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  • Startups hold unrealistic view on securing VC, angel funding suggests new survey

    Over a quarter of South African tech startup founders believe that they will grow their business by securing venture capital (VC) or funding from angel investors. Yet the reality is that only about eight percent report ever having been able to secure such funding, a new survey reveals. In the Ventureburn Tech Startup Survey powered by Telkom Futuremakers -- which was released today -- 27% of the 260 startup founders that were canvassed via an online questionnaire said they hoped to secure angel or VC investment (see the below graphs). The majority of SA tech startups use their own cash to...

  • Company Office

    Sureswipe's Move allows business owners to accept payments on the go

    Business owners that often move around to sell their goods and services have been able to increase revenue thanks to Sureswipe's Move payment solution. The solution allows one to easily receive card payments from customers regardless of where one is. Sureswipe MD Paul Kent says Move has boosted the revenue of a number of its small business clients because it allows business owners and their staff to remain mobile, agile and offer their customers personalised, face-to-face service. Move is also a great option for pop-up shops, those operating from markets and who run promotions. “We know the challenges that merchants, independent retailers and SMEs face. This is why we...

  • White males in Western Cape the most successful startup founders – survey

    It’s no surprise that the majority of those South African tech founders who report running a profitable or growing startup are white and male. A new survey, the Ventureburn Tech Startup Survey powered by Telkom Futuremakers, reveals that while just 10% of 260 startups surveyed report making a profit, just over a quarter (27%) can be termed "successful", in that they are generating a profit or growing. While 27% of startups solely run by men say they are successful, just 18% of startups that include women among their founders can say the same. More white founders report being successful -- about two thirds of...

  • New survey suggests SA startups could be out of touch in paying employees

    Do South African tech startup founders really pay employees as well as they claim to? A new survey released by Ventureburn today suggests that perhaps they don't. The Ventureburn Tech Startup Survey powered by Telkom Futuremakers sampled 260 SA tech startup founders in an online questionnaire. Close to one third (31%) of respondents claim they pay their employees market-related salaries. Yet the same founders list remuneration as the top reason for employees leaving -- 21% of founders list remuneration as the top reason why employees depart the company (see the below graphs). This throws into question the knowledge that startups possess regarding market-related salaries....

  • SA Home Loans acquires 49% stake in PropertyFox

    Mortgage finance provider SA Home Loans today announced that it has acquired a 49% stake in online real estate agency PropertyFox. PropertyFox co-founder Crispin Inglis (pictured, right) would not disclose financial figures behind the deal but did reveal to Ventureburn in a phone call that the money will drive expansion and strengthen its presence in South Africa through further tech development and marketing. Inglis said the deal has been in the making for a year after the startup approached SA Home Loans. The deal will see two members from SA Home Loans sit on PropertyFox's board. The founders will still retain a controlling stake in...

  • Applications now open for 2018 Westerwelle Young Founders Programme

    The Westerwelle Foundation, a German non-profit which aims to promote entrepreneurship and collaboration among innovators in emerging markets, has opened applications for the 2018 Westerwelle Young Founders Programme. The Westerwelle Young Founders Programme is a year-long fully funded initiative aimed at developing young entrepreneurs from emerging economies. Only 25 entrepreneurs are selected into each cohort every year. Applications for next year's programme close on 18 December. Westerwelle Foundation programme manager Christoph Rohde told Ventureburn in a phone call that the foundation had received roughly 2 279 applications for last year's programme. He said participants are selected based on how much of an impact their startups are...

  • MEST launches incubator spaces in Lagos, Cape Town

    Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), a Pan-African entrepreneurial training programme, seed fund and incubator, has today announced it will launch an incubator space in Lagos and Cape Town. In a press release, MEST said it will officially open the MEST Incubator Lagos today (21 November) led by general manager Atawodi-Edun in Ikoyi. MEST Incubator Cape Town, is set to officially launch on Thursday (23 November) at the Woodstock Exchange. Both incubators will serve as an extension of the MEST Accra headquarters. These facilities will offer entrepreneurs support, mentorship and resources as well as co-working facilities. MEST has a presence across Ivory Coast, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and...

  • Makro acquisition of SA startup WumDrop will shrink delivery time to three hours

    Leading wholesaler Makro, part of JSE-listed company Massmart, today announced that it has acquired a majority stake in startup courier and delivery service WumDrop. WumDrop co-founder Simon Hartley (pictured above) told Ventureburn in a phone call today that he could not discuss the details of the deal (including the date the deal was signed) -- as doing so might affect the share trading price of Massmart. "It was more money than I thought we could get. It was an indication of how serious Makro is," said Hartley. In an earlier press release, WumDrop claims the acquisition will improve the online shopping experience of Makro...

  • RiseUp Summit 2017 to focus on how innovation can improve human experience

    RiseUp, a movement that supports startups across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by connecting them to resources, is set to hold its third annual RiseUp Summit in Cairo, Egypt between 1 and 3 December. This year's edition of the RiseUp Summit is themed "Innovation to Improve Human Experience". In a press release to Ventureburn, organisers of the summit said the three-day summit will feature over 150 speakers, 150 exhibiting startups, 200 investors, up to 50 pitches and 20 workshops. The summit is set to bring together key players in the MENA ecosytem and give them an opportunity to meet and pitch...

  • Everything you need to know about SA’s tech startup ecosystem [updated 2017]

    Update: Are you a venture capitalist or an angel investor looking to invest in a company? Are you an entrepreneur looking for capital or other opportunities? Are you an aspiring startup owner looking for assistance? Well, you have come to the right place. Ventureburn presents the 2017 updated guide* to South Africa’s startup scene. This article is the most comprehensive guide for anyone who wants to get involved with, or have a better understanding of, the country’s fast-growing startup space. It is a part of a series of articles we will pilot, which will also include the West African and East...

  • Accelerators help fuel over 1200 startups with $17m in 2017, reveals data

    Looking for some big money in exchange for support and recognition? You could try a business accelerator. In all 19 South African and international accelerators tracked by Ventureburn have so far this year given out a total of $17-million in funding to 1 241 startups. At about $37 000 per startup that isn't anything to sniff at. South African startups were eligible to apply to all 19 accelerators (see below table and graph for more details). Of the 19 accelerators, the Techstars Anywhere Accelerator virtual programme gave out the highest amount in funding -- at $120 000 per selected startup ($100 000 of this is in the form of a convertible loans...