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All posts tagged "Startups"

  • Richard Branson on SA startup scene, Gordhan and more

    Virgin's Richard Branson made an appearance at the relaunch of the Virgin Money insurance service in South Africa. The mogul and philanthropist had a fair amount to say, talking political stability, the actual service they're launching, thoughts on the SA startup scene and Blockchain. Virgin is (seemingly) thriving in SA Branson noted that stability is needed around the world, pointing to Brexit and the possible election of Donald Trump as two destabilising events. "As far as the Virgin group in South Africa is concerned, we're expanding as fast as we've ever expanded. So, we've got... 11 new health clubs opening this year. I've just...

  • Eaze: weed-delivery startup gets $13m in funding

    Who says you have to visit a dispensary to get the Devil's Lettuce? Certainly not the people behind Eaze, which promises to get the Whacky Tobacky to your door in no time flat. Now, the company has announced US$13-million in series B funding, making Eaze "the fastest growing and most funded cannabis technology company in the world", the firm claims. "It has now raised more than $25M in total funding. Fresh VC led the round with participation from DCM Ventures, Tusk Ventures, Winklevoss Capital, Rose Capital and others," Eaze wrote in a blog post. The investment comes at a time when nine states have cannabis-related legislation on...

  • VeeamON Tour 2016: Gregg Petersen speaks ‘always-on’ businesses

    Software and disaster management company, Veeam, this week hosted its VeeamON Tour in Johannesburg, showing off the company's latest wares for enterprise-level users and admins. Although acronyms, esoteric terms, and technical jargon were flung around at will, there were a few interesting takeaway for consumers. The company -- which was founded in 2006, and arrived in South Africa in 2012 -- offered its first product back in 2008. Since then, the company has seen remarkable growth. Veeam's VP of product strategy, Doug Hazelman, suggests that the Switzerland-based firm is growing 100% year on year, with worldwide customer base currently sitting at...

  • SAVCA CEO: we need to be ‘realistic’ about SA’s growing VC sector [Q&A]

    Venture capital is on the rise in South Africa. According to a recent survey by Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA) this year’s total assets under management presents nearly R2-billion (R1.87-billion), with the total value of deals struck valued at R865-million. While these figures are likely to put a smile on stakeholders’ faces, there’s a lot yet to be done to fast-track this sector and ultimately become globally competitive and uplift socio-economic conditions. Some obstacles in the ecosystem continue to persist, including the inability to establish constructive dialogue between entrepreneurs and fund managers, implement forward-thinking government policy...

  • Unique market, unique startup – what can we learn from the UAE’s gurus?

    Every country has its fair share of small businesses and startups. This trend is only increasing as more people become equipped with the knowledge, tools, and specific skills required to run their own businesses. While starting your own business is considered a spectacular idea, one of the fundamental steps you need to take is to ideally come up with an original idea and develop a competitive advantage.

  • Startups need to stay agile to succeed in our ever-changing environment

    As Greek philosopher Heraclitus said: “Everything changes and nothing stands still.” This rings all the more true for businesses operating in today’s rapid-paced, constantly changing environment, where market leaders can quickly be unseated by a small, more nimble startup. var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • Exit stage left: lessons from reporting Africa’s tech scene

    In the last four years I have learnt a lot about technology, innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa. I have met Africa’s brightest and its bravest. I have walked the path of its past and seen the clearly marked walkways of its future. Erik Hersman from the iHub once told me that once you have been to deepest darkest Africa, it’s hard to ignore the opportunities for innovation. He was right, and you don’t have to search to far to find the opportunities. From Madagascar to the beautiful red sunsets of Tunisia, the opportunities lindy hop for anyone who will see...

  • African women in tech: Ethel Cofie on why men are seen as ambitious and women bitchy

    "I spent years not speaking up because my career was just starting and I didn’t have anything of consequence to say, I remember going to a meeting once and being mistaken for my bosses PA/Assistant." -- Ethel Cofie Where are the women in tech? Who are the women building technology or working in technology in Africa? These questions and many more are asked on a daily basis. When it comes to technology in Africa, the general consensus is that women are not present. We beg to differ. Africa has a range of women working and building cool technology for the continent...

