitter last week Friday), the company announced that applications for its Nairobi pitch events are now open and will close on 5 May. Applications opened on 15 March. The African Satellite Programme is aimed at early-stage startups in East, West and Southern Africa that develop innovative solutions in healthcare, life sciences, performance materials and agritech. The programme will provide selected African startups with an opportunity to collaborate with the German company and offer prizes of $3000 in...

  • Google is backing it, but how does SA startup swiftVEE’s platform really work?

    Being selected by Google as one of 12 startups for the tech giant's first Launchpad Africa Accelerator has been "mind blowing", says Cape Town’s Russel Luck. Despite this, Luck won't say too much about how his online platform works. Luck is the co-founder of swiftVEE, an online platform that connects livestock agencies to a network of buyers and sellers. A technology lawyer by day, Luck says the idea for the platform came about when farmer and student Andrew Meyer approached him for help with an idea a few years back. Luck believed the idea had merit and in November 2016 together with...

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