1GIANTleap’s Startup Program: South Africa’s Next Tech Hero to be Revealed

Updated on 8 August 2017

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Today's Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (8 August)

1GIANTleap’s Startup Program In Full Swing: “South Africa’s Next Tech Hero” To Be Revealed During Final Pitch Event On August 16

1GIANTleap’s startup program is in full swing, with only two more weeks to go. On Wednesday, August 16, the final event takes place in Johannesburg, hosted by Edge Growth at Exclusive Books in Hyde Park. During this event, the startups will pitch their businesses to a judging panel of successful entrepreneurs, specialists and investors.

Amongst the panelists are Llew Claasen (Partner at Newtown Partners), Clive Butkow (CEO at Kalon Venture Partners), Professor Barry Dwolatzky (Founder at Tshimologong) and Stephen Newton (ex-head of Google). The event will be attended by many respected players in the tech, startup and investment space. The top two winners will walk away with prizes.

The current “South Africa’s next tech hero” program was launched on June 8 in Johannesburg. Entrepreneurs from both Johannesburg and Cape Town were invited to pitch “a tech idea that will disrupt the African continent”. After a rigorous selection process, both on and offline, the eight entrepreneurs, the “Tech Heroes”, were cherry-picked for their promising business acumen, resilient entrepreneurial spirit and savvy technical insight.

Amongst the Tech Heroes are: Alex Gabriels and Jade Venter from Spritzed: “The Airbnb for office space”, Patrick Machekera from Ispani: “A brand activation agency focused on township communities”, Aubrey Nyaguse from Skills Gorilla: “A talent matchmaking platform”, Anthony Bruce from Flippen Clever: “A textbook rental service for students”, Tannon Balanco from Bazinga Services: “On demand transportation services”, Thomas Hart from Rover: “A personalized travel platform” and Ntando Shabalala from Graft House: “Tinder for job seekers”.

1GIANTleap is a South African startup incubator based in Johannesburg and Cape Town that supports entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into successful enterprises. Their 12-week and 12-month programs are designed to remove any hurdles that entrepreneurs face within the first 12 months of operation. Their focus is on the technology and green Innovation sectors. To date, 24 startups have been incubated.

Silvertree Internet Holdings Appoints Ex Reckitt Emerging Markets CEO Freddy Caspers as Chairman And Invests Over 15M USD Into Africa

Cape Town-based Silvertree Internet Holdings, has announced the appointment of Freddy Caspers as non-executive Chairman of the Board. Mr. Caspers has been one of the core team members behind the phenomenal success of Reckitt Benckiser (RB), as executive board member and CEO of Emerging Markets. RB, a London-listed global FMCG company, which owns brands including Durex, Dettol, Vanish and Finish.

RB has been one of the biggest business success stories of the 2000s, building the ‘Apple of the FMCG industry’ and turning a provincial USD 1bn market capitalization business into a USD 75bn global giant in less than 10 years. Mr. Caspers as CEO of Emerging Markets (including Africa) grew sales from 1 to 8bn USD and profits 16 times while creating a shareholder value increase of over 20bn USD during his tenure and managing a portfolio of companies with sales in over 100 countries and 25.000 people.

Silvertree has recently reached the milestone of over USD 15m (approx. ZAR 200m) channeled into African consumer-focused technology companies since inception in 2014. The portfolio has achieved an average >200% annual revenue growth, helped by fast-growing companies like car buying site carzar.co.za and meal-kit delivery company ucook.co.za.

Caspers said, “I have great ambitions for Silvertree: to build it into the most successful internet technology company across Africa. Similarly to my approach at RB, exceptional people with a performance driven culture and executional excellence will be key to our value creation to transform economic growth across the region.”

Looking forward, Silvertree plans to invest over USD 10m (ZAR 130M) in the next 12 months into new and existing portfolio companies that make use of technology to reach consumers, with a focus on growth stage and buy-out opportunities. Silvertree has a unique owner and operator approach with active and large investments and leverages best practices across their business portfolio as well as support from its global network.

Net1 Completes R2bln Investment In Cell C

Net1 UEPS Technologies on Monday, announced the completion of its 15 percent investment in Cell C for R2 billion and 45 percent investment in DNI-4PL Contracts, a distributor of Cell C’s mobile user starter-packs and prepaid airtime through a network of field operatives and agents.

This comes as Blue Label Telecoms on Monday also completed its bid to buy a 45 percent stake in Cell C for R5.5 billion, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, The Prepaid Company.

The sale of stakes in Cell C is part of efforts to slash the mobile operator’s debts from R20 billion to R6 billion.

Net1 said the investments in Cell C and DNI were consistent with Net1’s approach of leveraging its significant and established infrastructures, and pursuing strategic acquisition opportunities or partnerships to gain access to new markets or complementary products.

Net1 is the distributor of welfare grants payments on behalf of South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) of more than R140 billion to more than 17 million beneficiaries through its subsidiary, Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).

Net1 chief executive, Herman Kotze, said the Cell C and DNI investments would allow the company to address the needs of the broader South African population by owning the value chain including the network, payment, product, distribution and hardware.

Kotze said Cell C’s management had built a demonstrable track record of navigating through a challenging environment while reinvigorating growth over the past two years. (via African News Agency)

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