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The SA government has amended the country’s lockdown regulations to allow more businesses to operate during the lockdown.
With the coronavirus (Covid-19) headlining news all over the world, Ventureburn has launched a regular daily roundup on the virus and how it is affecting Africa’s tech startup sector.
Those with any news releases relating to Covid-19 and Africa’s tech startup sector can send these to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The SA government has amended the country’s lockdown regulations to allow more businesses to operate during the lockdown
Here then is the latest on the coronavirus and African tech startups:
Lockdown rules amended for some businesses: The South African government has amended the country’s lockdown regulations to allow more businesses to operate during the lockdown. Moneyweb reported in an article today that businesses such as DIY stores, locally-based call centres servicing international clients, call centres handling finance and insurance queries for retailers and providers such as electricians, plumbers and mechanics will now be able to operate during the lockdown under certain restrictions.
New essential services licenses: Businesses that previously registered as essential services providers during South Africa’s lockdown will need new certificates from today, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) warned yesterday. Fin24 said in an article yesterday that the CIPC will send new certificates covering the new extended lockdown, which starts today, via email to addresses provided at the time of registration by applicants. New certificates can also be downloaded from the CIPC’s BizPortal.
Small business closures: A new report by Johannesburg business incubator 22 on Sloane estimates that over 55 000 small businesses in South Africa will be forced to close because of Covid-19. However, the study’s authors caution that due to the small sample conducted online mostly by business owners themselves (just 120 were interviewed) the results cannot be generalised. The incubator pointed out in the report that a bigger, more representative study is needed to get the true picture.
UCook launches food fund: SA food delivery startup UCook has launched a fund to feed as many South Africans in need as possible. The fund has been launched in partnership with FoodForward South Africa, the Philippi Economic Development Initiative (PEDI) and Ladles of Love. CEO David Torr (pictured above) said in a statement yesterday that with every meal kit clients purchase from Ucook, the startup will donate a portion of sales to the fund.
Online platform for retailers: Nigerian startup Rensource has launched an online platform to helps small retailers to provide customer orders online during the country’s lockdown, tech publication Disrupt Africa reported in an article yesterday.
$150m in Covid-19 grant funding: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Wednesday (15 April) announced in a statement that it was expanding its funding for the global response to Covid-19. The increase includes an additional $150-million of grant funding plus a commitment to leverage the resources of the foundation’s Strategic Investment Fund, which could be deployed to catalyse the rapid procurement of essential medical supplies and help life sciences companies secure financing to produce Covid-19 products.
Covid-19 seed fund launches: In South Africa, US venture capital (VC) fund Enygma Ventures has launched a R20-million fund to invest in startups with post-pandemic innovative solutions. The fund is open to entrepreneurs and innovators, both men and women, from the African continent and is a partnership between the VC fund and Startup Circles, an online platform that helps entrepreneurs quickly move from ideation, to validation (see this story).
Read more: Covid-19 and African tech startups roundup [16/04/2020]
Read more: Covid-19 and African tech startups roundup [15/04/2020]
Read more: Covid-19 and African tech startups roundup [14/04/2020]
Read more: Covid-19 and African tech startups roundup [13/04/2020]
Featured image: UCook CEO David Torr (Supplied)