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  • We’ve hit burst of NOS from Fast and Furious – i-Pay CEO ahead of $5m raise

    With just over two months left in which to raise $5-million in funding, things at Johannesburg fintech i-Pay are picking up, says co-founder and CEO Thomas Pays. "We haven't (had) a quiet period in the past two months," said Pays (pictured above in conversation with Sarah Strauss) at a French Tech event held yesterday at Workshop 17 in Cape Town. "We can work 18-hours straight, there’s still so many requests and enquiries from clients that it does feel like a good scale-up now," he said. Pays describes the overall change in pace in running the business -- dealing with client enquiries and holding meetings -- akin...

  • Company Office

    The importance of auditors for businesses that are looking to grow

    Arguably, we've never lived in stranger or more conflicted times. On the one hand, it has never been easier to launch a new business venture or bring a product to market. This is reflected by small business statistics in the UK, with the number of active SMEs in the private sector having increased by 197 000 to a record 5.7-million at the beginning of last year. Despite this, an estimated 96% of all businesses still fail during their first 10 years of trading, as firms continue to do battle with a volatile and strained economic climate. Sure, this figure may be slightly...

  • Visa launches Everywhere Initiative in Africa, here’s how you can get involved

    In a bid to foster regional payments innovation and fintech entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa, global payments company Visa today announced the launch of the Everywhere Initiative on the continent at the DHL Ecommerce Money Africa conference in Cape Town. Visa’s Everywhere Initiative is an innovation programme designed to encourage the emergence of “the next big thing” in digital payments globally. The initiative has since its inception in 2015 awarded over $1-million and mentorship to 36 winners selected from over 130 finalists in over 40 countries in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. In all, more than 2100 startups globally have participated in...

  • Savca announces inaugural industry awards in line with 20th anniversary

    The Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Savca) has announced the launch of the inaugural Savca Industry Awards. The annual sector accolades form part of the organisation’s 20th anniversary celebration and will recognise portfolio companies involved the private equity and venture capital sector in the region, Savca said in a press release today. All investee companies that are headquartered in Southern Africa and are currently benefiting from these types of investments, or that have had investors exit within the last 12 months, are eligible for consideration by the judging panel. Judges will comprise business leaders and captains of industry, with the...

  • GSMA opens third round of its Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund

    The GSM Association (GSMA) has opened applications for Round 3 of the Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund. GSMA announced the opening of applications for the sector-agnostic fund yesterday (12 March) in a statement on its website. Interested applicants have until 15 April to submit their pitches. Successful applicants to GSMA's Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund can get up £250 000 in funding GSMA's Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund provides selected startups working with mobile tech in Africa and Asia Pacific with up to £250 000 equity-free funding, technical assistance and the opportunity to partner with mobile operators to scale their products and services into sustainable businesses with socio-economic impact. The fund's startup portfolio...

  • Luno still working with Malaysian bank to get account open again, resume trading

    SA bitcoin exchange Luno is still working with bank authorities in Malaysia to get its bank account there up and running again, after the country's tax authority last month took the decision to unfreeze its account the company's bank account. The tax authority in January froze the startup's Malaysia bank account with Maybank, after it launched a probe into the cryptocurrency company's activities in Malaysia. The account has since been unfrozen, but Maybank has yet to reopen it, so that Luno can begin trading bitcoin again in Malaysia. Read more: SA startup Luno’s Malaysian bank account still frozen as tax probe continues Responding to Ventureburn...

  • Water crisis delays launch of GoMetro flx trial says startup founder

    Cape Town smart mobility startup GoMetro has delayed the planned launch this month of the trial of its new ride-sharing service flx. The startup's CEO Justin Coetzee says the startup will instead launch the service next month. "Basically, the water crisis meant that corporates spent two or three months worrying about their water supply and their staff's welfare - so we hit a delay on the flx pilot," Coetzee told Ventureburn in response to an email yesterday. GoMetro's flx service aims to to offer employers a chance to get staff to work on time more affordably, by providing them with various shared transport options and by grouping staff members who stay near...

  • MIT, Mastercard Foundation in $200 000 financial inclusion competition launch

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) -- through the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship -- has partnered with the Mastercard Foundation to launch the 2018 edition of the Zambezi Prize for Innovation In Financial Inclusion. Through the prize MIT and the Mastercard Foundation aim to uncover early-stage African startups that are involved in promoting and championing innovation in financial inclusion on the continent. Applications for the competition, which opened yesterday, are set to close on 1 June, with finalists to be announced on 18 August. This year's competition is organised around nine challenges. These are: low financial literacy, limited access to financial institutions, low...

  • Q&A: Zuma relative, business consultant now heads Startup Grind Pretoria

    A 34-year-old businessman and business consultant who counts former president Jacob Zuma as his great uncle, now runs Startup Grind Pretoria. Startup Grind is a global movement which hosts regular talks with entrepreneurs. Pretoria is one of 13 cities in South Africa that have chapters. "The question about JZ is one I get just about daily," says Monde Zuma (pictured above with mLab Southern Africa CEO Derrick Kotze), who adds that he is accustomed to call the former president "grandfather". He took over from Guillaume De Smedt in November, when De Smidt (who also ran the Cape Town chapters for some years) moved...

  • Here are the winners of the 2017 Ventureburn Tech Startup Survey

    Ventureburn is proud to announce the seven startup founders and startup employees who have been randomly selected as prize winners after completing the 2017 Ventureburn Tech Startup Survey powered by Telkom Futuremakers. The results of the survey were publicised in November. Those who completed the survey, stood the chance to win five free advertising packages on Trudon and a Telkom business in a box prizes, as well as an iPhone 8. There were 298 participants in the survey, of which 260 were startup founders. Six winners were in December randomly selected by the survey's data analytics partner Qurio. In all 289 participants took part in the Ventureburn Tech Startup Survey powered...

  • 10 South African startups leading innovation in IoT [Digital All Stars]

    Digital All Stars is a series of articles which aims to celebrate the best of South African digital. The articles, which will appear on Memeburn and Ventureburn, recognise and celebrate South Africa’s best digital entrepreneurs, business people, advertisers, and media professionals among others. In two years time, experts predict that 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet. This convergence of devices physical objects -- with sensors and software -- and the internet, enabling them to transmit and receive data is known as the internet of things (IoT). With IoT Forum Africa 2018 kicking off this week at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg,...

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