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  • Kalon Venture Partners, Compass Capital invest in SA startup FinChatBot

    SA venture capital firm Kalon Venture Partners and Mauritius-based VC Compass Capital have made an undisclosed investment in SA financial services chatbot providers FinChatBot. The announcement was made yesterday during the AfricArena 2018 tech conference in Cape Town. FinChatBot  develops chatbots to help financial service providers acquire and retain customers through artificial intelligence (AI) powered conversations. So far the startup has developed and services chatbot experiences for more than 10 top insurance companies and banks in South Africa. The startup -- which was founded in 2016 by Antoine Paillusseau (pictured above) and Romain Diaz -- plan to use the investment to continue their rapid growth and expand...

  • Company Office

    Sureswipe launches another service to help small retailers grow their business

    Sureswipe, one of South Africa’s first card payment acceptance companies, has introduced a new online service, called Self Sign up, that allows retailers to order and pay for their card payment machines online and start processing customers’ credit cards within days. “We believe that all retailers across South Africa should be able to accept card payments to increase sales. This has not always been possible mainly due to affordability and accessibility," says Sureswipe managing director Paul Kent (pictured above). Kent says the company's new Self Sign up service removes the daunting and time-consuming application and contracting process, which often involves face-to-face...

  • Infographic: the 2018 Ventureburn Tech Startup Survey

    The 2018 Ventureburn Tech Startup Survey, powered by Telkom Futuremakers, has delivered plenty of insights into the South African startup landscape. The survey, following on from last year's edition, saw 153 South African startup founders respond. But what should you know? You can view all the articles here, but we’ve also prepared an infographic for your convenience, outlining a selection of findings. Check it out below. *Note on the methodology the survey used: In all there were 169 respondents to the survey which was conducted using an online questionnaire, by data analytics firm Qurio. Of this number, 16 respondents were found to be employees of startups (rather than...

  • SA tech startups still out of touch when getting angel, VC funding – survey

    Over a quarter of founders or 29% of SA tech startups believe that they will grow their business by securing venture capital (VC) or funding from angel investors – yet the reality is that only about 11% report having been able to secure such funding, a new survey reveals.  Are startup founders then out of touch with reality? The figures are revealed in the 2018 Ventureburn Tech Startup Survey powered by Telkom Futuremakers which was released today. The survey sampled 153 SA tech startup founders. The finding is similar to that of a 2017 survey Ventureburn conducted last year of 260 startup founders. In this...

  • Black tech startups in SA still struggling finds new Ventureburn survey

    While 15% of SA tech startups founded by white entrepreneurs are turning a profit, just seven percent of their black counterparts are making a profit, a new survey by Ventureburn has revealed. The Ventureburn Tech Startup Survey powered by Telkom Futuremakers – which was released today – found that while the number of black (black African, coloured, Indian or Chinese South African) entrepreneurs running technology startups appears to be on the rise, most are struggling to make money or access finance. Black startups on the rise In all, 56% of the 153 startup founders surveyed by Ventureburn in an online survey, listed themselves as black –...

  • SA startups with combination of male-female founders most successful – survey

    More SA startups that have both male and female founders are generating significant revenue or turning a profit -- than are those with only male or only female founders -- a new survey has found. The 2018 Ventureburn Tech Startup Survey powered by Telkom Futuremakers, reveals that of 153 tech startups quizzed online, 41% of those that have both male and females among their founders (startups like SweepSouth which was founded by husband and wife team Alen Ribic and Aisha Pandor, pictured above) report that they are successful. In comparison, 25% that have just men as founders and 20% with just women are generating significant revenue...

  • Gauteng home to most tech startups, but Cape firms still more successful – survey

    Gauteng is now home to 55% of tech startup founders — ahead of the Western Cape’s 37%. In all, 36% of Western Cape startups report turning a profit or generating significant revenue, compared to 22% in Gauteng. The percentage of black tech startups has risen from 26% in 2015, to 56% this year. Just seven percent of black tech startups turn a profit, versus 15% of their white counterparts. Over a quarter of startups plan to raise angel or VC funding, but only eight percent receive such funding. Successful startup founders are most likely to be white males from the Western Cape. The Western...

  • Here’s why the World Bank Group moved to launch the Afrique Excelle programme

    A small turnout by francophone startups at the World Bank's XL Africa accelerator last year could be the reason why the organisation has moved to launch a francophone version of the same programme, Afrique Excelle. Only one francophone startup -- Senegalese mobile classifieds platform CoinAfrique -- made it into last year's XL Africa programme. The World Bank Group's InfoDev programme manager Ganesh Rasagam said at the time that over 900 startups from across the continent had applied to participate in the programme, with an independent panel of experts eventually selecting the 20 startups that participated in the accelerator. Five were Kenyan, nine were Nigerian, three were...

  • Joburg based insurance platform Franc Group wins 2018 Seedstars SA finals

    Johannesburg based self-insurance platform Franc Group was earlier this evening (14 November) crowned the winner of the 2018 Seedstars SA finals. The startup -- which earlier this month won the Seedstars Johannesburg pitch event -- came first ahead of property tech startup HouseMe which was placed second and peer-to-peer storage and parking platform Sxuirell which was placed third. Seven startups in all pitched. A jury comprised of Naspers Ventures strategy manager Minette Havemann, Nedbank head of disruption and innovation Stuart van de Veen, Seedstars regional manager for Africa Claudia Makadristo and Hybr partner Vuyisa Qabaka (pictured above, right with Franc Group founder and CEO Thomas Brennan)...

  • BREAKING: French media group Trace acquires stake in Senegal’s CoinAfrique

    Paris-based media group Trace today (14 November) announced that it has acquired an undisclosed stake in Senegalese mobile classified platform CoinAfrique. Today's announced deal is the third reported deal that the Senegalese startup -- which was founded in 2014 and launched in 2015 by Matthias Papet and Eric Genêtre -- has been involved in this year. The startup has developed one of the first mobile marketplaces for French-speaking Africans with operations in at least 15 countries across francophone Africa. Commenting in an earlier statement, Papet and Genêtre said the deal confirms the "strength of our growth model" and highlights the opportunity to create a pan-African francophone leader in the classifieds...

  • Here’s all you need to know about the Africa Innovation Challenge 2.0

    US-based pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson has launched the second edition of its Africa Innovation Challenge and is calling on innovators from across Africa to submit their entries before 16 January. This year's edition -- which was launched last Thursday (8 November) during the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum -- aims to address the critical unmet needs of local communities in Africa while providing local entrepreneurs with support to create innovative healthcare products and services. Africa Innovation Challenge 2.0 includes six categories, which aim to address significant threats to Africa's health care systems and environment. These are: botanical solutions, mental health, packaging innovations, health...