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  • It’s confirmed – SA’s first female focused angel fund to launch this year

    In what may be a first for South Africa, the country is set to get its first angel fund focused entirely on women-owned businesses. Alexandra Fraser, one of the organisation's founding members, confirmed that Johannesburg-based Dazzle Angles will start operating later this year. The organisation's founding team is comprised of an all-women team that includes Fraser, who is the founder of Fraser Consulting, JAG Method co-founder Adi Zuk, JAG Group COO Lee Zuk, and Charlotte Luzuka. In a brief phone call earlier today Fraser told Ventureburn that the fund -- which is yet to open applications for investment -- is still in the "early stages" of setting up. She explained that...

  • Company Office

    Judges announced for the IAB SA Bookmark Awards 2017

    The IAB SA has announced the list of judges that will decide which contenders will scoop a coveted Bookmark Award in 2017. The team of judges, led by Jury President John Dixon, features more diverse industry players than ever before. Josephine Buys, CEO of IAB SA says, "Our mid-year, judges workshop yielded valuable insights from the best in the business for judging the Bookmarks 2017. We have secured the time and talent of some of the brightest minds in digital and have expanded our pool of experts to include gamers, innovators and engineers.” Judges will now fall under the categories of...

  • TIA calls on innovators to submit funding proposals for waste, water solutions

    The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) is calling on startups and innovators to submit proposals that tackle ewaste and waste beneficiation, as well as Acid Mine Drainage, water purification, water saving and repairing water leakages. The deadline for proposals to be submitted and considered for funding is by the end of September. Funding of R650 000 and above will be considered for successful applicants. Compulsory briefing sessions will be conducted across the country later this month to facilitate and assist applicants to understand the TIA application requirements (see below for dates). To qualify for funding applicants must have developed a proof of concept (an idea that has been...

  • Here are the finalists of the second edition of the Ecobank Fintech Challenge

    Pan-African banking conglomerate Ecobank has announced the 11 finalists of the second edition of the Ecobank Fintech Challenge. In a statement last week, Ecobank Group executive for operations and technology Eddy Ogbogu said the bank was "delighted" by the quality of the challenge finalists and had high hopes they will capitalise on the mentoring and support of the group. The 11 finalists are: Lypa (Kenya), Wallet.Ng (Nigeria), Nala (Tanzania), Litee (Benin), SESO Global (South Africa), InvestED (Sierra Leone), Secapay (Nigeria), Virtual Identity (developed by e4 from South Africa), MojiPay (Togo), Eversend(France), and Awamo (Germany). The 11 finalists will exhibit and pitch at an Innovation Fair and award's ceremony set to be held...

  • Fintech platform Mines raises $13m in Series-A round led by The Rise Fund

    US-based fintech Mines -- which was founded by a Nigerian team -- has raised $13-million in a Series-A round led by US impact investor The Rise Fund. The startup announced the funding in a statement last week. The investment will finance talent acquisition, and expansion into Africa, South America, and South East Asia. The deal will see TPG Growth's Yemi Lalude, and Velocity Capital's Willem Willemstein join Mine's board of directors. Velocity Capital, Western Technology Investments, First Ally Capital, X/Seed Capital, NYCA Partners, Persistent Capital, Singularity Investments, Trans Sahara Investments, and the Bank of Industry also participated in the round. Mines plans to use the investment to fund talent acquisition, and expansion into Africa, South America,...

  • Debate rages over whether VC investors biased towards expat-founded startups

    Concern is brewing over the large number of venture capital (VC) deals in East Africa involving expat founders -- with both local and foreign entrepreneurs in the region weighing in in recent months over whether venture capitalists have a clear bias towards investing in tech startups that count foreigners among their founders. In all four of the five VC deals Ventureburn has reported on in East Africa so far this year have involved startups founded by expats -- with the latest being Sokowatch's $2-million deal involving 4Dx Ventures (the founders are pictured above -- see the story here). Earlier this year, Kenyan tech site...

  • Nedbank, Plug and Play to host The Disruption Agenda in Joburg

    SA bank Nedbank is partnering with Silicon Valley accelerator Plug and Play to bring 10 international startups to an event in South Africa next month to connect with major companies and business leaders. In an announcement yesterday, Nedbank said the event, The Disruption Agenda will be held in Johannesburg. The 10 companies are all graduates of the Plug and Play accelerator platform and were identified as relevant disruptors to solving cross-sector business challenges at a corporate level within the local market. Mika Stanvliet, a PR representative for Plug and Play and Nedbank, said she could not divulge the names of the 10 startups without getting their pre-approval first. While The Disruption Agenda will be a...

  • Six takeaways from Jack Ma and his speech to African tech entrepreneurs

    Last week, Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma spoke at what is arguably one of the most important tech events to have taken place so far this year on the continent. In his speech on Wednesday in Johannesburg, Ma challenged African entrepreneurs to look at problems as opportunities, called on governments to create tax policies that are favourable for startups and entrepreneurs and announced plans for his $10-million African Netpreneur Prize initiative. In case you missed his speech (which can still be streamed online), here's what stood out: 1.When everything is ready, it's too late One of the main highlights of Ma's speech was the recurring theme on...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [13/08/2018]

    Curious about alternative ways to raise money for your startup? If you're in Joburg you might want to join FundEx 2018, a one-day conference taking place on Thursday (16 August) which will explore funding opportunities for entrepreneurs. In keeping with Women's Month, why not join the African Women in Fintech and Payments breakfast this Friday in Cape Town? In East Africa, join an i-Talks panel discussion on idea poaching this Thursday (16 August) in Nairobi. Across the continent, in Lagos, Nigeria, CcHUB Nigeria accelerator programmes manager Francis Sani will look at how entrepreneurs can build digital ventures. This article is part of a weekly...

  • Egyptian fintechs score with sandbox after AUC Venture Lab, Temenos deal

    Fintech startups in Egypt will be able to test their new products and services in a sandbox, following an announcement today that university accelerator AUC Venture Lab will collaborate with banking software company Temenos. The deal was announced in a press release today by Geneva-based Temenos and AUC Venture Lab, which is located at The American University in Cairo . Among other things, the agreement will see Temenos provide a sandbox service to the startups that utilise the accelerator. Over the past five years the AUC Venture Lab has accelerated 115 startups. The sandbox is a non-production cloud-based version of the Temenos T24 core banking system. It will enable startups to...

  • Let’s do it for ourselves Africa and stop copying overseas tech trends [Opinion]

    I like comparing the startup scene in South Africa to where hip hop was in the country about 10 years ago. Artists trying to imitate what the Americans were doing -- fake American accents, no vernac in their songs and oversized clothes which failed dismally and did not connect with the audience. Fast-forward and now in the forefront with artists like Cassper Nyovest hip hop has become one of the most popular and lucrative genres. It is the biggest driver of urban youth culture purely because they “pivoted” and embraced their SA identity these artists are not only successful with their music but have...