  • PWC’s Danie Fölscher chats to Ventureburn about the winning formula for African startups and innovation

    If you've been taking a sabbatical from Ventureburn within the last few weeks, you've probably missed out on the news of PWC's Vision to Reality Awards. A first for South Africa, the startup accelerator saw 10 tech startups partake in a three-month mentorship programme and showcase their ideas. Impressive transaction authentication service Entersekt came up top. The Vision to Reality Awards in South Africa is merely the tip of the iceberg. Brewing below is an ecosystem with internationally acclaimed innovations as well as those that fit into the unique local environments. Ventureburn had a chat with PWC Partner in Charge...

  • African women in tech: Rebecca Enonchong on concealing her role as founder

    "For a long time, to obtain enterprise customers, I concealed the fact that I owned the company. I never lied about it, but I never volunteered that information. My business card didn't even have a title" -- Rebecca Enonchong. Where are the women in tech? Who are the women building technology or working in technology in Africa? These questions and many more are asked on a daily basis. When it comes to technology in Africa, the general consensus is that women are not present. We beg to differ. Africa has a range of women working and building cool technology for...

  • 3 key insights SA’s tech ecosystem can take from Israel

    Mind-set, connectedness and government support are everything when it comes to building and sustaining a far reaching tech culture set to breed innovations across the globe. If it is a key imperative for tech businesses to replicate their business models and product innovations on an international scale, some key insights and lessons can be learnt from Israel, dubbed ‘the start-up nation’ who has successfully built an intimate tech culture and community with a far reaching global impact. 1. Connectedness Everyone in the tech world in Israel is connected. They talk, they engage and they discuss – it is essentially one big community...

  • 14 innovative Korean companies you need to know about [GMV]

    Think Korea’s tech scene extends only as far as Samsung and LG? Think again. We’ve already told you about how instant messaging platform KakaoTalk managed to accumulate hundreds of millions of users and shown you some of the startups from that country trying to disrupt their way onto the world stage, but there’s plenty more innovation coming out of the East Asian country. One attempt to highlight this is the GMV Innovation Awards, part of the Global Mobile Vision conference in Seoul. The awards were judged by a panel of international journalists (including this writer) across a variety of categories...

  • Disrupt everything: 11 Kenyan exciting startups worth your time right now

    We love Kenya. So much so we recently headed to the East African country for some fun times with startups. So ahead of the trip, we thought we will list some startups that caught our eye in the last while. How do you pick 11 great startups to write about? You reach out to the community. And the community delivered. By no means is this the definite list of Kenyan startups, these are the ones that we are aware of right now and our community loves. These guys are disrupting and changing the way tech is used in businesses and...

  • $400m for the startup scene in Lebanon raises more questions than it brings solutions

    How to be innovative in a country where two decades of civil war and rather noisy neighbours such as Syria keep the focus of media on bombings, turmoil and refugees is a tall order. This is the task the Central Bank of Lebanon tries to answer with its circular 331, which put US$400-million on the table earlier this year, just for startups. This is one percent of the GDP and, as attractive as it may look, it doesn't go without a lot of skepticism as well. Let's zoom back to know how such a big bet finds its place in...

  • Ecommerce is changing: where to from here?

    Like any industry, eCommerce is just beginning to mature, so what are the next opportunities for disruption? The barriers to entry are no longer technology or software Most retailers now understand that a multi-channel approach is the minimum required, and have a technology stack, where some will be better than others. Most smaller businesses will outsource this cost, most medium businesses will have in-house teams, and the very large will have a combination of in-house, outsourced and agency teams all working on their eCommerce proposition. The emphasis on constant adaptation will increase as the competition heats up, so stagnant websites will...