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  • Swarm Fund aims to raise raise $35m in loans for African farmers with FarmCoin

    Blockchain for private equity the Swarm Fund is likely to raise $35-million in revenue for 87 500 African farmers in the initiative's first year by helping sell their surplus crops, says the co-chairman and founder of commodities exchange platform FinComEco, Hirander Misra. Misra's company is partnering in with the US-based Swarm Fund in a joint venture together with Block Commodities, (formerly African Potash), which is a vertically integrated platform for the mining, production, and distribution of fertiliser. In an email to Ventureburn following the announcement of the initiative last week, Misra said he based the estimates off his organisation's experience in investing $10-million for smallholder farmers in Malawi using traditional...

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    A simple step-by-step guide to finding parking with Parkfind app

    Are you curious about now Cape Town-based Street Parking Solution's (SPS) personal parking assistant Parkfind app works? Here's a quick step by step guide on how to use the app to locate and pay for parking in the Cape Town city centre. The Parkfind app allows you to find parking in real time, navigate to a parking bay using GPS. In addition, users get access to parking tariff information as well as the ability to make in-app parking payments. 1. Download the app Start by downloading the Parkfind app for free from the Apple AppStore or Google Play. 2.Sign up and enable in-app payments For Parkfind's in-app payment function to work, users...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [21/05/2018]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or brush up on some of your skills? Well, you’ve come to the right place. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or next week’s, please let us know in the comments below or send us an email. Not all of the events are free and some will require booking in advance. Please click on the event names to find out...

  • ‘Visa Everywhere Initiative opened us up to local innovation’ [Sponsored]

    Access to local innovation -- this has been a key driver of the Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI), where the global payments processor has spent the last three years working with fintech companies to develop cutting-edge products. Says Visa sub-Sahara Africa senior director for digital solutions Geraldine Mitchley (pictured above): "The highlight of the programme, the great thing is it has opened us up to local innovation". The programme was first launched in the US in 2015, and then rolled out to Europe, Asia, Middle East and North Africa as well as Latin America last year. This year it is running in sub-Saharan Africa...

  • Ekasi Bucks to launch ‘world’s first crypto-mall, bitcoin taxis for townships’

    Just months after a failed initial coin offering (ICO), South African blockchain consultancy Ekasi Bucks plans to launch what it calls "the world's first crypto-mall and on-demand transport service for townships". The two services will be unveiled this Monday (21 May) by the startup in three launches in Gauteng, namely in Mabopane, Soshanguve and Soweto. The launch comes after the Gauteng based startup last year sought to raise R50-million in an ICO to fund a blockchain-based rewards programme for township residents that buy from certain affiliated township businesses. But the ICO raised just R500 000, most of which was returned to investors. Read more: SA’s Ekasi Bucks ICO falls short of R50m target,...

  • China Africa Tech Initiative events aimed at building investor awareness

    A year-old initiative which aims to introduce Chinese investors to African tech startups is currently focused on building awareness by running a series of events in China. The China Africa Tech Initiative (CAT-I) was founded last year by James Da Costa and Stephany Zoo -- who is the marketing head of Kenyan fintech BitPesa and Africa director at She Loves Tech. "Currently we're focused on community building and generating awareness through a series of events in China," Zoo (pictured above) told Ventureburn this week. Tomorrow (19 May) the initiative will host its inaugural China Africa Stories: A New Chapter in Youth Engagement in Beijing, she said. The China Africa Tech Initiative...

  • SBC Africa in final call for applications for Cape Town accelerator [Sponsored]

    The team from Startupbootcamp Africa (SBC) are edging to the close of their 2018 FastTrack tour which saw them, along with their sponsors, criss-crossing the globe in search of top-tier tech talent who are disrupting industries and innovating on a world-class level. The FastTrack tour visited 17 countries and will conclude with the final FastTrack on 22 May in Cape Town. The Cape Town FastTrack, hosted by Old Mutual, is the last chance tech startups have to attend one of these scouting events ahead of the accelerator. Although attendance at a FastTrack is not necessary to apply to the final accelerator, it...

  • Bankroll your startup to excellence today [Sponsored]

    You need to make sure your business is taken care of as much as possible these days, and this means you should look at ways of financing it. Having the money to bankroll your business is so important because it helps you attain success, and keeps the company’s head above water. There are so many unique and exciting ways of financing the brand these days, and this is so important. As a business owner, you have to make sure your company has the financing it needs to progress and improve. There are a lot of reasons why the business might require...

  • Sanofi announces the 10 African startups set to pitch at VivaTech

    Global biopharmaceutical firm and Viva Technology partner Sanofi has announced the 10 African startups selected as finalists in its Sanofi Afric@Tech initiative. The finalists are set to pitch their health innovations before a panel later this month at startup conference VivaTech which will be held in Paris next week -- between 24 and 26 May. It will be the first time at the startup conference that a track dedicated to African innovation will be run. Selected projects will be offered the opportunity to benefit from financial support and from a coaching and mentoring programme by Sanofi, in order to prepare an eventual collaboration with one of...

  • Joburg incubator is still in operation says Standard Bank official

    Standard Bank head of enterprise development Mfanufikile Motha today said the bank has re-configured its Johannesburg-based incubator to align it with the bank's broader entrepreneur development initiatives. Motha was responding to a Ventureburn query on whether the bank's Rosebank incubator is still active, this after former head Jayshree Naidoo left the incubator in December last year. "The incubator is still active and productive, we just changed the configuration to have sector focus. We now do in-class and practical incubation programmes and it forms part of the wider entrepreneur development capability in the bank," Motha said yesterday (16 May). Standard Bank's Rosebank business incubator was...

  • Nigerian startups sceptical of state’s sudden interest in ecosystem [Opinion]

    The Nigerian government may have moved to get stakeholders in the country’s tech ecosystem on its side, but those in the ecosystem remain sceptical. It follows a tour last month by the vice president Yemi Osinbajo of Lagos's tech ecosystem, which was described by several experts in the sector as geared towards garnering the support of the sector for President Muhammadu Buhari, who is seeking re-election next year. Just months after it secured its latest funding of $325 000 investment from the GSMA, Farmcrowdy, Nigeria’s digital agricultural platform, was among the Nigerian tech startups that the vice president visited while in Lagos. He also visited Paystack, Andela,...

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