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  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [20/1/2019]

    If you're in Nairobi, Kenya a memorial service will be held on Tuesday for the six employees of Nairobi-based payments company Cellulant that were killed in last Tuesday's terrorist attack at the DusitD2 hotel (see more in this story). In all 21 people were killed in the attack. In Cape Town this week? Join Luksbrands owner and founder Dustin Botha in a Founders Class event this Wednesday (23 January). For those in Johannesburg, Swiss investor and entrepreneur York Zucci will discuss best practices on how to find and keep clients, at an Innovation Hub Motivation Session which takes place on Monday morning (21...

  • Company Office

    Beyond Innovation – it’s Innovation velocity that really matters…

    '5 Ways to Drive Innovation'…'The World's Most Innovative Leaders'….'The Latest Innovations in Fintech'…sound familiar? In mainstream media, and in the corporate lexicon, the word innovation has become ubiquitous – particularly when discussing entrepreneurship, technology, leadership, and how all three combine. As a result, it has all but lost its meaning. Among startups, for example, product differentiators are often peddled as 'innovations' – when in fact they are simply, product differentiators. Journalists often trumpet the release of a high profile company's latest 'innovation', when in fact it is simply the release of a new product (and should be reported as such!). Why is...

  • Meet the 10 startups selected for the #Africa4Future Accelerator programme

    Aeronautics giant Airbus and German development agency GIZ have announced the names of the 10 African tech startups that will take part in the latest Airbus Bizlab #Africa4Futute accelerator programme. #Africa4Future is a joint business accelerator initiative of Airbus and GIZ's Make IT Africa initiative together with the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) and SA-based innovation consultancy Innocircle. The programme identifies African tech entrepreneurs using innovative aerospace-based solutions to tackle the continent's most pressing challenges such as transportation, agriculture and healthcare The 10 #Africa4Future finalists were selected from 314 startups from 19 countries on the continent The 10 hail from...

  • What startups should know about tax, when setting up an overseas company

    No matter how small the world is becoming or how much of a global village we live in, each country’s tax authorities need to be treated fairly and honestly. It simply means that if genuine value is created in Country A, you need to account to Country A’s tax authority for that value and pay tax in Country A. These last two short sentences have been the subject of literally millions of lines of legislation and law textbooks, but if you appreciate the principle and comply, you are unlikely to fall afoul of the dreaded revenue services. This article is...

  • Ghanaian healthtech company mPharma secures over $9m in Series-B funding

    Accra based medicine benefits and inventory manager mPharma has raised over $9-million in a Series-B funding round from as yet undisclosed investors. Uganda-based tech publication Digest Africa reported on Tuesday (15 January) that the $9 729 000 that mPharma raised in exchange for a share in the six-year-old company, fell short of the $12-million that the firm was looking to raise. Digest Africa's report was informed by a US Securities and Exchange Commission filling made last Thursday (10 January). However, the filing does not reveal what percent equity the funding was in return for or who the investors -- only...

  • Newtown Partners shifts focus to offshore deals amid SA challenges

    SA entrepreneur Vinny Lingham's angel investment fund Newtown Partners has shifted its focus to sourcing deals outside of South Africa because of the poor economic and political climate at home, says the fund's managing partner Llew Claasen. Claasen (pictured above), who is based in Cape Town, told Ventureburn last month that while the fund had sourced about 10 of its 16 deals concluded since it launched 2014 in South Africa, he and Lingham are now looking more at deals offshore. He described the fund's focus as being on blockchain projects and added that via its US office in Sunnyvale, California the...

  • SARB calls on the public to comment on consultation paper on crypto assets

    As part of its first steps to regulate crypto assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) today called on the public to provide comments on a consultation paper on crypto assets. The Reserve Bank, together with other members of the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG), released the consultation paper yesterday (15 January). In addition to the Reserve Bank, the working group includes the National Treasury, Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), and the South African Revenue Service (SARS). In a statement today (16 January), The Reserve Bank called on the public to email their...

  • It hits you that you are going to die – hub manager on Kenyan attack [Updated]

    UPDATE (19 January 2019): Nairobi-based payments company Cellulant today released the names of the six employees (and not seven as earlier believed) killed in Tuesday's attack they are: the company's head of product development Ashford Kuria, hub engineer Kelvin Gitonga, head of information security Dennis Mwaniki, quality assurance tester John Ndiritu, implementation engineer Wilfred Kareithi and hub head Jeremiah Mbaria (see below image). The company said a memorial service will be held on Tuesday (22 January) at the CITAM church, Valley Road campus from 10.30am. Maurice Otieno, the head of a Kenyan business club for startups, says he was waiting...

  • SA startup Virtual Actuary may consider ‘combo valuation’ with US partner

    Six months after turning down an investment offer from a major SA insurance company, SA startup Virtual Actuary is in the US for talks with venture capitalists -- including some who are keen to do "a combo valuation" with the startup's US partner, software developer Insurtech Global. Virtual Actuary co-founder Adi Kaimowitz has been in the US for the past week after being invited to speak on disruption in the actuarial world at an event at the Hartford Insurtech Hub in Hartford, Connecticut (See a video of the talk he did in Hartford on Thursday last week below). Virtual Actuary,...

  • DFS Lab to host Dar es Salaam bootcamp on Mojaloop platform

    US-based fintech accelerator and investor Digital Financial Services Lab (DFS Lab) will in April host a bootcamp in Tanzania aimed at building on and improving Mojaloop, an open-source financial inclusion software that was released by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2017. Mojaloop helps create inter-operable payments systems in emerging markets. The platform was built in collaboration with leading tech and fintech companies that include Ripple, Dwolla, Software Group, ModusBox and Crosslake Technologies. DFS Lab, which is also funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, made the announcement in a press release to Ventureburn today (16 January). DFS Lab's Mojaloop...

  • How SA social enterprise startup Vollar landed a R500k investment at Slush

    Having completed 2018 with a budget of just R225 000, Stellenbosch-based social enterprise startup Vollar last month secured a R500 000 investment from an angel investor at Finnish tech conference Slush 2018. Slush, which is held annually in Helsinki, aims to connect startup founders with investors, as well as provide them access to startup networks. Last year's edition took place on 4 and 5 December. Vollar founder and CEO Kyle Ueckermann (pictured above) -- whose startup has developed a digital token for tracking and rewarding social good -- told Ventureburn yesterday (14 January) that he previously lived in Helsinki and earlier...

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