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All posts by Jacques Coetzee: staff reporter

Jacques Coetzee: staff reporter
Jacques grew up in Stellenbosch, South Africa. He also studied International Relations (BA) at Stellenbosch University with an interest in innovation and initiatives and how they could contribute to the benefit of society. I have always been interested in both politics and development and started becoming more and more intrigued with how technological development could contribute to society. He loves arts and more specifically the art of writing. His interests in writing and journalism grew more over the last few years with a keen focus on current trends in technological innovation and social development. He is currently teaching English as a second language in South Korea and looking to further his interests and education in writing
  • 5 savvy podcasts you should listen while building a winning startup

    It's holiday time (for most of you at least), which means that you should sit back, relax and let advice and conversations seep into your subconscious. While not all of them will give the popular Serial audio series a run for its money, they are all pretty damn awesome. We've rounded up a bunch of inspiring, insightful, and just plain entertaining podcasts for you to follow. TWiStartups Serial entrepreneur Jason Calacanis gives you a weekly low-down on what's hot and happening in the world of startups. With a strong experience, Calacanis shares his tips and trends about the life of an...

  • 11 of SA’s biggest (and most exciting) tech startup investments of 2014

    Money makes the world go round. And if you play your cards right, might just make your startup successful -- putting a smile on shareholders faces. In 2014, we've seen a lot of money being moved around in South Africa's startup scene. So much so that we've decided to round up some of the investment rounds that really stood out to Ventureburn. From real estate, crowdsourced designs to a multi-million financial aid startup, these are some really exciting times. Nomanini One of South Africa's much-talked about startup success stories, prepaid voucher enabler Nomanini, has raised a fat R20-million in February...

  • Can i-Pay boost SA’s ecommerce by making EFTs cool?

    Online payment gateways play a crucial role in driving ecommerce in South Africa and the whole world for that matter. The right gateways can give merchants the ability to cut down on transaction fees and create a safe and easy experience for the customer. I-Pay thinks it has the answer to the online payment space's biggest needs -- Electronic Funds Transfers. When one think of innovation in the payments space, Electronics Fund Transfer (or EFT) is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Especially in a world with Bitcoin wallets, ScapScan and M-Pesa, EFT seems so last year....

  • Microsoft Ventures expands into Nigeria with 88mph partnership

    Global tech giant Microsoft and African startup accelerator 88mph have partnered to officially bring the Microsoft Ventures programme into Nigeria. Headed by the Microsoft 4Afrika initiative, this move plans to improve startup productivity by providing relevant tools, resources, expertise and routes to market around the world. Last year October, Microsoft expanded its venture partnership programme into Kenya. Read more: Microsoft Ventures expands into Africa through 4Afrika “There is a great opportunity to further develop the startup ecosystem in Nigeria and drive innovation,” says Amrote Abdella, Director of Startup Engagement and Partnerships, Microsoft Africa Initiatives. “By expanding Microsoft Ventures into Nigeria, we hope to...

  • Startup 90: SA’s new accelerator looking for the startup recipe of success

    Startup accelerators are tricky things. The idea of putting together some business fundamentals for a company in a couple of months sounds crazy, yet startups the world over tend to thrive on it. South Africa, however, still needs to find that one recipe which compliments its specific local needs. Startup 90 thinks it's up to the task. The relatively new accelerator on the block is hoping to create a uniquely South African programme to help tech startups scale while staying relevant to their environment. Ventureburn sat down with accelerator founder Sandheep Ramluckan (pictured above), who explained that accelerator models...

  • African VC activity shows impressive spike in 2014

    It's been a good year for Africa's startups. In terms of investment activity at least, data from one of the world's most comprehensive startup databases, CrunchBase, shows that there's been a huge increase within the last year, highlighting confidence. With big investments from the likes of Naspers and Rocket Internet (or its African arm African Internet Group), the Nigerian ecommerce space makes up most of 2014's fourth quarter activity, amounting to US$193-million (over R2.2-billion)! Possibly gearing up for the end-of-year shopping season, in October Nigerian ecommerce player Konga announced it secured US$40-million from South Africa's Naspers. One month later, its competitor...

  • DroneScan: the startup using flying ‘copters to manage your stock

    Data management can make or break a business. Especially when it comes to big companies, refining a simple process could save you millions. It's all about maximising efficiency. A few weeks ago we featured Big Inja -- the data management startup that explained how important it is to visualise your business processes in order to make the right decisions. Now, Durban-based software startup DroneScan is taking it to another level. Literally. The startup is using drones to scan barcoded items in warehouses shelved too high for pesky humans suffering from acrophobia, or just love new tech and uber efficiency. The problem The...

  • Tanzania’s pre-paid solar startup Off Grid Electric raises $16 million

    Things are looking bright for East Africa this season. At least that's the case for the solar as a service startup Off Grid Electric and its customers. Tanzanian-based solar company Off Grid Electric has raised a massive US$16-million (about R184-million) lead by the US alternative energy giant and NASDAQ-listed, SolarCity, the UK's Zouk Capital as well as Microsoft co-founder Pual Allen's Vulcan Capital. The investment comes after it raised US$7-million (roughly R80-million) in March this year. Similar to the mobile airtime model, the startup introduces a pre-paid solar power system that asks the home-owner to top-up whenever the user runs out...

  • U-Start launches investment vehicle, will be worth €30-million in 2015

    Global Venture Capital initiative U-Start has recently rounded-off its 2014 conference series in Cape Town, South Africa, and announced further penetration to the Central and Eastern European region as well as the launch of U-Start Ventures -- its new investment vehicle to carry €30-million (over R418-million) by mid-2015. Apart from the conferences, the global boutique advisory firm is also responsible for the U-Start Club which is an international group of private investors which is aimed at sourcing investors’ money into the most perspective and carefully pre-selected and pre-qualified startups. U-Start believes that apart from the strong growth opportunities, emerging markets such as...

  • Digital communications startup Everlytic finds impressive 600% growth

    Knighted Deloitte's third fastest growing company in Africa, digital communications company Everlytic recently announced it grew 606% in the last five years, claiming the spot as the fastest growing company in South Africa. What initially started out as communications agency Prefix Technologies in 2004, Everlytic launched as a general email marketing platform in 2010 and continuous improvements to the offering ensured steady progress, resulting in Everlytic’s ranking on the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 2014, which was design to recognise tech innovation across the continent. “Making the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Africa ranking is a testament to a company’s commitment to technology,”...